Dr. McKernan’s research program focuses on developing and conducting non-pharmacological psychosocial interventions in chronic pain populations to reduce suffering and improve quality of life.

Research and clinical/research work are conducted at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and in the Department of Urologic Surgery. The program of research has a special emphasis on 1) psychosocial self-management for urologic disease and bladder pain disorders, which is a new area of investigation and 2) clinical hypnosis for chronic pain in group and individual settings. A second focus of the lab is to gain a better understanding of the interplay between chronic pain and traumatic stress, specifically, how early life stress and emotion regulation patterns contribute to pain sensitivity.