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Stephen M. Onifer, PhD

Stephen M. Onifer portrait

Stephen M. Onifer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research - Davenport, Iowa
Research Interests

My research interests focus on understanding and developing treatments for the adaptive plasticity and maladaptive plasticity that occur following central and peripheral nervous system inflammation, damage, and disease. In particular, central nervous system mechanisms of pain and the therapeutic effects on them by spinal manipulative therapy are to be investigated with funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health. Translating this information clinically so that pain's devastating impact on quality of life can be attenuated or alleviated is my ultimate goal.

Research Keywords

spinal manipulative therapy, nociception, pain


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuroscience, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Physiology & Biophysics (Ph.D.), Indiana University
  • Bachelor of Science, Biology (B.S.), Lock Haven State College

Recent Awards/Key Committees

  • Member, Rank & Promotion Committee - Associate Professor, Palmer College of Chiropractic - 2017-2020
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee for Thelma Fordyce-Mack Achievement Award, Palmer College of Chiropractic - 2013-2018
  • Library Advisory Committee, Palmer College of Chiropractic - 2013-2016
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee, NIH Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section - 2/2013, 6/2014, 10/2014
  • Member, Faculty Senate - 2019-Present
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee, NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group - 4/2019

Funded Grants/Projects, 2011-Present

Visit our Grants and Projects page for additional information.

Antinociceptive Mechanisms of Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Neuropathic Pain
Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Antinociceptive Effects of Spinal Manipulative Therapy on Nociceptive Behavior of Adult Rats during the Formalin Test

Author(s): Onifer SM, Reed WR, Sozio RS, Long CR
Publication: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
Volume: Epub
Issue: Nov 26
Year: 2015

View Article

Spinal manipulative therapy reduces peripheral neuropathic pain in the rat

Author(s): Onifer SM, Sozio RS, DiCarlo DM, Li Q, Donahue RR, Taylor BK, Long CR
Publication: NeuroReport
Volume: 29
Issue: 3
Page(s): 191-196
Year: 2018

View Article

Role for endocannabinoids in spinal manipulative therapy analgesia?

Author(s): Onifer SM, Sozio RS, Long CR
Publication: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
Volume: 2878352
Year: 2019

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