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I am a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cheryl Stucky's Lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I am broadly interested in understanding how the central and peripheral nervous systems process pain. To better understand these neurobioloigcal processes, I use a combination of in vivo and in vitro optogenetic,  

electrophysiological, behavioral, and molecular biology approaches. I am particularly interested in developing and maintaining translational collaborations with clinicians who specialize in disparate chronic pain conditions like sickle cell disease. When I'm not in the lab, I can be found in a classroom teaching undergrads, in a craft store buying supplies for my next quilt, running along Lake Michigan, or at a Third Eye Blind concert.    

Education + Training

Education + Training

Education + Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship

Lab of Cheryl Stucky, PhD

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Stucky Lab, I am studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of somatosensation in the peripheral nervous system. I lead two research projects in the Stucky Lab: (1) understanding how keratinocytes, the most abundant cell type in the skin, contribute to an organism's sense of touch, cold, and heat and (2) identifying novel targets for treating acute and chronic sickle cell disease pain. In these complementary projects, we are characterizing basic neurobiological processes that enable an organism to sense its environment, and then assessing how these processes change in the context of injury. Training in the Stucky Lab has refined my electrophysiology (e.g. ex vivo skin-nerve recordings, in vitro patch clamping), animal behavior, and molecular biology expertise. 

PhD in Biological Sciences

Lab of Benedict Kolber, PhD

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

My dissertation examined how the amygdala, a brain region that processes emotional and sensory information, mediates acute and chronic pain. For over a decade, researchers believed that pain processing was lateralized to the amygdala in the right hemisphere of the brain; neurons in this region were activated by painful peripheral stimuli and in a reciprocal fashion, activation of this region induced pain-like behaviors in rodents. Prior to my work, it was unclear how the left amygdala participated in pain sensation. Using optogenetics, I discovered that neurons in the left central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) are typically "turned on" and suppressing pain; inhibiting these neurons increased bladder pain in naive mice. In the context of chronic pain, these neurons "turn off"; activating the left CeA decreased chronic bladder pain in mice. My work identified chemical and anatomical inputs to the CeA that vary between the hemispheres and contribute to the lateralized functions. This research laid the groundwork for my interest in deconstructing peripheral and central somatosensory circuits. 

BS in Biological Sciences

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Greensburg, PA

Graduated summa cum laude and 2011 Senior of the Year; Chemistry minor. I completed a senior research project under the supervision of Kristina Pazheoski, PhD. Using basic molecular biology techniques, I investigated the biochemical properties of the protein circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK), a transcription factor involved in circadian rhythm maintenance. 


Research Articles

  1. Sadler KE*, Moehring F*, Shiers SI, Laskowski LJ, Mikesell AR, Plautz ZR, Brezinski AN, Mecca CM, Dussor G, Price TJ, McCorvy JD, Stucky CL (2021) Transient receptor potential canonical 5 (TRPC5) mediates inflammatory mechanical and spontaneous pain in mice. Science Translational Medicine 13: eabd7702. (*co-first authors)

  2. Sadler KE*, Moehring F*, Stucky CL (2020) Keratinocytes contribute to normal cold and heat sensation. eLife 9: e58625. PMID: 32729832(*co-first authors)

  3. Sadler KE, Lewis TR, Waltz TB, Besharse JC, and Stucky CL (2019) Peripheral nerve pathology in sickle cell disease mice. Pain Reports 4(4): e765. PMID: 31247672.

  4. Sadler KE, Langer SN, Menzel AD, Moehring F, Erb AN, Brandow AM, and Stucky CL (2019) Gabapentin alleviates chronic spontaneous pain and acute hypoxia-related pain in a mouse model of sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology 187(2): 246-260. PMID: 31247672.

