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Jennifer Busch, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Certificate

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Biology
On Faculty since 2002

Phone: (630)752-5645


Ph.D. Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, 2003

B.S. Biology, Wheaton College, 1996

About Jennifer Busch

My first word was “Whazzat?”  This “What’s that?” curiosity eventually homed in on cellular and molecular biology.   Learning about proteins embedded in cell membranes and shaped in such a way to be activated only by certain hormones makes me smile.  Realizing the interdependence of various physiological systems fills me with delight.  Reading about advances made to our understanding of subcellular mechanisms reminds me yet again of the wonderful way that organisms are put together.  It is a joy for me to teach students that which I find to be so fascinating and awe-inspiring.  When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time outdoors, reading, visiting new places, and cycling.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 241 Organization of Life: Genetics and Cell Biology
  • BIOL 242 Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany
  • BIOL 321 Human Physiology
  • BIOL 331 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 332 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 334 Pharmacological Physiology
  • BIOL 350 Molecular Physiology
  • BIOL 497 Biology Research Seminar

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • The American Physiological Society
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Society


My research interests focus broadly on signal transduction.  Signal transduction is the means by which extracellular or environmental chemical signals induce chain reactions of subsequent intracellular protein activations that eventually cause certain physiological changes.  Kinases are an important class of proteins within these transduction pathways.  Specifically, I study mechanisms by which specific kinases modulate cellular responses to stressors.  Currently, I am using Cordylophora (a small invertebrate) as a model organism.

Papers Published and/or Presented

*indicates undergraduate student

*Cruise, Jessica D., *Sarah J. Hofer, Jennifer L. Busch, and Nadine C. Folino-Rorem. 2016. Effects of varied ionic concentrations on the feeding ability of Cordylophora caspia, an invasive hydroid. April 2016. Experimental Biology Conference, San Diego, CA. Poster.

Busch, Jennifer L., *Thomas M. Bridges, Robyn Richie-Jannetta, *Brian P. Hollett, Jackie D. Corbin, and Sharron H. Francis, 2013. Catalytic site amino acids of PKGI-alpha influence allosteric cGMP binding.  Frontiers in Biosci (Schol Ed) 5:650-660.

Corbin, Jackie D., Teri-Lee Foster, Emmanuel Bessay, Jennifer L. Busch, Mitsi Blount, and Sharron H. Francis, 2011.  Metal Ion Stimulators of PDE5 Cause Similar Conformational Changes in the Enzyme as does cGMP or Sildenafil.  Cell. Signal. 23:778-784.

Francis, Sharron H., Jennifer L. Busch, and Jackie D. Corbin, 2010. Cyclic GMP-dependent Protein Kinase I and cGMP Phosphodiesterases in Nitric Oxide and cGMP Action.  Pharmacol. Rev. 62:525-563.

Busch, Jennifer L. and Robert N. Congdon, Fall, 2009. Enhancing Student Retention and Understanding of Physiological System Integration: A Disease Assignment. HAPS EDucator 1:29-32.

Dey, Nupur B., Jennifer L. Busch, Sharron H. Francis, Jackie D. Corbin, and Thomas M. Lincoln, 2009. Cyclic GMP specifically suppresses type-Ialpha cGMP-dependent protein kinase expression by ubiquitination.  Cell. Signal. 21:859-866.

Dey, Nupur B., Jennifer L. Busch, Sharron H. Francis, Jackie D. Corbin, and Thomas M. Lincoln, 2007.   Down-regulation of type 1α cGMP-dependent protein kinase by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. Abstract. Presented at The American Heart Association Annual Conference.

Richie-Jannetta, Robyn, Jennifer L. Busch, Kristin A. Higgins, Jackie D. Corbin, and Sharron H. Francis, 2006. Isolated regulatory domains of cGMP-dependent protein kinase Ialpha and Ibeta retain dimerization and native cGMP-binding properties and undergo isoform-specific conformational changes. J. Biol. Chem. 281:6977-6984.

Busch, Jennifer L., 2005. “Are Pharmaceuticals Good or Bad?” In Not Just Science—Questions Where Christian Faith and Natural Science Intersect, ed. E.D. Cook and D.F. Chappell.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan. pp. 228-234.

Busch, Jennifer L., Emmanuel P. Bessay, Sharron H. Francis, and Jackie D. Corbin, 2002. A conserved serine in PKG-I contributes to autoinhibition and lower cGMP-binding affinity. J. Biol. Chem. 277:34048-34054.

Francis, Sharron H., Celeste Poteet-Smith, Jennifer L. Busch, Robyn Richie-Jannetta, and Jackie D. Corbin, 2002. Mechanisms of autoinhibition in cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases. Front. in Bioscience 7:d580.

Francis, Sharron H., Der-Ming Chu, Melissa K. Thomas, Alfreda Beasley, Kennard Grimes, Jennifer L. Busch, Illarion V. Turko, Tamara L. Haik, and Jackie D. Corbin, 1998. Ligand-induced conformational changes in cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases. Methods 14:81-92.

*indicates undergraduate student