Michelle Ciucci

Position title: Professor, Departments of Communication Sciences & Disorders and Surgery-Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery

Email: ciucci@surgery.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-6516

Michelle Ciucci headshot


Communication Sciences & Disorders
Surgery-Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery


M.S. in SpeechLanguage Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
Ph.D. in Speech & Hearing Science and Neuroscience, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
Postdoctoral in PsychologyBehavioral Neuroscience, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX, USA
Postdoctoral in SurgeryOtolaryngology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Research Description:

I conduct translational research which includes bench science, animal behavior, and human clinical studies. I use this integrated method to address gaps in knowledge regarding onset, progression, and underlying CNS and PNS pathology in progressive neurologic disease. This work is highly impactful because communication, swallowing, cognition, and airway defense are typically understudied and thus undertreated, especially in basic science research, which is foundational to clinical research. To this end, I have developed/modified assays that capture licking, chewing, functional swallowing, GI motility, vocalization, gait, fine motor control, anxiety, memory, and complex cognitive processes. Importantly, I have advanced the use of validated genetic models of Parkinson disease to assay these behaviors during the prodromal phase of disease, which is impossible to do in humans. Further, my lab uses histology, microscopy, immunohistochemistry, genomics, proteomics, HPLC, and microPET imaging to analyze pathology in central and peripheral nervous system tissues, including muscle, nerve, and brain.

Research Key Words:

Pathology in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Pathology of Communication and Swallowing, Ingestive Function Disorders, Parkinson Disease

Link to Lab Website

Link to Publications