The University of Texas at Dallas

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Dr. Theodore J. Price

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

The University of Texas at Dallas supports the Ashbel Smith Professorship. Dr. Ashbel Smith was the first president of the UT System Board of Regents. He had a long and distinguished career in medicine, education and public service. During his term on the Board of Regents, Smith was dedicated to recruiting the best faculty members available and to developing a curriculum befitting a “university of the first class.” Smith became known as both the “father of Texas medicine” and the “father of The University of Texas.”


Price is the founding director of the Center for Pain Studies.


When I first set foot on the UTD campus in 1993 as a 19-year-old freshman, I never could have imagined that I would one day receive such an honor from the institution that has given me so much already. Our scientific work is focused on understanding what causes chronic pain and discovering new ways to treat this most common and often disabling disease. The talented students and postdocs, collaborators throughout the UT System, and resources that UTD has helped us assemble give me confidence that our understanding of chronic pain is advancing at an accelerating pace. We are getting closer and closer to developing new therapeutics that will improve the lives of people with intractable pain. This is our goal.

Professor of Neuroscience and Founding Director of the Center for Pain Studies
Ashbel Smith Professor

Dr. Theodore J. Price’s research concerns how the nervous system’s ability to adapt alters how it receives pain-related information and how this nervous system plasticity is a major driver for chronic pain.

His studies have described novel targets that regulate the excitability of sensory neurons after injury and that mediate plasticity in the central nervous system.

Price has pursued the development of non-opioid pain treatments and has founded companies that have been instrumental in moving these therapeutics into the clinic.

Price has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in international journals, including Cell, Journal of NeurosciencePain, Nature Reviews NeuroscienceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PLOS Biology. He serves as editor-in-chief for Neurobiology of Pain and is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Neuroscience and Pain. He is also a permanent member of the Neurobiology of Pain and Itch National Institutes of Health Study Section.

Price received the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain. He also received the John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award from the American Pain Society and the Buhrmester Rising Star Award from UT Dallas.

Price graduated from UT Dallas in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, working with Dr. Alice O’Toole on human face perception. He then received his PhD in 2003 from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

He was a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University until 2007, developing the first studies on how local control of protein synthesis in neurons is involved in the development of chronic pain disorders.

From 2007 to 2014, Price was a faculty member of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where he advanced his research on nervous system plasticity in relation to pain.

He returned to UT Dallas as an associate professor in 2014 and was named professor in 2018.