Associate Dean for Practice
Professor of Pain Practice, School of Nursing
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine

Nationally and internationally known for advancing the science of understanding and treating pain, Rosemary C Polomano’s research has always been informed and inspired by her clinical practice and the patients she cared for as an advanced practice registered nurse.  In the mid-1990s, while a pain clinical nurse specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Polomano promised a patient with cancer experiencing painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy that she would do all she could to research the woman’s complaints of burning hands and feet, a common condition associated with chemotherapy

Dr. Polomano’s subsequent research, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, investigated the mechanisms of peripheral neuropathy and the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel (Taxol). Keeping her bedside promise, Dr. Polomano designed a rat model investigating Taxol-induced peripheral neuropathy that was comparable to her patients’ experiences. This model is now used by investigators throughout the world to test analgesics and provide insights into understanding chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.  

Dr. Polomano’s research into pain science soon expanded to include ways to measure pain and help patients communicate about their pain.  She developed and tested the American Pain Society- Patient Outcomes Questionnaire-Revised (APS-POQ) that is now translated into several languages and used worldwide to conduct quality improvement for pain management in hospitalized patients. 

In 2014, in recognition of her career-long work to advance pain science, Dr. Polomano received Penn Nursing’s Norma M. Lang Award for Scholarly Practice and Policy. She has published over 85 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 30 chapters in nursing and medical textbooks.  

“Almost all of my research is inspired by patients and I work with two of the most amazing populations – military veterans and cancer patients.”


  • PhD, University of Maryland, 1995
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1979
  • BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1976
  • Diploma, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 1974