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Michelle R Ciucci, PhD

Contact Dr. Ciucci


(608) 263-0192

1300 University Ave
MC 1509
Madison, WI 53706

Michelle R Ciucci, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


  • PhD, Speech and Hearing Science & Neuroscience, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ, 2006

Research Interests

Dr. Ciucci’s research interests focus on the neurobiological and behavioral underpinnings of cranial sensorimotor control. She is currently exploring the effects of degenerative neurologic disease-induced deficits on voice, speech, and swallowing (oromotor function) using both clinical and basic science methods. Her clinical studies on swallowing focus on the fine motor skills required to generate subtle changes in pressure generation during the pharyngeal stage of swallowing, considering the influence of disease state, therapy, and medications on these processes. She also studies Parkinson disease to examine the impact of early sensorimotor training approaches on functional improvement of vocalization and swallow behaviors, as well as the underlying neural substrates of exercise-induced brain changes. She explores how anti-Parkinson medications influence complex sensorimotor enrichment outcomes. Dr. Ciucci believes understanding these processes will lead to better treatments and functional outcomes for patients with Parkinson disease and other neurologic disorders.

Dr. Ciucci's Lab


Recent Publications
  • Data in support of qPCR primer design and verification in a Pink1 -/- rat model of Parkinson disease.
    Kelm-Nelson CA, Stevenson SA, Ciucci MR
    Data Brief 2016 Sep; 8():360-3.
    [PubMed ID: 27331115, PMC ID: 4909782]
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  • Atp13a2 expression in the periaqueductal gray is decreased in the Pink1 -/- rat model of Parkinson disease.
    Kelm-Nelson CA, Stevenson SA, Ciucci MR
    Neurosci. Lett. 2016 May 16; 621():75-82.
    [PubMed ID: 27057733, PMC ID: 4869981]
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  • Vocal training, levodopa, and environment effects on ultrasonic vocalizations in a rat neurotoxin model of Parkinson disease.
    Kelm-Nelson CA, Brauer AF, Ciucci MR
    Behav. Brain Res. 2016 Jul 01; 307():54-64.
    [PubMed ID: 27025445, PMC ID: 4878393]
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  • Preliminary Evaluation of Functional Swallow After Total Laryngectomy Using High-Resolution Manometry.
    Lippert D, Hoffman MR, Britt CJ, Jones CA, Hernandez J, Ciucci MR, McCulloch TM
    Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 2016 Jul; 125(7):541-9.
    [PubMed ID: 26868604, PMC ID: 5300062]
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  • Multimodal Swallowing Evaluation with High-Resolution Manometry Reveals Subtle Swallowing Changes in Early and Mid-Stage Parkinson Disease.
    Jones CA, Ciucci MR
    J Parkinsons Dis 2016; 6(1):197-208.
    [PubMed ID: 26891176, PMC ID: 4816667]
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  • Cross-activation and detraining effects of tongue exercise in aged rats.
    Schaser AJ, Ciucci MR, Connor NP
    Behav. Brain Res. 2016 Jan 15; 297():285-96.
    [PubMed ID: 26477376, PMC ID: 4679533]
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  • Decreased approach behavior and nucleus accumbens immediate early gene expression in response to Parkinsonian ultrasonic vocalizations in rats.
    Pultorak JD, Kelm-Nelson CA, Holt LR, Blue KV, Ciucci MR, Johnson AM
    Soc Neurosci 2016; 11(4):365-79.
    [PubMed ID: 26313334, PMC ID: 4791201]
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  • A multisensor approach to improve manometric analysis of the upper esophageal sphincter.
    Jones CA, Ciucci MR, Hammer MJ, McCulloch TM
    Laryngoscope 2016 Mar; 126(3):657-64.
    [PubMed ID: 26297859, PMC ID: 4548824]
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  • Evidence for early and progressive ultrasonic vocalization and oromotor deficits in a PINK1 gene knockout rat model of Parkinson's disease.
    Grant LM, Kelm-Nelson CA, Hilby BL, Blue KV, Paul Rajamanickam ES, Pultorak JD, Fleming SM, Ciucci MR
    J. Neurosci. Res. 2015 Nov; 93(11):1713-27.
    [PubMed ID: 26234713, PMC ID: 4575652]
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  • Relationships among rat ultrasonic vocalizations, behavioral measures of striatal dopamine loss, and striatal tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity at acute and chronic time points following unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine-induced dopamine depletion.
    Grant LM, Barnett DG, Doll EJ, Leverson G, Ciucci M
    Behav. Brain Res. 2015 Sep 15; 291():361-71.
    [PubMed ID: 26026785, PMC ID: 4497944]
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