Biomarker Study

About the Study

Join the Biomarkers Study to help researchers and clinicians learn how pain progresses. Help us better understand why some people get worse and others get better. A biomarker is a physical characteristic that is measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, processes that cause illness, or as responses to medications.

In this study of biomarkers, we will examine the immune system for inflammation, the microbiome for gut health, various proteins, and the chemical processes that are involved in metabolism, and scan your brain using an MRI.

You do not need to be a Stanford patient to participate.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion criteria for chronic musculoskeletal pain 

  • Age 18 to 80 years 
  • Single site of pain or chronic widespread pain 

Your Participation

We plan to enroll 375 participants in two phases:

  • In the first phase, we are recruiting 250 participants
    • The study will last approximately 6 months, during which you will attend 5 study visits. 
    • The first visit is 5.5 hours
    • Each of the other visits will take 1.5 hours
    • Last, from your home, you will be asked to complete an online survey that will take about 45 minutes.

  • You will be compensated for participating in this study
    • First visit: $300
    • Each follow-up visit: 3 visits at $200 each (total: $600)
    • Final visit and completion of follow-ups: $300
    • Total compensation $1,200
  • Coming in 2025 Phase 2. We will be recruiting patients to complete the second phase of this advanced clinical trial.

  • In the second phase, we are recruiting 125 patients, a new independent cohort.

Know that we will do everything we can to keep your data private as required by law and will not share it with anyone who is not working on the study.


See if you're eligible now!

  1. Complete the study screening survey. This is to make sure you are a good fit for the study.
  2. Next, a study member will call you to confirm that you are eligible for the study.

If you aren’t able to access the screening survey above, please copy and paste this link into your browser:

If you have additional questions, please contact the Biomarker Research Coordinators below:

For questions regarding participant rights, contact 1-866-680-2906.