  5. Sadler KE*, Zappia KJ*, Weyer AD, O’Hara C, Langer SN, Hillery CA, and Stucky CL (2018) Chemokine (c-c motif) receptor 2 mediates mechanical and cold hypersensitivity in sickle cell disease. Pain 159(8): 1652-1663. PMID: 29697532. (*co-first authors)

  6. Sadler KE, Gartland N, Cavanaugh JE, and Kolber BJ (2017) Central amygdala expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 linked to age-dependent changes in pain sensitivity. Neurobiology of Aging S0197-4580(17):30131-8. PMID: 28526294.

  7. Sadler KE, McQuaid NA, Cox AC, Behun MN, Trouten AM, and Kolber BJ (2017) Divergent functions of the left and right central amygdala in visceral nociception. Pain 158(4): 747-759. PMID: 28225716.

  8. Wolz MJ, Sadler KE, Long CC, Brenner DS, Kim BS, Gereau RW IV, & Kolber BJ (2016) Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following human cold pain testing. Pain Reports 1: e569. PMID: 28664196.

  9. Long CC, Sadler KE, Kolber BJ. (2016) Hormonal and molecular effects of restraint stress on formalin-induced pain-like behavior in male and female mice. Physiology and Behavior 16: 278-285. PMID: 27520589.

  10. Sadler KE, Stratton JM, Kolber BJ (2014) Urinary bladder distension evoked visceromotor responses as a model for bladder pain. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (86), e51413. PMID: 24798516.

  11. Sadler KE, Stratton JM, DeBerry JJ, Kolber BJ (2013) Optimization of a pain model: effects of body temperature and anesthesia on bladder nociception in mice. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79617. PMID: 24223980.

  12. Crock LW, Kolber BJ, Morgan CD, Sadler KE, Vogt SK, Bruchas MR & Gereau RW IV (2012) Central amygdala mGluR5 in the modulation of visceral pain. Journal of Neuroscience 32(41): 14217-26. PMID: 23055491.

Review Articles + Commentaries 

  1. Moehring F and Sadler KE (2019) Female specific effects of CGRP suggest limited efficacy of new migraine treatments in males. Journal of Neuroscience 39(46): 9062-9064. PMID: 31723033.

  2. Sadler KE and Stucky CL (2019) Blocking COX-2 for sickle cell pain relief. Blood 133 (18): 1924-1925. PMID: 31048303.

  3. Sadler KE and Stucky CL (2019) Neuronal transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and noxious sensory detection in sickle cell disease. Neuroscience Letters 694: 184-191. PMID: 30508569.

  4. Sadler KE and Kolber BJ (2016) Urine trouble: Alterations in brain function associated with bladder pain. Journal of Urology 196(1): 24-32. PMID: 26905019.

Teaching + Mentoring


Instructor + Guest Lecturer + Teaching Assistant

Medical College of Wisconsin 

Milwaukee, WI; February 2018 - present

I am currently co-instructing the Neuroscience Journal Club, a required weekly course for 2nd year Neuroscience PhD students. 

I have previously served as a Teaching Assistant in:

  • Medical Neuroanatomy Lab (M1 students)

  • Foundations in Biomedical Sciences IV (1st year PhD students)

I have guest lectured in the following courses: 

  • Medical Neuroscience (M1 students; "Neuroanatomy of the Limbic System")

  • Fundamentals of Neuroscience (1st year PhD students; "Processing Emotion")

  • Graduate Neuroanatomy (1st year PhD students; "Spinal Cord Histology")

Adjunct Instructor

Carthage College

Kenosha, WI; September 2018 - December 2019

I taught Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience for three semesters. Since  the class was comprised of sophomore-level neuroscience majors and upperclassmen needing a natural science elective, course material served as a broad introduction to the nervous system and the biological basis of behavior. I employed active learning strategies and fostered an inclusive, comfortable learning environment in order to increase student engagement. Highlights of the course included flipped classroom exercises to learn basic pharmacology, hands-on demonstrations to understand somatosensory processes, and case studies for learning neuroanatomy.  Check out the Fall 2019 Syllabus HERE

Adjunct Instructor

Carroll University

Waukesha, WI; January 2018 - May 2018

I taught General Cell Biology Lab for one semester. Life science majors in this course learned basic aseptic laboratory skills, examined the effects of antibiotics on E. Coli growth, and performed genetic analyses on different strains of C. reinhardtii. 

