eLife is teaming up with Reddit Science to give you the opportunity to chat directly with Dr. Cheryl Stucky and Francie Moehring about their research on Monday, February 12, 2018, at 1pm EST.
They will be answering questions about a recent paper they published in eLife – where they studied how our skin communicates with the nervous system – or queries related to their work more broadly.
Dr. Cheryl Stucky: Hi! I am a Marvin Wagner Endowed Professor in the department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, and the Neuroscience Doctoral Program Director, at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I am broadly interested in understanding touch and pain mechanisms.
I have run a research laboratory for about 18 years at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where we use rodent models to study the mechanism of pain in diseases such as sickle cell disease, Fabry disease, arthritis and postsurgical pain. My lab also focuses on understanding how we sense touch, and we recently found out that our skin plays a large role in this. Building upon this knowledge, we are now investigating what role damaged skin plays in chronic pain conditions. The ultimate goal of our research is to identify new targets for which topical drugs can be developed in order to treat these pain conditions and avoid the negative side effects of many current treatments that are already out there.
Francie Moehring: I am the senior graduate student in Cheryl’s laboratory. Many skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis share a common hallmark: increased sensitivity or even pain to touch or normally unpainful stimuli. My project in the Stucky lab focuses on laying the foundation for understanding dysfunctional signaling processes during these disorders to potentially reveal new drug targets for topical treatments that directly target the site of pain. In order to study these processes, we are trying to understand how our skin, and the specific cells that form it, can interact with neurons and nerves within the skin that are typically involved in sensing mechanical stimuli from the environment.
During our AMA, we'll be answering questions about a recent paper we published in eLife – where we studied how our skin communicates with the nervous system – or queries related to our research more broadly.