Robert D. Foreman, PhD


  • George Lynn Cross Research Professor 
  • Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology 
  • Adjunct Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University 

Special lnterests:

We are interested in determining how neuromodulation improves visceral dysfunction and reduces pain. 


  • B.A., Biology ; 1969; Central University of Iowa; Pella, Iowa  50219 
  • Ph.D., Physiology; 1973; Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Maywood, IL   60153 
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurophysiology; 1973-1975; University of Texas Medical Branch, Marine Biomedical Institute; Galveston, TX   77550 

Research Summary:

Pain affects more than 50 million Americans and is a frequent cause for people to visit a clinic. Approximately 45% of the population seeks medical help for pain at some point in their lives. Pain interferes with quality of life, sleep and productivity, and increases utilization of health care resources. Of the pain experiences, visceral pain often associated with visceral dysfunction is a prominent symptom in the clinical setting and one of the main reasons that patients seek medical care. Treatment of visceral pain resulting from visceral dysfunction is particularly challenging because it is seen by physicians in various specialties and little research has been done to address mechanisms. Furthermore, visceral pain does not often originate from a disease of a single internal organ but often results from concurrent algogenic conditions of more than one visceral source. The purpose of our research program is to study the neuro-humoral mechanisms of visceral dysfunction/pain and determine how neuromodulation can improve visceral function and reduce pain. 

Relevant Publications:

  • Qin C, Ghorbani ML, Wu M, Farber JP, Ma J, Foreman RD. Characterization of upper thoracic spinal neurons responding to esophageal distension in diabetic rats. Auton Neurosci. 2009 Jan 28;145(1-2):27-34. 
  • Qin C, Farber JP, Foreman RD. Intraesophageal chemicals enhance responsiveness of upper thoracic spinal neurons to mechanical stimulation of esophagus in rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Mar;294(3):G708-16. 
  • Qin C, Farber JP, Linderoth B, Shahid A, Foreman RD. Neuromodulation of thoracic intraspinal visceroreceptive transmission by electrical stimulation of spinal dorsal column and somatic afferents in rats. J Pain. 2008 Jan;9(1):71-8. 
  • Qin C, Malykhina AP, Akbarali HI, Greenwood-Van Meerveld B, Foreman RD. Acute colitis enhances responsiveness of lumbosacral spinal neurons to colorectal distension in rats. Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Jan;53(1):141-8. 
  • Southerland EM, Milhorn DM, Foreman RD, Linderoth B, DeJongste MJL, Armour JA, Subramanian V, Singh M, Singh K and Ardell J. Pre-emptive spinal cord stimulation mitigates transient ischemia induced myocardial infarction via cardiac adrenergic neurons. Am J Physiol: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2007 Jan;292(1):H311-317. 

Funding Agencies:

  • Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (St. Jude Medical) 
  • NIH (Co-Investigator)  


Office telephone: (405) 271-2226, ext. 56245