Research Field: Neuroscience
Dr. Fitzgibbon’s research investigates the neurobiological basis of chronic pain. Current effective treatment methods for pain relief are largely pharmaceutical and highly associated with negative side effects including nausea and constipation. Her research explores the way people experience pain, in order to better understand and ultimately treat pain disorders. By visualising brain activity involved in pain perception using state of the art neuroscience techniques, she has identified potential brain targets for the treatment of chronic pain.
Dr. Fitzgibbon is currently investigating world first treatment protocols using brain stimulation to induce relief from chronic pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia, the second most common musculoskeletal condition worldwide. This work has the potential to transform pain treatment. and provide urgently needed new treatment options for sufferers of chronic pain worldwide.
Bernadette’s research has been presented in The Psychologist, Australasian Science and a feature article in New Scientist. She communicates her work through blogs and online social media sources such as Body in Mind and The Conversation. She also gives talks to honours students to inspire them about higher degree research and has active roles in mental health awareness events.