Since 2014 Prof. Rolke is Chair and Director of the Department of Palliative Medicine, RWTH Aachen University. Before he was the Assistant Medical Director of the Department of Palliative Medicine (Director Prof. Lukas Radbruch) at the University Hospital of Bonn. He worked before as a neurologist (senior physician) in the Department of Neurology, University of Mainz, Germany. For some years, he also joined the pain research group of Prof. Rolf-Detlef Treede (Neurophysiology of pain, former IASP president).
Specifically, his research interests include the pathophysiology and therapy of neuropathic cancer pain. He was involved in the development of the protocol for the implementation of quantitative sensory testing in the context of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS). He managed nationwide training sessions in this methodology for the measurement of pain sensitivity. Within the neuro-scientific focus and palliative medicine approach of the University Clinics of Mainz, Bonn and Aachen, he conducted studies in the area of “back pain”, “neuropathic pain” and “cancer pain”. Prof. Rolke is first author of several internationally acclaimed studies in high level journals. In 2007, he won the 1st prize for clinical pain research of the German Pain Association, the most prestigious German pain prize. Prof. Rolke was member of the Research Committee and is editor of a patient´s guide of this society. He gave numerous lectures in the aforementioned Universities and organised several national and international congress workshops (IASP Cancer Pain SIG, NeuPSIG, EFIC, EAPC).
Prof. Rolke is member of the IASP, EAPC, German Palliative Care Association and German Pain Association. He served as an Associate Editor of PAIN and the European Journal of Pain, and is reviewer for many other journals such as e.g. Palliativmedizin, PAIN, European Journal of Pain, Journal of Pain, Schmerz, Neurology, Movement Disorder.
Prof. Rolke is married and has three children.