Vanessa Ehlers, PhD
- Cheryl L. Stucky, PhD
MS, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2016
BA, Winona State University, 2010
Mechanisms underlying pain in sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a debilitating disorder characterized by neuropathic pain and diminished quality of life. Chronic pain occurs in approximately 40% of patients living with SCD, and alternatives to currently available pain treatments, which include opioid analgesics, are needed. My research interests include determining the peripheral mechanisms that contribute to pain in sickle cell pathology. In the Stucky lab, I am using various behavioral sensitivity assays in combination with analyses of cultured sensory neuron activity to examine the peripheral etiology of SCD. I am also interested in looking at interactions between the central and peripheral nervous system to explore pain mechanisms in SCD and other pain disorders.