Dr. Cheryl L Stucky

Cheryl Stucky is the Marvin Wagner Endowed Chair at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). She is also Director of the Pain Division of the Neuroscience Research Center at MCW. Cheryl grew up on a wheat farm in central Kansas, received her BA in Biology and Psychology from Bethel College in Newton, Kansas. She then earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. After this, she moved to Germany to pursue postdoctoral research first at the University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Germany, and next at the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Stucky’s lab studies the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms of sensation, particularly how we sense touch and pain. She is interested in how our skin cells communicate with sensory neurons to convey touch and cold.

The central theme of Dr. Stucky’s lab is to study the molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie somatosensory mechanotransduction in the normal, healthy state and in conditions of tissue injury or disease. She approaches questions with a top-down focus on pain and somatosensory mechanisms, from whole organism behavior down to single cell responses and the ion channels underlying the responses. We utilize tissue injury models associated with persistent pain, including neuropathic, postsurgical, inflammatory pain and migraine headache as well as disease models that spontaneously develop pain including sickle cell disease and Fabry disease. For the past 21 years, she has had a robust record of independent NIH funding, including currently being the Principal Investigator on two NIH R01 grants funded by NINDS, and a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award (R37) from NINDS for 7 years. Dr. Stucky’s lab has a particular interest in mechanisms that underlie pain in sickle cell disease as this is a population of patients that suffers from severe pain at home and often without adequate access to health care.

Dr. Stucky also is passionate about training graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians, as well as supporting junior faculty. She loves training mentees to write grants, papers and give talks and to be confident in becoming our next generation of scientists.

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