Annual Lectureships

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Jennifer Pluznick, PhD



Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physiology
Department of Physiology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Unexpected Roles for ‘Ectopic’ Olfactory Receptors

Wednesday, April 5, 2023
12:00 Noon
Tulane University School Of Medicine,
Hutchinson Memorial Bldg, Room 6065
1430 Tulane Avenue


Dr. Pluznick’s seminal discovery in 2009 showed that sensory receptors, such as olfactory receptors, play important roles in renal function; the olfactory signaling system is present and functional in the kidney. Since then, her group has identified multiple olfactory receptors in the kidney, and are now exploring functional roles for these olfactory receptors in the kidney, cardiovascular system, and lung. Her laboratory explores many avenues opened by the initial discover. One area includes olfactory receptor biology. The great majority of the olfactory receptors are ‘orphan’ receptors. Her lab developed an entirely novel N-terminal signal sequence that allows nearly every tested olfactory receptor to be properly processed in the ER, and trafficked to the cell surface in vitro. They patented this technology. This innovation has allowed her lab and others to begin systematically identifying ligands for previously-orphaned receptors, catalyzing future discovery in cell biology and physiology. They continue to work, in their lab and in collaboration with others, to understand how olfactory receptors function in the nose, as well as elsewhere.