Pluznick Home
Department of Physiology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
The Pluznick Lab
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Jen Pluznick
Jennifer Pluznick, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Jen Pluznick received her Ph.D. in Renal Physiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE) in 2005. She then spent five years training as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael Caplan at Yale University (New Haven, CT), where she studied both renal physiology and sensory biology systems (in particular, olfaction). Jen's research interests are focused on how the renal and cardiovascular systems employ G-protein coupled receptor "sensory" signaling pathways in order to monitor various substances in the plasma and forming urine, and thus aid in the maintenance of homeostasis.
Complete List of Publications

Postdoctoral Fellows  


Prem Rajkumar, PhD

Prem graduated with his PhD from the University of Cinncinati in 2012. He is studying the functional role of sensory GPCRs in the kidney, mainly working on identifying the expression profiles of these receptors in nephron segments and other major organs. Someday, he also really hopes to find their physiological ligand! Prem loves to travel, stay updated on sports news (Who dey!) and nurture a home garden in his patio.
Blythe Shepard
Blythe Shepard, PhD
Blythe Shepard graduated with her BS from Boston College in 2005, and her PhD from The Catholic University of America in 2011. She is currently in a love/hate relationship with Olfr1393, a renal olfactory receptor found in the proximal tubule. When she isn't characterizing her receptor, she enjoys watching football and basketball and growing sunflowers.
Graduate Students  
Victoria Halperin
Victoria Halperin
Victoria joined the Kidney Krew in June of 2013 as a graduate student in the CMP program. She earned her Masters in Biotechnology here at Johns Hopkins, while working in the cardiology department. She is intrigued by the differences in this part of the torso.  When Victoria is not contemplating scientific questions, she enjoys spending time with, and knitting for, her husband Brennan and baby daughter Cora.
Niranjan Natarajan
Niranjana Natarajan
Niranjana, a graduate student in the Cellular and Molecular Physiology program, joined the lab in June 2012. She has a Masters in Bioengineering from SASTRA University, India. Currently, she is studying the mechan0isms and physiological significance of olfactory receptors in blood pressure regulation. Her broader interests range from protein biochemistry and physiology to cooking and music.
Lab Alumni  

Ryan Protzko
Ryan Protzko, Research Technician

Ryan (aka Pineapple) joined the lab in the summer of 2010 and spent two years in the lab doing research (and origami). He's now a grad student at University of California, Berkeley (still doing research and origami).





Danny Gergen
Danny Gergen, Undergraduate

Danny worked inthe lab in the summer of 2011.





Omar Acres
Omar Acres, PhD

Omar graduated from Dillard University in 2005 with a BS in Biology and obtained his PhD from Tulane University in 2011 where he studied the regulation of the intra-renal renin-angiotensin system in the proximal tubule of the kidney (the most important organ in the body). Omar worked in the Pluznick Lab the summer and fall of 2012, and is now a medical student at Howard University College of Medicine (class of 2015).



Wennie Sansing
Wennie Sansing

Wennie worked in the lab during the summer of 2012, and is now a Physics major at the University of Central Florida.






Will Aisenberg
Will Aisenberg

Will graduated from the University of Maryland in 2012, and spent two years in the lab working with ORs. He's now a graduate student at Johns Hopkins in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program.



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