University of Wisconsin–Madison

Michelle R Ciucci, PhD

Associate Professor

Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
(608) 263-0192

1300 University Ave
MC 1509
Madison, WI 53706


  • 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:

    • Vocalization development in common marmosets for neurodegenerative translational modeling.
    • Jones CA, Duffy MK, Hoffman SA, Schultz-Darken NJ, Braun KM, Ciucci MR, Emborg ME
    • Neurol. Res. 2018 Feb 19; 1-9
    • [PubMed ID: 29457539]
    • Characterization of early-onset motor deficits in the Pink1-/- mouse model of Parkinson disease.
    • Kelm-Nelson CA, Brauer AFL, Barth KJ, Lake JM, Sinnen MLK, Stehula FJ, Muslu C, Marongiu R, Kaplitt MG, Ciucci MR
    • Brain Res. 2018 Feb 01; 1680: 1-12
    • [PubMed ID: 29229503]
    • Economic and survival burden of dysphagia among inpatients in the United States.
    • Patel DA, Krishnaswami S, Steger E, Conover E, Vaezi MF, Ciucci MR, Francis DO
    • Dis. Esophagus 2018 Jan 01; 31(1): 1-7
    • [PubMed ID: 29155982]
    • Characterization of oromotor and limb motor dysfunction in the DJ1 -/- model of Parkinson disease.
    • Yang KM, Blue KV, Mulholland HM, Kurup MP, Kelm-Nelson CA, Ciucci MR
    • Behav. Brain Res. 2018 Feb 26; 339: 47-56
    • [PubMed ID: 29109055]
    • 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]

All Publications on PubMed