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

  • Pink1-/- rats are a useful tool to study early Parkinson disease.
    Kelm-Nelson CA, Lechner SA, Lettenberger SE, Kaldenberg TAR, Pahapill NK, Regenbaum A, Ciucci MR
    Brain Commun 2021; 3(2): fcab077
    [PubMed ID: 33928251]

  • Biological and Acoustic Sex Differences in Rat Ultrasonic Vocalization.
    Lenell C, Broadfoot CK, Schaen-Heacock NE, Ciucci MR
    Brain Sci 2021 Apr 04; 11(4)
    [PubMed ID: 33916537]

  • Functional characterization of extrinsic tongue muscles in the Pink1-/- rat model of Parkinson disease.
    Glass TJ, Kelm-Nelson CA, Szot JC, Lake JM, Connor NP, Ciucci MR
    PLoS One 2020; 15(10): e0240366
    [PubMed ID: 33064741]

  • Swallowing Pressure Variability as a Function of Pharyngeal Region, Bolus Volume, Age, and Sex.
    Jones CA, Ciucci MR, Abdelhalim SM, McCulloch TM
    Laryngoscope 2021 01; 131(1): E52-E58
    [PubMed ID: 32304341]

  • Changes to Ventilation, Vocalization, and Thermal Nociception in the Pink1-/- Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease.
    Johnson RA, Kelm-Nelson CA, Ciucci MR
    J Parkinsons Dis 2020; 10(2): 489-504
    [PubMed ID: 32065805]

All Publications on PubMed