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Children's Pain & Comfort Care Program

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Childhood Pain Research Program Faculty & Research Staff

Lonnie Zeltzer, MD - Program Director
Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences


Jennie Tsao, PhD
Director of Pediatric Pain Research
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Jennie C. I. Tsao completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at UCLA and is currently a Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA Children's Pain & Comfort Care Program. Dr. Tsao's research interests center on the relationships among pain, anxiety, and health outcomes, including pain-related functioning and utilization of conventional and complementary/alternative healthcare. Dr. Tsao's research is particularly focused on the laboratory pain models in relation to acute and chronic/recurrent pain, as well as on parent-child pain relationships.


Subhadra Evans, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Subhadra Evans completed her PhD in Child Psychology at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She is a Developmental Psychologist and junior research faculty in the Pediatric Pain Program. Her research examined the impact of maternal chronic pain on children's physical, social and psychological adjustment. Dr. Evans's current research interests include the impact of chronic pain on family and social relationships and the use of mind-body medicine to treat chronic pain.


Laura Payne, PhD
Adjunct Instructor in Pediatrics
Laura Payne, PhD is an Adjunct Instructor and clinical psychologist specializing in central mechanisms and psychological factors, such as depression, anxiety, and emotion regulation, related to chronic pain. Dr. Payne received her Ph.D. in 2007 from Boston University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program from 2007 to 2013. During that time, Dr. Payne was awarded an NIH National Research Service Award to explore the relationship of emotion regulation to chronic pain as part of Dr. Zeltzer's laboratory-based study. She was awarded the UCLA Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Research in 2010, published her research in scholarly journals, and presented at numerous national meetings and conferences. Most recently, Dr. Payne was awarded a grant from the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute to continue her work exploring central pain mechanisms in adolescent girls and young women with primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps).


Laura Seidman
Senior Research Associate
Laura received her bachelor's degree with college honors in Cognitive Science from UCLA. Her undergraduate research with UCLA's Language and Cognitive Development Lab focused on language development in preschool-aged children. She has been the senior research associate at the Children's Pain and Comfort Care Program for five years, during which time she has overseen various laboratory pain studies in children and their parents. Her academic areas of interest include cognitive neuroscience and psychophysiology.


Kirsten Lung
Research Associate
Kirsten first joined the UCLA Children's Pain & Comfort Care Program in 2009 as an undergraduate volunteer. After graduating from UCLA in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, she joined the program as a full-time research associate. She currently serves as study coordinator for several of the program's research studies, including Iyengar Yoga for Young People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Iyengar Yoga for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer with Persistent Fatigue, Brief Mindfulness Meditation Practice for Parents of Hospitalized Children, and Brain Connectivity and Structure, Pain Inhibition, and Gut Microbiota in Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). She plans on pursuing a career in medicine, specializing in pediatric pain management.