UW News

January 17, 2002

Bonica Lecture Jan. 29 features expert on cancer pain management: Mark Lema of Roswell Park Cancer Institute to speak

Dr. Mark J. Lema, a national leader in cancer pain management and end-of-life care, will present the 20th annual John J. Bonica Lecture at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29, in room T-747 of the Health Sciences Center. His topic is “Analyzing Epidural Anesthesia and Analgesia: When Is It Useful?” Epidural anesthesia is used to control pain during childbirth, some types of surgery and in the treatment of cancer and other chronic pain conditions.

Lema is chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. and professor and interim chair at the State University of New York, Buffalo, Department of Anesthesiology, part of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is also an associate research professor of experimental pathology at the SUNY Buffalo School of Graduate Studies.

Lema’s research interests center on mechanisms and management of cancer pain, the pharmacology of intraspinal and parentral analgesic agents, and cellular mechanisms of chemical neurolysis (nerve destruction).

Nationally, Lema is the current editor of the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ ASA Newsletter and has been appointed to the American Medical Association’s National Palliative Care Facility. He works extensively with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and is a member of its Pain Panel, Disease-Specific Evaluation Panel and End-of-Life Care Panel. He is also on the American Pain Society’s Clinical Practice Panel and on the board of directors of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

In New York, he is president of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and has served on several New York State Public Health Council advisory groups. He is also a member of the New York State Partnership to Improve End-of-Life Care.

The lectureship, endowed by public contributions, honors the late Dr. John J. Bonica, founding chair of the UW School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology and the Multidisciplinary Pain Center. Bonica was professor emeritus of anesthesiology at the time of his death in 1994. He published the first comprehensive text devoted to the topic of pain, the monumental The Management of Pain, which was revised for a third edition published in 2001. Bonica was a founder of the International Association for the Study of Pain and served as its president. He was a leader of the movement throughout the world in the late 20th century to recognize pain, especially chronic pain, as a treatable condition, regardless of its cause.