Janet L Fitzakerley, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Janet L Fitzakerley

Contact Info


Office Phone 218-726-7012

Office Address:
Department of Biomedical Sciences
307 SMed
1035 University Dr
Duluth, MN 55812

University of Louisville, Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, 1997

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, 1995

PhD, Biomedical Sciences (Physiology), Creighton University and Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, 1990 - 1992

PhD program, Physiology (Pharmacology Track), Southern Illinois University, 1987 - 1990

MS, University of Calgary, Medical Physiology, 1987

BS, Queen's University, Life Sciences, 1984


Professional Associations

  • Society for Neuroscience, Association for Research in Otolaryngology Sigma Xi American Physiological Society
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Member, Public Education and Communication Committee, Society for Neuroscience, 2005-2010.
  • Member, International Committee, Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 1998-2002
  • Co-coordinator, Brain Awareness Week, University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth, 1998- present


Research Summary/Interests

Our lab investigates the role of natriuretic peptides in hearing, and in hypertension.

Natriuretic peptides function as both local and systemic hormones, and they are involved in the regulation of fluid balance in many regions of the body. We are currently funded to investigate the changes in natriuretic peptide expression and function that occur in the heart during the earliest stages of hypertension. We also have a long-standing interest in determining the function of natiruretic peptides in the cochlea.

Brain Awareness

Brain Bee


See full list of publications at: PubMed

  • Fitzakerley, J.L. and Trachte, G.J. (2018) Genetics of guanylyl cyclase pathways in the cochlea and their influence on hearing. Physiol. Genomics 50(9): 780-806 PMID: 29958079 DOI 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00056.2018
  • Trachte, G.J. and Fitzakerley, J.L. (2014) Chapter 11. Natriuretic peptides modulate inner ear function. In Natriuretic peptides: Physiology, molecular biology and clinical implications. Pandey, K.N. (ed.) Nova Science Publishers.
  • Fitzakerley, J.L., Michlin, M.L., Paton, J. and Dubinsky, J.M. (2013) Neuroscientists’ classroom visits positively impact student attitudes. PloS One 8(12). PMID: 24358325 PMCID: PMC3865289 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0084035


Academic Interests and Focus

Her teaching philosophy is: "I believe that teaching is a key responsibility of every scientist, as we have the fundamental duty to create and disseminate scientific knowledge. As a neurophysiologist, I think that there are basic concepts about brain function that everyone should understand, and it is part of my job to educate kids and the general public, as well as university students and other scientists, about the wonders of neuroscience." Read her complete philosophy here: https://www.d.umn.edu/~jfitzake/Lectures/Teaching.html

Teaching Areas

Dr. Fitzakerley serves as the course director for the Gastrointestinal Hepatobiliary System course (medical students), as well as several graduate level physiology and pharmacology courses. Her areas of expertise include: sensory and inner ear physiology; anticoagulants, thrombolytics and anti-platelet drugs; antineoplastics and antiemetics;, and GI drugs.