Cheryl L. Stucky, PhD
Marvin Wagner Professor
- Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
Postdoctoral, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany
Job openings in the Stucky Lab
Seeking Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF)
Seeking Technician (PDF)
Stucky Lab News
Stucky Lab identifies a new, non-opioid based target for treating chronic pain: TRPC5 (Science Translational Magazine)
Chronic pain affects approximately 100 million adults in the United States, costing around $635 billion and many patients are sub-optimally treated as a result of limited understanding of the mechanistic causes of the chronic pain. The Stucky Lab has made key contributions to the pain field’s understanding of how ion channels on pain-sensing neurons contribute to pain and touch sensation. We are known for the unique “skin-nerve” recording technique whereby sensory afferent responses from rodents are measured in their native skin environment. We were the first lab to demonstrate that the Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel is essential for detection of painful mechanical stimuli in normal, non-injured skin by using parallel genetic deletion and pharmacological inhibition of the TRPA1 channel. This work was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Molecular Pain in 2009. Since that time, numerous publications have emerged that further build upon this work, including a widely-cited manuscript demonstrating that TRPA1 is responsible for the mechanical sensitization of pain receptors after tissue inflammation (Lennertz et al., 2012, PLoS ONE), and therefore, can serve as a target for inhibiting pain in many common inflammatory disorders.
An exciting current direction in our lab is identifying the mechanisms underlying the role of chronic pain in damaged skin, by examining the bidirectional signaling between keratinocytes and sensory neurons in normal and tissue-injured skin. While sensory neurons have long been known to mediate touch and pain transduction, epidermal keratinocytes are the initial “first responders” to tactile stimuli. We are dissecting the cellular mechanisms by which keratinocytes communicate with sensory nerve terminals, and conversely, the mechanisms by which sensory neurons communicate and sensitize keratinocytes during tissue injury. We are using multiple complementary pharmacological and cutting edge site-selective genetic approaches, such as optogenetic silencing, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and “cell sniffer” assays to interrogate the mechanistic direction and molecules underlying keratinocyte to sensory neuron signaling in vivo.
Another major area of focus is on translational models of chronic pain including inflammation, nerve injury and diseases associated with devastating pain, particularly in areas of unmet medical need. For example, patients with sickle cell disease have severe pain during red cell sickling crises and develop chronic underlying pain; effective treatments for this pain are lacking. We have made key discoveries in mechanisms that underlie the severe pain in sickle cell disease by performing parallel studies in mouse models of sickle cell disease and concomitantly measuring pain in patients with sickle cell disease (Hillery et al., 2011, Blood; Brandow et al., 2013, American Journal of Hematology; Zappia et al., 2014, Pain). Sickle cell disease is of particular interest because 1) it has aspects of chronic as well as acute pain, 2) the pain develops naturally as part of the underlying disease and therefore, may serve as a model for other naturally-occurring types of chronic pain in humans, and 3) parallel studies in the animal models and in patients with sickle cell disease can be conducted by the same laboratory.
Support for these projects
R01 NS40538; R01 NS070711; R21 NS095627-01; Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin
Use the force, fluke: Ligand-independent gating of Schistosoma mansoni ion channel TRPMPZQ.
(Chulkov EG, Isaeva E, Stucky CL, Marchant JS.) Int J Parasitol. 2023 Jan 04 PMID: 36610555 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85146298174 01/08/2023
Keratinocyte PIEZO1 modulates cutaneous mechanosensation.
(Mikesell AR, Isaeva O, Moehring F, Sadler KE, Menzel AD, Stucky CL.) Elife. 2022 Sep 02;11 PMID: 36053009 PMCID: PMC9512397 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85139375441 09/03/2022
Contextual control of conditioned pain tolerance and endogenous analgesic systems.
(Trask S, Mogil JS, Helmstetter FJ, Stucky CL, Sadler KE.) Elife. 2022 Mar 11;11 PMID: 35275062 PMCID: PMC8937231 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85127306322 03/12/2022
Innovations and advances in modelling and measuring pain in animals.
(Sadler KE, Mogil JS, Stucky CL.) Nat Rev Neurosci. 2022 Feb;23(2):70-85 PMID: 34837072 PMCID: PMC9098196 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85119984072 11/28/2021
Ex Vivo Skin-Teased Fiber Recordings from Tibial Nerve
(Sadler KE, Patitucci TN, Stucky CL.) Neuromethods. 2022;178:71-95 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85131121319 01/01/2022
When soft touch hurts: How hugs become painful after spinal cord injury
(Stucky CL, Mikesell AR.) Spinal Cord Injury Pain. 1 January 2022:341-351 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85139309301 01/01/2022
Cutaneous pain in disorders affecting peripheral nerves.
(Stucky CL, Mikesell AR.) Neurosci Lett. 2021 Nov 20;765:136233 PMID: 34506882 PMCID: PMC8579816 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85116033920 09/11/2021
Piezo2 mechanosensitive ion channel is located to sensory neurons and nonneuronal cells in rat peripheral sensory pathway: implications in pain.
(Shin SM, Moehring F, Itson-Zoske B, Fan F, Stucky CL, Hogan QH, Yu H.) Pain. 2021 Nov 01;162(11):2750-2768 PMID: 34285153 PMCID: PMC8526381 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85119089549 07/22/2021
Transient receptor potential canonical 5 mediates inflammatory mechanical and spontaneous pain in mice.
(Sadler KE, Moehring F, Shiers SI, Laskowski LJ, Mikesell AR, Plautz ZR, Brezinski AN, Mecca CM, Dussor G, Price TJ, McCorvy JD, Stucky CL.) Sci Transl Med. 2021 May 26;13(595) PMID: 34039739 PMCID: PMC8923002 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85106954302 05/28/2021
Human cells and networks of pain: Transforming pain target identification and therapeutic development.
(Renthal W, Chamessian A, Curatolo M, Davidson S, Burton M, Dib-Hajj S, Dougherty PM, Ebert AD, Gereau RW 4th, Ghetti A, Gold MS, Hoben G, Menichella DM, Mercier P, Ray WZ, Salvemini D, Seal RP, Waxman S, Woolf CJ, Stucky CL, Price TJ.) Neuron. 2021 May 05;109(9):1426-1429 PMID: 33957072 PMCID: PMC9208579 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85105020162 05/07/2021
Fabry disease pain: patient and preclinical parallels.
(Burand AJ Jr, Stucky CL.) Pain. 2021 May 01;162(5):1305-1321 PMID: 33259456 PMCID: PMC8054551 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85104899493 12/02/2020
Sensory-specific peripheral nerve pathology in a rat model of Fabry disease.
(Waltz TB, Burand AJ Jr, Sadler KE, Stucky CL.) Neurobiol Pain. 2021;10:100074 PMID: 34541380 PMCID: PMC8437817 09/21/2021
Awards, interviews & articles
- Professor Cheryl Stucky - Career and Research
- North American Pain School 2019: A Conversation With Visiting Faculty Member Cheryl Stucky
- Javits Neuroscience Award (PDF)
- The Quest to Ease the Pain of Sickle Cell Disease article
- Women’s History Month
- International Innovation (PDF)
- Standing Ovation Award for 2008 from MCW Medical Students for teaching Medical Neuroscience
- Bethel College Young Alumni Award for 2004
- John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award for 2002 for outstanding accomplishments in pain scholarship