Teaching Assistant

Duquesne University 

Pittsburgh, PA; August 2011 - December 2014

While in graduate school, I was a Teaching Assistant for the following courses:

  • Biology I Lab

  • Biology II Lab

  • Introductory Microbiology Lab

  • Experimental Biology Lab

I also ​received the Basic and Advanced Certificates of University Teaching through the Center for Teaching Excellence. 


Medical College of Wisconsin
Duquesne University
  • Eight undergraduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences and summer Undergraduate Research Programs (URP)
Funding + Awards


NINDS Ruth L. Kirchstein NRSA for Training of Postdoctoral Fellows

Fibroblast-to-Neuron Communication in Muscle Pain

F32NS106789; 2018-2019

Duquesne Univ. Aging Research and Teaching Consortium Stimulator Grant

Age-dependent Changes in Amygdala Signaling Responsible for Altered Pain Sensitivity


Ruth L. Kirchstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship

Effects of Central Amygdala Lateralization on Descending Control of Bladder Pain 

F31DK104538; 2014-2017


  • Edward J Lennon, MD Award for an Outstanding Woman Postdoctoral Researcher, MCW Office of Postdoctoral Education
  • Travel Award, MCW Office of Postdoctoral Education
  • ​Excellence in Science Award, MCW Office of Postdoctoral Education
  • Poster Award Winner, 28th Annual Research Day at MCW
  • American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award
  • Duquesne University Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Max Mitchell Young Investigator Award Finalist, 12th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium
  • New Frontiers of Pain Research Travel Award, University of Alabama at Birmingham 
  • Best Presentation, Clinical and Basic Science Data Blitz at the 35th Annual American Pain Society Meeting
  • American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University
  • Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award for Graduate Research
  • Best Poster, Dept. of Biological Sciences Retreat, Duquesne University
  • Dr. and Mrs. Fred T. Campana Scholarship for Outstanding Senior Biology Student, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg 

Select Talk and Poster Abstracts

  1. "Leveraging transgenic sickle cell disease mice to identify novel pain targets." Virtual seminar at University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology on January 21, 2021. 

  2. "TRPC5 mediates inflammatory mechanical pain." Virtual seminar at Pain 2020 meeting on November 13, 2020.

  3. "The role of keratinocytes in heat sensation, cold sensation, and mechanosensation." Virtual seminar hosted by the Pain Research Forum on August 17, 2020. Watch here! 

  4. “Mammalian keratinocytes detect and relay environmental cold signals.” Presentation at the Midwest Regional Pain Interest Group Meeting in Kansas City, KS, August 10, 2019.

  5. “Translational models for investigation of non-opioid based pain therapies for sickle cell disease.” Presentation at the American Pain Society Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, April 4, 2019. Session chair. 

  6. “Non-opioid based therapies for sickle cell disease pain: lessons from mouse models”. Presentation at the Inaugural Pain Research Day, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, October 16, 2018.

  7. “Go with the (sometimes blocked) flow: circulating metabolites drive chronic sickle cell disease pain.” Presentation at the North American Pain School, Montebello, Quebec, June 25, 2018.

  8. “Lipid signaling in sickle cell disease pain.” Data blitz presentation at the Pain Mechanisms and Therapeutics Conference, Taormina, Sicily, June 3-8, 2018.

  9. “Chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) mediates mechanical and cold hypersensitivity in sickle cell disease pain” Selected as a Max Mitchell Junior Investigator Award Finalist at the 2017 NIH Pain Consortium Symposium, Bethesda, MD, May 31, 2017.

  10. “Opposing roles of the left and right central amygdala in bladder pain modulation.” Data blitz presentation at the American Pain Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, May 11, 2016. Won top presentation award. 

  11. “Cerebral Lateralization of Bladder Pain Processing.” Presentation at Duquesne University Biological Sciences Retreat at Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, Linesville, PA, August 22, 2015. Won top prize for oral presentation. 

Poster Abstracts 
undergraduate mentee; 44 abstracts accepted between 2010 and 2020


  • Rodríguez-García D, Sadler K, Stucky C (2019). Longitudinal probiotic treatment decreases mechanical pain in sickle cell disease mice. Poster presented at The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Anaheim, CA, November 13-16.

  • Sadler K, Moehring F, Stucky C (2019). TRPC5 is required for mechanical hypersensitivity in inflammatory pain models. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, IL, October 19-23.

  • Moehring F, Sadler K, Stucky C (2019). Normal cold sensation requires keratinocyte-to-sensory neuron communication. Poster presentation at the Mammalian Somatosensory Systems Keystone Symposium in Seattle. Similar presentation also given at the International Association Study for the Study of Pain 17th World Congress on Pain in Boston, MA, American Pain Society Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI, and Midwest Regional Pain Interest Group Meeting in Kansas City, KS.

  • Sadler K, Langer, S, Menzel A, Lewis T, Stucky C (2018). Pathological lipid dysregulation drives neuropathic pain-like features of sickle cell disease. Poster presentation at the International Association Study for the Study of Pain 17th World Congress on Pain in Boston, MA. Similar presentation also given at the 28th Graduate School Research Poster Session at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

  • Sadler K, Zappia K, Weyer A, O’Hara C, Hillery C, Stucky C (2018, 2017). Chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) mediates mechanical and cold hypersensitivity in sickle cell disease pain. Poster presentation at the 2018 American Pain Society Scientific Summit in Anaheim, CA. Similar presentation at the 12th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium in Bethesda, MD, 27th Annual Graduate School Research Poster Session at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC. 

  • Sadler K, Kolber B (2016, 2015). Divergent roles of the left and right central amygdala in visceral pain modulation. Poster presentation at New Frontiers of Pain Research in the 21st Century meeting at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Similar presentations also given at the 2016 American Pain Society Annual Meeting in Austin, TX, 2015 Graduate Student Research Symposium at Duquesne University, 2015 Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, IL, 2015 Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh (CNUP) Annual Retreat in Wheeling, WV, 2015 Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences Annual Retreat in Linesville, PA, and Overcoming Barriers to the Translation of Pain Research Conference at University of Pittsburgh.

  • Cox A, Sadler K, Kolber B (2016) Modeling chronic bladder pain in male and female mice: Exploring the chronicity of repeated cyclophosphamide injections. Poster presentation at Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. Abby won the “Outstanding Scholarship Award” from the Office of the Provost and “Honorable Mention” from the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences for this presentation.

  • Sadler K, Cavanaugh J, Kolber B (2016) Central amygdala expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) linked to age-dependent changes in pain plasticity. Poster presentation at 10th Annual Research Day on Aging at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Long C, Sadler K, Kolber B (2015). Analysis of sex-based differences in a mouse model of stress-induced analgesia. Poster presentation at Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Poster Symposium. Chicago, IL.

  • Sadler K, Stratton J, Kolber B (2013).  Effects of body temperature and isoflurane induction on urinary bladder distention. Poster presentation at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. Similar presentations given at Midwest Regional Pain Interest Group Meeting, Cincinnati, OH, and Experimental Biology in Boston, MA.

  • Kolber B, Crock L, Morgan C, Sadler K, Vogt S, Bruchas M & Gereau R IV (2012). Central amygdala mGluR5 in the modulation of visceral pain. Poster presentation at 2012 Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans, LA.

  • Sadler K, Pazehoski K (2010). Heme binding capabilities of CLOCK and its resulting role in the regulation of circadian rhythm. Poster presentation at 6th Annual Mini-Symposium on Metals in Biological Sciences at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, and 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD.

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