Parent Page: Academic Departments id: 22668 Active Page: Facultyid:23477


Robert D. Foreman, PhD

Robert D. Foreman, PhD

George Lynn Cross Professor Emeritus

405-271-2226, ext. 56245

Pain affects more than 50 million Americans and is a frequent cause for people to visit a clinic. Approximately 45% of the population seeks medical help for pain at some point in their lives. Pain interferes with quality of life, sleep and productivity, and increases utilization of health care resources. Of the pain experiences, visceral pain often associated with visceral dysfunction is a prominent symptom in the clinical setting and one of the main reasons that patients seek medical care. Treatment of visceral pain resulting from visceral dysfunction is particularly challenging because it is seen by physicians in various specialties and little research has been done to address mechanisms. Furthermore, visceral pain does not often originate from a disease of a single internal organ but often results from concurrent algogenic conditions of more than one visceral source. The purpose of our research program is to study the neuro-humoral mechanisms of visceral dysfunction/pain and determine how neuromodulation can improve visceral function and reduce pain.


  • B.A., Biology ; 1969; Central University of Iowa; Pella, Iowa  50219 
  • Ph.D., Physiology; 1973; Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Maywood, IL   60153 
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurophysiology; 1973-1975; University of Texas Medical Branch, Marine Biomedical Institute; Galveston, TX   77550

Clinical/Research Interests:

We are interested in determining how neuromodulation improves visceral dysfunction and reduces pain.


  • Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (St. Jude Medical) 
  • NIH (Co-Investigator)

Select Publications:

