Sheldon Garrison, PhD

Research Scientist

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Aurora Research Institute
960 N. 12th Street, Suite 4120
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Research Scientist Sheldon Garrison

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Dr. Garrison’s research is focused on developing new approaches to diagnose and treat rare diseases. His research builds on over 15 years of experience in both industry and academia in areas of sensory biology and pain, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Fragile-X syndrome, Huntington’s disease, trichotillomania, and sickle cell disease.

Prior to joining the Aurora Research Institute, Dr. Garrison held senior positions in rare disease drug development and biotech consulting. These experiences laid the foundation for his current efforts to repurpose drugs for rare disease. His prior research also focused on better understanding touch receptors in the skin, such as the transient receptor potential channels TRPA1 and TRPC1, as well as the involvement of keratinocytes and Nav1.8 in sensing touch, temperature and pain.

Dr. Garrison currently serves as the Wisconsin State Leader for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and heads Rare Disease Day for the state. 


Doctorate, Biological Sciences - Neuroscience
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Bachelor of Science, Psychology and Zoology
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Professional highlights

Wisconsin State Leader, NORD, 2015 to present

$26 million Series C Equity Raise, Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2017

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Award, Wisconsin Technology Council, Targeting System xc- For the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders Subpopulations, Fragile X Syndrome and Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, 2016

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Travel Award, Janelia Farm Research Campus, 2013

Editor’s Pick (Article of the Month), Journal of Neurophysiology, 2012

Authored Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2010-2012

Postdoctoral fellowship, Sensory Biology and Pain, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2009-2014


Zappia KJ, Garrison SR, Palygin O, Weyer AD, Barabas ME, Lawlor M, Staruschenko A, Stucky CL. Mechanosensory and ATP release deficits following Keratin14-Cre-mediated TRPA1 deletion despite absence of TRPA1 in murine keratinocytes. PloS One. 2016;11:e0151602.

Garrison SR, Stucky CL. Contribution of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 to chronic pain in aged mice with complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014;66:2380-90.

Garrison SR, Weyer AD, Barabas ME, Beutler BA, Stucky CL. A gain-of-function voltage-gated sodium channel 1.8 mutation drives intense hyperexcitability of A- and C-fiber neurons. Pain. 2014;155:896-905.

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