The University of Iowa

Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures Program (A2CPS)


A2CPS Logo

The Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program will collect data from 3,600 people who have recently had surgery or musculoskeletal injury and track them for a 6-month period.  The goal is to develop a set of biomarkers, or “signatures”, that can predict patients that are more likely to  transition to chronic pain. These signatures use measurements, including those from a patient’s genetics, brain structure and function, and advanced statistical and artificial intelligence approaches to create a measure unique to that person. This measure will hopefully allow researchers to develop better, more individualized treatments for patients and better understand the biological basis of pain. 

The CTSDMC has partnered with Dr. Kathleen Sluka and Dr. Laura Frey Law and their team of researchers in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences for this project. Together, this group is funded as the Clinical Coordinating Center for the A2CPS Consortium. The major goals of the CCC are to:

  • Lead the development and implementation of clinical protocols, which includes developing milestones, protocols and training procedures; standardizing electronic health record data; developing regulatory procedures including the coordination of a central IRB; and developing consortium-wide Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Provide oversight and management of collaborative activities across the consortium to support the overall goals of A2CPS, which includes project management and central and on-site monitoring.
  • Facilitate transparent and effective communication between consortium members


This A2CPS Consortium is funded through the National Institutes of Health Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact.