Maria Fitzgerald

TOPIC: Cortical pain processing in awake and anesthetised infants


  • PhD FMedSci FRS
  • Professor of Developmental Neurobiology
  • Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology,

University College London,


Maria Fitzgerald studies the developmental neurobiology of pain. She is Professor of Developmental Neurobiology in the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology at University College London (UCL). The Fitzgerald lab at UCL is internationally recognized for pioneering translational work in infant and childhood pain. She uses advanced biological and neurophysiological techniques in animal models and human infants to understand the mechanisms underlying the immediate and long term effects of early life pain. Maria was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000 and was awarded the Jeffery Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief by the American Pain Society in 2010. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Anaesthetists (Pain Faculty) in 2013 for services to pain medicine and in 2016 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for her work in the science of pain.   She currently serves on the Council of the British Pain Society and of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Pain in Children Group.


  • Chang P, Fabrizi L, Olhede S, Fitzgerald M. The Development of Nociceptive Network Activity in the Somatosensory Cortex of Freely Moving Rat Pups. Cereb Cortex. 2016 Dec;26(12):4513-4523.
  • Verriotis M, Chang P, Fitzgerald M, Fabrizi L. The development of the nociceptive brain. Neuroscience. 2016 Dec 3;338:207-219.
  • Fabrizi L, Verriotis M, Williams G, Lee A, Meek J, Olhede S, Fitzgerald M. Encoding of mechanical nociception differs in the adult and infant brain. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 27;6:28642.
  • Verriotis M, Fabrizi L, Lee A, Cooper RJ, Fitzgerald M, Meek J Mapping Cortical Responses to Somatosensory Stimuli in Human Infants with Simultaneous Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Event-Related Potential Recording. eNeuro. 2016 May 13;3(2).
  • Chang PS, Walker SM, Fitzgerald M. Differential Suppression of Spontaneous and Noxious-evoked Somatosensory Cortical Activity by Isoflurane in the Neonatal Rat. Anesthesiology. 2016 Apr;124(4):885-98..
  • Fitzgerald M. What do we really know about newborn infant pain? Exp Physiol. 2015 Dec;100(12):1451-7.
  • Williams, G., Fabrizi, L., Meek, J., Jackson, D., Tracey, I., Robertson, N., Slater, R., Fitzgerald, M. (2015). Functional magnetic resonance imaging can be used to explore tactile and nociceptive processing in the infant brain. Acta Paediatr 104, 158-66.
  • Pillai Riddell R, Fitzgerald M, Slater R, Stevens B, Johnston C, Campbell-Yeo M. Using only behaviours to assess infant pain: a painful compromise? Pain. 2016 Aug;157(8):1579-80.
  • Fitzgerald M, McKelvey R. Nerve injury and neuropathic pain – A question of age. Exp Neurol. 2016 Jan;275 Pt 2:296-302.
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