Frank has a reputation in the field for being the most reliable, accurate, and informative expert for analysis of skin innervation and its pathology. By bringing state of the art immunochemical and genetic methods to the analysis of skin biopsies, his research and that of INTiDYN has deepened our understanding of several major causes of chronic pain; most notably fibromyalgia. In a field that has been bedeviled by a failure to categorize chronic pain patients using biomarkers, his is perhaps the most successful approach to move to precision medicine.
Howard L. Fields, MD, PhD
Professor and former chair of Neurology, University of California at San Francisco
Director, Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction
Elected member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
There is no question but that Frank L. Rice, PhD, knows some very special things about nervous system cells that innervate the skin and contribute to pain and other pathology there. He has now turned that knowledge towards unraveling the origin of cutaneous neurofibromas (Cnf), the hallmark of the devastating human disorder, Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), that affects 1/3000 persons from small children to the elderly! Dr. Rice and I (and others) shared in a groundbreaking scientific publication of May 2019 that has begun to have a profound impact on NF1 Cnf research. By demonstrating the unique biochemical properties of cells that initiate and promote these mutilating Cnfs, the foundation is established for considering how to interrupt such initiation and promotion. I am pleased that after 50+ years of devotion to NF1, I can collaborate with Dr. Rice to afford realistic hope to the more than one million persons worldwide afflicted with this disorder. The cellular dynamics of pain obviously go well beyond this symptom, and Dr. Rice’s unique understanding of pain has demonstrated this in a most important and timely way.
Vincent M. Riccardi, MD, MBA
Director, The Neurofibromatosis Institute
Emeritus professor, UCLA
Emeritus Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
As a former head of CNS and Pain R&D in several different global pharmaceutical companies I have long-standing experience with the special challenges that exists in bringing new analgesic drugs to patients suffering from different pain states. It is becoming increasingly clear that the challenges of pharma to discover new medicines in this area – despite massive investments – is due in large part to our limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the different pathologies in various forms of neuropathic pain. This shortcoming has profound ramifications when it comes to the ability to identify the right drug target, select the right patient population and to design the right clinical trials. It is now in the interest of patients that more support is channeled into basic research on mechanism of chronic pain states to provide industry with the tools needed to succeed in discovering new medicines. The excellent work conducted by Dr. Rice and Integrated Tissue Dynamics is focused at the core of this problem and is poised to contribute in an important way to our understanding of chronic pain mechanisms.
Christer Köhler, PhD
Former head (retired), Global CNS & Pain Research and Development, AstraZeneca
Former head, Global Discovery Research, AstraZeneca
Former head, Global CNS Research, Roche
I have had the pleasure to interact with Dr. Rice for many years and have followed his publications related to pain research and have also published with him on the neural anatomy of the dura mater. Through these interactions, I have come to understand his vision, now implemented in Integrated Tissue Dynamics, of relating changes that occur in peripheral tissues in disease states to mechanisms relevant to drug discovery. The approach that has been developed by Dr. Rice is of the highest scientific rigor and is based on the depth of his knowledge of the skin and its blood supply and innervation. I believe that this is one example of a technology and knowledge base that is truly unique. There is simply no one else in the world that has the knowledge and skills of Dr. Rice and that can perform the analyses that are now routine at Integrated Tissue Dynamics.
Frank Porreca, PhD
Former chair, Department of Pharmacology, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Past president, International Association for the Study of Pain
The work that Dr. Rice and colleagues have done and continue to do is innovative and of enormous importance because of the great morbidity that comes from disorders that involve chronic pain. The causes of chronic pain have been poorly understood, but his work has elucidated important mechanisms that have great potential to contribute to development of new methods of treatment and even pain prevention. His unique research strategy has made major contributions to the understanding of fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy and a host of other diseases in which chronic pain is a major symptom. I can say with great confidence that very significant advances in our understanding of the basis pain and other abnormalities of sensation in many different diseases and syndromes will continue to come from the research of Dr. Rice and Integrated Tissue Dynamics.
David O. Carpenter, MD
Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, A World Health Organization Collaborating Center
Former director, Wadsworth Research Laboratory, New York State Department of Health
I have known Frank Rice for many years. There is no doubt that Dr. Rice’s scientific contributions to the understanding of the skin innervation, as well as the biochemistry and pathophysiology of different types of chronic pain, has made him internationally recognized and the leader in the field. Over and above his breakthrough discoveries and his individual contributions, Dr. Rice is a consummate team player and excellent collaborator. Dr. Rice’s entrepreneurial spirit and relentless pursuit of the mechanisms that underlie his discoveries and need to translate his knowledge and experience that took him to establish Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC. I strongly support the mission of INTiDYN that has identified a unique niche to support most needed biomarker studies in clinical trials. The INTiDYN team brings an uncommon background and experience to advance the science to the next level and it is addressing a critical unmet medical need.
Inmaculada Silos-Santiago, MD, PhD
Former vice president of Pharmacology at Decibel Therapeutics
Dormer senior director of Pharmacology at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals