Howard Fields

Howard Fields was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 1997. He is professor and vice chair of neurology and, since 1998, director of the Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction. His current research interests are in the area of alcoholism and drug addiction.

He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University. After his medical internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York, he spent three years at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research. He then trained in clinical neurology at Boston City Hospital under Norman Geschwind of Harvard Medical School. In 1972 he joined UCSF with a joint appointment in neurology and physiology, and developed a research program in pain modulation and opioid neuropharmacology. As a clinical neurologist his practice was devoted to patients with chronic pain. He has trained numerous fellows in both bench research and pain management.

His pioneering research has revolutionized thinking and treatment for neuropathic pain. He has published over 200 papers and has either written or edited several books. He was the editor of the first two editions of the Core Curriculum for Professional Education in Pain and the founding editor-in-chief of the International Association for the Study of Pain Press, and he has received numerous awards for his work.