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

My general research interests include:

  • sensory physiology
  • hearing science
  • central nervous system development
  • information processing in the brainstem and inner ear

More specifically, my research is directed toward furthering our understanding of the acquisition of function in the cochlea and cochlear nucleus, particularly with respect to the role of potassium channels and natriuretic proteins. My ongoing research projects include characterization of neurons within the neonatal cochlea and cochlear nucleus using electrophysiological, immunohistochemical and molecular biological techniques.

Brain Awareness

Brain Bee


See full list of publications at: PubMed

(2003) Fitzakerley, J.L., and Schweitzer, L., Morphology of neurons cultured from subdivisions of the mouse cochlear nucleus, Cell and Tissue Research, 311:145-158, 2003.

(2001) Fitzakerley, J.L. Survival and differentiation of neurons cultured from the mouse cochlear nucleus on selected extracellular matrix components, Neurosci. Lett. 316(3): 183-187, 2001.

(2000) Fitzakerley, J.L., Starr, K.V., Rinn, J.L. and Elmquist, B.J., Expression Of Shal Potassium Channel Subunits In The Adult And Developing Cochlear Nucleus. Hearing Research 147:31-45, 2000.

(1998) Fitzakerley, J.L., McGee, J., and Walsh, E.J., Paradoxical relationship between tuning and threshold during auditory nerve fiber development in kittens. Journal of the Accoustical Society of America, 103:3464-3477, 1998.

(1997) Fitzakerley, J.L., Schaefer, K.L., Kitko, R.A., and Manis, P.B., Properties of cochlear nucleus neurons in primary culture, Hear. Res. 114:148-168, 1997.


Teaching Areas

Medical School Lectures and Reviews:

  • Inner ear physiology
  • Sensory physiology
  • Antibodies as Drugs
  • Anticoagulants, Thrombolytics and Anti-platelet Drugs
  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastics
  • Anti-ulcer Drugs
  • Laxatives, Antidiarrheals and IBS/IBD Treatments


PHCL 5001 Drugs and Health Cardiovascular Disease Treatments Antineoplastics GI Drugs; PHSL 5601 and PHAR 6061 Organ Systems/ Sensory systems lectures; PHSL 5602 - Physiology of Organ Systems II Ion Channel Physiology Lab; PHCL 5702 Intercellular Signaling; PHSL 5701 Sensory Physiology