Jennifer R. Panizzi, PhD
Assistant Professor of Physiology
Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
Dr. Panizzi joined the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine faculty in 2013. A native of Tennessee, Dr. Panizzi received a B.S. degree majoring in both chemistry and biology (1998) from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, then earned her Ph.D. (2007) from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Panizzi continued her training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Nephrology Division at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., where she was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.
My current research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cilia motility. Motile cilia are important for numerous processes within the vertebrate organism, including circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, clearance of the respiratory tract, sperm motility, and establishment of the left-right body axis. Of particular interest to my studies is primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), or impaired cilia movement. As many as 1:15000 individuals are estimated to have PCD, which may manifest as chronic respiratory tract infections, infertility, situs reversal, and even cystic kidney disease. More broadly, the disruption of the signaling functions of cilia have also been observed in relatively more common disorders, including diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, and cancer. My laboratory utilizes multiple techniques conducted in the zebrafish model system to examine genes that affect ciliary structure and function.
Dr. Panizzi assists with teaching Veterinary Physiology I and II as well as graduate courses offered in the department.