Colvin, Lesley


  • 2108 Citations
  • 24 h-Index
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Personal profile


Chair in Pain Medicine, University of Dundee/ Consultant in Anaesthesia & Pain Medicine, NHS Tayside
Deputy Head of Division , Population Health and Genomics
Hon. Professor in Pain Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Until May 2018, Lesley was a full time pain specialist in the Lothian Chronic Pain Service, and Hon Professor, University of Edinburgh. She took up post as Chair of Pain Medicine, University of Dundee, in May 2018.

Her qualifications and training include: FRCP (Edin) 2013; FFPMRCA, 2007; CCT in Anaesthesia, 2000; PhD, University of Edinburgh. Spinal Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain. (Supervisor: Prof Arthur Duggan) 1997; FRCA 1994; MBChB, University of Edinburgh 1990; BSc(Hons) 1987.

Since undertaking a basic science PhD during her anaesthesia training, she has aimed to ensure that clinical practice is informed by research, and that current research is relevant to the challenges faced in clinical pain management. Recognising the importance of cross discipline collaboration, she was one of the founders of the Edinburgh Translational Research in Pain (ETRiP) collaboration, set up in 2000. The aim was to bring together clinicians and basic scientists from a range of backgrounds to effectively translate novel basic science findings to clinical benefit. This developed, with successful grant applications and publications. In Dundee, working with Profs Blair Smith (Population Health) and Tim Hales (Neuroscience), the aim is to progress pain research, using an iterative approach to understand and improve management of challenging clinical pain syndromes. This includes collaboration with Irene Tracey, from Oxford, using fMRI to better understand clinical pain syndromes, such as chemotherapy induced neuropathy and multiple sclerosis.

Research interests

External Positions

She has been on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Anaesthesia since 2005, and an Editor since 2010, handling up to 150 manuscripts per year, as well as being involved in strategic planning for the journal.  She is the main editor for a special pain issue (May2019) on Advances in Pain Medicine, with a current call out for original research papers ( A previous Pain Special issues she edited featured on BBC Breakfast TV 17/06/2013). The impact factor has increased steadily from 4.22 in 2010 (3rd out of 26 journal) to 6.499 in 2018 (one of the top ranked journals in this category).

She has been on the National Steering Group for Chronic Pain, since its inception in 2008, now the National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain. She chairs the Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC)/ NRS Pain Research Network (see, and represents Scotland on the NIHR CRN for Pain. She chaired the SIGN Guideline development group for Management of Chronic Pain (SIGN 136), published in 2013, and is currently updating the opioids section, in light of new evidence.

She is also a member of SIGN Council, and represents SIGN on the Scottish Board of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. She was previously Specialty Advisor for Chronic Pain, to the Chief Medical Officer. Through this role she co-chaired a new guideline for the Management of Chronic Pain in Children and Young People (see 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Edinburgh

Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh

External positions

Editor, British Journal of Anaesthesia

30 Sep 2001 → …

Hon Professor of Pain Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Lesley Colvin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 8 Similar Profiles
Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Chronic Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Bone Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Neuralgia Medicine & Life Sciences
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases Medicine & Life Sciences
Pain Management Medicine & Life Sciences
Opioid Analgesics Medicine & Life Sciences
Spinal Cord Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1996 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)

Animal models of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a machine-assisted systematic review and meta-analysis

Currie, G. L., Angel-Scott, H. N., Colvin, L., Cramond, F., Hair, K., Khandoker, L., Liao, J., MacLeod, M. R., McCann, S. K., Morland, R., Sherratt, N., Stewart, R., Tanriver-Ayde, E., Thomas, J., Wang, Q., Wodarski, R., Xiong, R., Rice, A. S. C. & Sena, E. S., 20 May 2019, In : PLoS Biology. 17, 5, p. 1-34 34 p., e3000243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
peripheral nervous system diseases
systematic review
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
7 Citations (Scopus)

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: where are we now?

Colvin, L. A., 1 May 2019, In : Pain. 160, p. S1-S10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Drug Therapy
Drug Repositioning
Transient Receptor Potential Channels
35 Downloads (Pure)

Opioid prescribing after surgery– cause for concern?

Colvin, L. A., 4 Sep 2019, In : JAMA Network Open. 2, 9, p. 1-2 2 p., e1910721.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)

Opioid prescribing is rising in many countries

Smith, B. H., Fletcher, E. H. & Colvin, L. A., 17 Oct 2019, In : BMJ. 367, p. 1-2 2 p., l5823.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Chronic Pain
Opioid Analgesics
9 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)

Peri-operative opioid analgesia - when is enough too much? A review of opioid-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia

Colvin, L., Bull, F. & Hales, T., Apr 2019, In : Lancet. 393, 10180, p. 1558-1568 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Opioid Analgesics
Opioid Receptors


Macintosh Professorship

Lesley Colvin (Recipient), 1 Nov 2005

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2012 2013

  • 1 Festival/Exhibition
  • 1 Public engagement and outreach - media article or participation

Pain - recent advances, novel imaging and new challenges

Lesley Colvin (Member)
11 Jun 2013

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - media article or participation

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Lesley Colvin (Participant)
30 Apr 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

Press / Media

The Briefing Room: Does the UK have an opioid problem?

Lesley Colvin


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

How to work out in midlife… when everything hurts

Blair Smith & Lesley Colvin


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Radio 4: Start the Week with Andrew Marr

Lesley Colvin


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research