Professor (status only)

Joel Katz

University Health Network - Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street, 3EN-437, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 2C4
Research Interests
acute pain, chronic pain, pain management
contact faculty member for more information

Dr. Joel Katz is a professor of psychology and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in health psychology at York University in Toronto. He is the research director of the pain research unit in the Department of Anesthesia and pain management at the Toronto General Hospital in addition to serving as a professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto. Dr. Katz received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University. He has held fellowship, scholarship, and scientist awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and has been funded as a principal investigator by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and CIHR.  He is a former psychologist-in-chief of the University Health Network in Toronto. Dr. Katz is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC) and serves as the chair of the CPC Research Committee. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Pain and Pain Research and Management. Dr. Katz’s has published more than 220 articles and book chapters and has been invited to present his work at professional and scientific meetings in North America, Europe and Asia.


Research Synopsis


Dr. Katz’s research program is aimed, broadly, at understanding the psychological, emotional, and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain.  He and his students and colleagues are exploring factors involved in the transition of acute, time-limited pain to chronic, pathological pain after surgery, accidents, and spinal cord injury. They are also evaluating interventions designed to prevent acute post-operative pain and the transition to chronicity.


Recent Publications


  1. Burns, L.C., Ritvo, S.E., Ferguson, M.K., Clarke, H., & Seltzer, Z., Katz, J. (2015). Pain catastrophizing as a risk factor for chronic pain after total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review. Journal of Pain Research, 8, 21-32.
  2. Clarke, H., Katz, J., Flor, H., Rietschel, M., Diehl, S., & Seltzer, Z. (2015). Genetics of chronic post-surgical pain: A crucial step toward personal pain medicine. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 62(3), 294-303.
  3. Clarke, H.A., Poon, M., Weinrib, A., Katznelson, R., & Katz, J. (2015). Preventive analgesia and novel strategies for the prevention of chronic post-surgical pain. Drugs, Mar, 75(4), 339-351.
  4. Curtis, K., Hitzig, S.L., Leong, K., Wicks, C., Ditor, D.S., & Katz, J. (2015). Evaluation of a modified yoga program for persons with spinal cord injury: A pilot study. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 49 (2), 97-117
  5. Gewandter, J.S., Dworkin, R.H., Turk, D.C., Farrar, J.T., Fillingim, R.G., Gilron, I., Markman, J.D., Oaklander, A.L., Polydefkis, M.J., Raja, S.N., Robinson, J.P., Woolf, C.J., Ziegler, D., Ashburn, M.A., Burkei, L.B., Cerny, I., Costello, A., Cowan, P., George, S.Z., Goli, V., Graff, O.X., Iyengar, S., Jayo, G.W., Katz, J., Kehlet, H., Kitta, R.A., Kopecky, E., Malamut, R., McDermott, M.P., Palmer, P., Peirce-Sander, S., Porter, L., Rappaport, B.A., Rauschkolb, C., Steigerwald, I., Tobias, J., & Walco, G.A. (2015). Research designs considerations for chronic pain prevention clinical trials: IMMPACT recommendations. Pain,  156(7), 1184-1197.
  6. Huang, A., Katz, J., Clarke, H.A. (2015). Ensuring safe prescribing of controlled substances for pain following surgery by developing a Transitional Pain Service. Pain Management, 2, 97-105.
  7. Katz, J., & Rosenbloom, B.R. (2015). The Golden Anniversary of Melzack and Wall’s Gate Control Theory of Pain: Celebrating fifty years of pain research and management. Pain Research and Management (in press)
  8. Katz, J., Rosenbloom, B.N., & Fashler, S. (2015). Chronic pain, psychopathology, and DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(4), 160-167.
  9. Katz, J., Weinrib, A., Fashler, S.R., Katznelzon, R., Shah, B.R., Ladak, S., Jiang, J., Li, Q., McMillan, K., Santa Mina, D., Wendtlandt, K., McRae, K., Tamir, D., Lyn, S., de Perrot, M., Rao, V.,  Grant, D., Roche-Nagle, G.,  Cleary, S., Hofer, S.O.P., Wijeysundera, D., Ritvo, P., Janmohamed, T., O’Leary, G., & Clarke, H. (2015). The Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service: Development and implementation of a multidisciplinary program to prevent chronic postsurgical pain. Journal of Pain Research (in press)
  10. Pagé, M.G., Katz, J., Romero Escobar, E.M., Cohen, N., Curtis, K., Fuss, S., & Clarke, H.A. (2015). Distinguishing problematic from nonproblematic postsurgical pain: A pain trajectory analysis after total knee arthroplasty. Pain, Mar, 156 (3), 460-468.


Honours and Awards

Name: York U Research Leaders Award


2014 - York University

Name: Distinguished Career Award

2013 - Canadian Pain Society

Name: Faculty Teaching Award

2011 - Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University

Name: Faculty Recognition Award

2011 - Department of Anesthesia Alumni Association, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto