Jennifer Schisa
Department of Biology
Genetics, Biotechnology
Biosciences 3404

Dr. Schisa is a professor of Biology at Central Michigan University


  • B.S., University of Michigan, 1990
  • Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 1997
  • Postdoc., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1998-2002

Teaching Areas

  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Genetics

Research Fields

  • Molecular and Developmental Genetics

Current Research Projects

My lab is interested in understanding how cells respond to stress and aging. We use the genetic model system Caenorhabditis elegans, also known as the worm, to study the effects of environmental stresses and aging on oocytes (eggs). We use a combination of genetic, molecular, cell biologic, and microscopic approaches to gain insights regarding how oocytes maintain their cellular integrity when fertilization is delayed. One current focus of the lab is studying the regulation and function of large RNP (ribonucleoprotein) granules that assemble in old-aged and stressed oocytes. Our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and is currently funded by The National Institutes of Health.


  • *^Davis, M., *#Montalbano. A., Wood, M.P., Schisa, J.A. (2017). Biphasic adaptation to osmotic stress in the C. elegans germ line. American Journal of Physiology, Cell Physiology doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00364.2016. [*co-first authors; # Undergraduate, ^Graduate student]
  • Wood, M.P., #Hollis, A., *Severance, A.L., *Karrick, M.L., and Schisa, J.A. (2016). RNAi screen identifies novel regulators of RNP granules in the C. elegans germ line. Genes, Genomes, Genetics 6: 2643-2654. [# Undergraduate, *Graduate student]
  • Schisa, J.A. (2014). Effects of stress and aging on RNP assembly and function in the germ line. WIRES RNA 5: 231-246. (Invited review)
  • #Messing, J.A., Heuberger, R., and Schisa, J.A. (2013). Effect of Vitamin D3 on lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Curr Aging Sci 6: 220-224. [# Undergraduate]
  • Sengupta, M.S., Low, W.Y., * Patterson, J.R., Kim, H.-M., Traven, A., Beilharz, T.H., Colaiácovo, M.P., Schisa, J.A., and Boag, P.R. (2013). ifet-1 is a broad scale translational repressor required for normal P granule formation in C. elegans. J. Cell Sci, 126: 850-859. [*Graduate student]
  • Schisa, J.A. Insights into the Regulation of RNP Granules in Oocytes. (2012). International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 295: 233-289.
  • *Patterson, J.R., *Wood, M.P., and Schisa, J.A. (2011). Assembly of RNP granules in stressed and aging oocytes requires nucleoporins and is coordinated with nuclear membrane blebbing. Developmental Biology 353: 173-185. [*Graduate student]
  • Beshore, E. l., McEwen, T. J., *Jud, M. C., Marshall, J.K., Schisa, J.A., and Bennett, K.L. (2011). C. elegans Dicer interacts with the P granule component GLH-1 and both regulate germline RNPs. Developmental Biology 350: 370-381. [*Graduate student]
  • Jud, M., *Czerwinski, M., #Wood, M.P., #Young, R.A., Gallo, C., *Bickel, J.S., #Petty, E.L., #Mason, J.M., Little, B.A., Padilla, P.A., and Schisa, J.A. (2008). Large P body-like RNPs form in C. elegans oocytes in response to arrested ovulation, heat shock, osmotic stress, and anoxia and are regulated by the Major Sperm Protein Pathway. Developmental Biology 318: 38-51.
  • *Jud, M., *Razelun, J., *Bickel, J., *Czerwinski, M., and Schisa, J.A. (2007). Conservation of large foci formation in arrested oocytes of Caenorhabditis nematodes Development, Genes, and Evolution 217: 221-226 .
  • Schisa, J.A., Tenlen, J., Diede, S., and Page, B.P. (2006). Reduced dosage of pos-1 suppresses Mex mutants and reveals complex interactions among CCCH zinc finger proteins during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. Genetics 174: 1933-1945.
  • *Konwerski, J., #Senchuk, M., #Petty, E., #Lahaie, D., and Schisa, J.A. (2005). Cloning and expression analysis of pos-1 in the nematodes C. briggsae and C. remanei. Developmental Dynamics 233: 1006-1012.
  • Schisa, J.A., Pitt, J.P., and Priess, J.R. (2001) Analysis of RNA associated with P granules in germ cells of C. elegans adults. Development 128: 1287-1298.
  • Pitt, J.P., Schisa, J.A., and Priess, J.R. (2000) P granules in the germ cells of Caenorhabditis elegans adults are associated with clusters of nuclear pores and contain RNA. Developmental Biology 219: 315-333.