  • Little JM, Qin C, Farber JP, Foreman RD. Spinal cord processing of cardiac nociception: are there sex differences between male and proestrous female rats? Brain Res. 2011 Sep 21;1413:24-31. Epub 2011 Jul 23. PMID: 21839425.
  • Ghorbani ML, Qin C, Wu M, Farber JP, Sheykhzade M, Fjalland B, Nyborg NC, Foreman RD. Characterization of upper thoracic spinal neurons receiving noxious cardiac and/or somatic inputs in diabetic rats. Auton Neurosci. 2011 Dec 7;165(2):168-77. Epub 2011 Sep 8. PMID: 21862419
  • Southerland EM, Gibbons DD, Smith SB, Sipe A, Williams CA, Beaumont E, Armour JA, Foreman RD, Ardell JL. Activated cranial cervical cord neurons affect left ventricular infarct size and the potential for sudden cardiac death. Auton Neurosci. 2012 Jul 2;169(1):34-42. Epub 2012 Apr 11. PMID: 22502863
  • Qin C, Martinez M, Tang R, Huynh J, Goodman Keiser M, Farber JP, Carman JC, Wienecke GM, Niederauer G, Foreman RD. Is constant current or constant voltage spinal cord stimulation superior for the suppression of nociceptive visceral and somatic stimuli? A rat model. Neuromodulation. 2012 Mar-Apr;15(2):132-42; Epub 2012 Feb 24. PMID: 22364336
  • Jan YK, Lee B, Liao F, Foreman RD. Local cooling reduces skin ischemia under surface pressure in rats: an assessment by wavelet analysis of laser Doppler blood flow oscillations. Physiol Meas. 2012 Oct;33(10):1733-45
  • Malykhina AP, Qin C, Lei Q, Pan XQ, Greenwood-Van Meerveld B, Foreman RD. Differential effects of intravesical resiniferatoxin on excitability of bladder spinal neurons upon colon-bladder cross-sensitization. Brain Res. 2013 Jan 23;1491:213-24.
  • Foreman RD, Linderoth B. Neural mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2012;107:87-119
  • Jan YK, Shen S, Foreman RD, Ennis WJ. Skin blood flow response to locally applied mechanical and thermal stresses in the diabetic foot. Microvasc Res. 2013 Sep;89:40-6. PMID: 23727385
  • Jan YK, Anderson M, Soltani J, Burns S, Foreman RD. Comparison of changes in heart rate variability and sacral skin perfusion in response to postural changes in people with spinal cord injury. J. Rehabil Res Dev. 2013 Apr;50(2):203-14. PMID: 23761001
  • Song GQ, Sun Y, Foreman RD, Chen JD. Therapeutic potential of spinal cord stimulation for gastrointestinal motility disorders: a preliminary rodent study. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Mar;26(3):377-84. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12273. Epub 2013 Dec, 2013
  • Tang R, Martinez M, Goodman-Keiser M, Farber JP, Qin C, Foreman RD. Comparison of burst and tonic spinal cord stimulation on spinal neural processing in an animal model. Neuromodulation. 2014 Feb;17(2):143-51. doi: 10.1111/ner.12117. Epub 2013 Sep 24.
  • Deer T.R., Mekhail N., Provenzano D., Pope J., Krames E., Leong M., Levy R.M., Abejon D., Buchser E., Burton A., Buvanendran A., Candido K., Caraway D., Cousins M., DeJongste M., Diwan S., Eldabe S.,Gatzinsky K., Foreman R.D., Hayek S., Kim P., Kinfe T., Kloth D., Kumar K., Rizvi S., Lad S.P., Liem L., Linderoth B., Mackey S., McDowell G., McRoberts P., Poree L., Prager J., Raso L., Rauck R., Russo M.,Simpson B., Slavin K., Staats P., Stanton-Hicks M., Verrills P., Wellington J., Williams K., North R. The Appropriate Use of Neurostimulation of the Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nervous System for the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Ischemic Diseases: The Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. Neuromodulation 2014; 17: 515–550.
  • Deer, T. R., Mekhail, N., Provenzano, D., Pope, J., Krames, E., Thomson, S., Raso, L., Burton, A., DeAndres, J., Buchser, E., Buvanendran, A., Liem, L., Kumar, K., Rizvi, S., Feler, C., Abejon, D., Anderson, J., Eldabe, S., Kim, P., Leong, M., Hayek, S., McDowell, G., Poree, L., Brooks, E. S., McJunkin, T., Lynch, P., Kapural, L., Foreman, R. D., Caraway, D., Alo, K., Narouze, S., Levy, R. M. and North, R. The Appropriate Use of Neurostimulation: Avoidance and Treatment of Complications of Neurostimulation Therapies for the Treatment of Chronic Pain. Neuromodulation 2014; 17: 571–598.
  • Deer, T. R., Krames, E., Mekhail, N., Pope, J., Leong, M., Stanton-Hicks, M., Golovac, S., Kapural, L., Alo, K., Anderson, J., Foreman, R. D., Caraway, D., Narouze, S., Linderoth, B., Buvanendran, A., Feler, C., Poree, L., Lynch, P., McJunkin, T., Swing, T., Staats, P., Liem, L. and Williams, K. (2014), The Appropriate Use of Neurostimulation: New and Evolving Neurostimulation Therapies and Applicable Treatment for Chronic Pain and Selected Disease States. Neuromodulation: 2014; 17: 599–615.
  • Liu J, Jin H, Foreman RD, Lei Y, Xu X, Li S, Yin J, Chen JD. Chronic Electrical Stimulation at Acupoints Reduces Body Weight and Improves Blood Glucose in Obese Rats via Autonomic Pathway. Obes Surg. 2015; 25(7): 1209-1217
  • Foreman RD, Garrett KM, Blair RW. Mechanisms of cardiac pain. Compr. Physiol. 2015; 5(2): 929-960.
  • Jin H, Liu J, Foreman RD, Chen JD, Yin J. Electrical neuromodulation at actupoint ST36 normalizes impaired colonic motility induced by rectal distension in dogs. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015;309(5):G368-G376
  • Ardell JL, Andresen M, Armour JA, Billman GE, Chen PS, Foreman RD, Herring N, O'Leary DS, Sabbah HN, Schultz HD, Sunagawa, Zucker IH. Translational neurocardiology: preclinical models and cardioneural integrative aspects. J Physiol. 2016 Jul 15;594(14):3877-3909.
  • Zhou J, Li S, Wang Y, Foreman RD, Yin J, Zhang, Chen JD. Inhibitory Effects and Mechanisms of Electroacupuncture via Chronically Implanted Electrodes on Stress-Induced Gastric Hypersensitivity in Rats With Neonatal Treatment of Iodoacetamide. Neuromodulation. 2017 Apr 10. doi: 10.1111/ner.12602.[Epub ahead of print]
  • Zhou J, Li S, Wang Y, Lei Y, Foreman RD, Yin J, Chen JD. Effects and mechanisms of auricular electroacupuncture on gastric hypersensitivity in a rodent model of functional dyspepsia. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 28;12(3):e0174568. doi: 10
  • Jin H, Guo J, Liu J, Lyu B, Foreman RD, Yin J, Shi Z, Chen JD. Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Mechanisms of Vagal Nerve Stimulation Combined with Electroacupuncture in a Rodent Model of TNBS-Induced Colitis.
  • Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017 May 25:ajpgi.00254.2016. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00254.2016. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Linderoth B, Foreman RD. Conventional and Novel Spinal Stimulation Algorithms: Hypothetical Mechanisms of Action and Comments on Outcomes. Neuromodulation. Neuromodulation. 2017 Aug;20(6):525-533. doi: 10.1111/ner.12624. Epub 2017 May 31. Review. PMID: 28568898
  • Li S, Farber JP, Linderoth B, Chen J, Foreman RD. Spinal Cord Stimulation With "Conventional Clinical" and Higher Frequencies on Activity and Responses of Spinal Neurons to Noxious Stimuli: An Animal Study. Neuromodulation. 2017 Nov 22. doi: 10.1111/ner.12725. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29164752
  • Flor H1, Foreman RD2, Gebhart GF3, Jänig W4, Schaible HG5. Obituary Prof. Dr. med. D. Sc. h.c. Robert F. Schmidt, Ph.D. Pain. 2018 Jan 29. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001159. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Zhang S, Li S, Liu Y, Ye F, Yin J, Foreman RD, Wang D, Chen JDZ. Electroacupuncture via chronically implanted electrodes improves gastric dysmotility mediated by autonomic-cholinergic mechanisms in a rodent model of functional dyspepsia. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Jun 1:e13381. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13381. [Epub ahead of print]