Cheryse A. Sankar, Ph.D.

Job Title
Program Director
photo of Cheryse Sankar
Office of Global Health and Health Disparities
Division of Clinical Research
Areas of Interest

Health Equity; Sociodeterminants of Health; Pain Disparities; NIH HEAL Initiative; Health Disparities in Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Contact Email
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Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Sankar received her bachelors' degrees in Chemistry and Biology from UC Irvine and her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Michigan where she focused on mechanisms of the dopamine reward pathway. She first joined NIH as a NINDS IRTA (intramural research training associate) then received a PRAT (Pharmacology Research Associate) fellowship in the NINDS Molecular Pharmacology Section where she published work on functional properties of the D3 dopamine receptor antagonists. She was accepted into the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship in 2011 where she worked at the National Cancer Institute in the Division of Cancer Control & Population Science's Behavioral Research Program. Following her AAAS fellowship, Dr. Sankar worked in the NINDS Office of Pain Policy as a health program specialist from 2012-2016 where she led trans-NIH and trans-agency pain research portfolio analyses including the development of a public interagency pain research portfolio database. She has worked to promote awareness of disparities in pain care, served on the disparities workgroups of the National Pain Strategy and Federal Pain Research Strategy, and moderated a session on disparities in pain care at the 2016 Annual American Pain Society meeting. Dr. Sankar continued in the Office of Pain Policy and Planning as a senior science policy analyst where she led the organization of the annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium, served as a program officer on the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures Common Fund Program, initiated and co-led a Disparities and Diversity in pain research workgroup and co-led efforts in health equity in pain management through the NIH HEAL Initiative.  As a Program Director in the Office of Global Health and Health Disparities (OGHHD), Dr. Sankar has a diverse research portfolio covering topics related to advancing health equity in pain management and health disparities in neurological disorders and stroke. 
In her spare time, Cheryse enjoys being silly and dancing around with her two children. She also loves dark chocolate and any place with waterfalls.