Todd B. Monroe

Todd B. Monroe pic
First Name
Last Name
Associate Professor
378 Newton Hall
Address (Line 2)
1585 Neil Avenue
Zip Code

Dr. Monroe earned a B.S.N. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998, where he graduated cum laude.  He earned his M.S.N. from the University of Alabama College of Nursing in 2002, where he received the Sigma Theta Tau Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Carter, Dr. Monroe earned his Ph.D. in Nursing in 2010 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). While at UTHSC, Dr. Monroe received the prestigious Alma and Hal Regan Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for his dissertation work examining cancer pain in people with dementia at the end-of-life. After graduation, Dr. Monroe was chosen as a Claire M. Fagin & Atlantic Philanthropies Post-Doctoral Fellow in 2011. He was mentored by Dr. John Gore at the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science and Dr. Lorraine Mion at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Upon completion of the fellowship, Dr. Monroe was asked to join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Dr. Monroe’s program of research is focused on the neurobiology of pain and the impact of sex differences on pain perception in older adults with and without dementia. Using a combination of observational, experimental pain, and functional neuroimaging studies.  Dr. Monroe’s work has thus far demonstrated several findings:

  1. people residing in long-term-care facilities with dementia who died with terminal cancer were at great risk of receiving no pain medications at the end-of-life;
  2. using experimental pain and functional neuroimaging, Dr. Monroe has demonstrated that while central pain mechanisms in the brain are altered in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), people with AD have intact central pain pathways yet they may have a delayed response in feeling pain which may help explain altered pain reports and clinical treatment of pain; and
  3. through examining self-report of pain intensity and pain unpleasantness in response to experimental pain, Dr. Monroe’s work indicates that females are more sensitive to pain and find pain more intense while males report pain as more unpleasant.

Importantly, this phenomenon remains present across the cognitive spectrum from cognitively intact to moderate AD. Dr. Monroe recommends that clinicians use multidimensional pain assessment in all patients because current practice is to only assess the sensory/intensity component of pain. His work has the potential to impact both pain assessment and management practices in adults across the lifespan.

Dr. Monroe is the recipient of an NIH/NIA K23 career development award, two NIH/NIA R21 awards, and an NIH/NIA R01 examining sex-differences in pain reports and brain activation in people with Alzheimer’s Disease. He holds Fellowships in the National Academies of Practice, the Gerontological Society of America, and the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Monroe joined The Ohio State University in 2018 where he is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Nursing.

Recent Research Activities
Funded Research Grants
Professional Society Memberships


June 20, 2020

A team of researchers from Ohio State University’s College of Nursing recently received a $1.6 million federal grant to try to reduce the chances of young, Black adults getting heart disease.

June 18, 2020

Researchers from Vanderbilt University and The Ohio State University are teaming up to develop next-generation robotic technology that can help older adults living with forms of dementia through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).