Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D.

Headshot of Jennifer L. Pluznick
  • Associate Professor of Physiology

Research Interests

Identifying olfactory receptor ligands and relating them to a whole-animal physiology; The role of sensory receptors in regulating renal and cardiovascular function; Renal and cardiovascular physiology more


Dr. Jennifer Pluznick is an Associate Professor of Physiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research is focused on the role of sensory receptors in regulating renal and cardiovascular function, and identifying renal/cardiovascular olfactory receptor ligands and relating them to whole-animal physiology.

She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Truman State University and earned her Ph.D. in Renal Physiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, where she studied both renal physiology and sensory biology systems (in particular, olfaction). Dr. Pluznick joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2010.

Dr. Pluznick discovered that odor-sensing proteins found in the noses of mice are also in their kidneys and blood vessels, a finding that can help scientists understand how the kidney helps maintain homeostasis in humans. Her lab has identified a number of olfactory receptors in the kidney and has made headway in identifying novel ligands, and is currently working to understand how renal and cardiovascular olfactory receptors influence whole-animal physiology. more


  • Associate Professor of Physiology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.A.; Truman State University (Missouri) (2000)
  • Ph.D.; University of Nebraska (Omaha) (Nebraska) (2005)

Additional Training

  • Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 2010, Renal/CV/Sensory/Physiology; Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2010, Renal Physiology and Sensory Biology Systems

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Pluznick's lab is interested in the role that chemosensation plays in regulating physiological processes, particularly in the kidney and the cardiovascular system. They have found that sensory receptors (olfactory receptors, taste receptors, and other G-protein coupled receptors) are expressed in the kidney and in blood vessels, and that individual receptors play functional roles in whole-animal physiology. Dr. Pluznick and her team are currently working to identify the full complement of sensory receptors found in the kidney, and are working to understand the role that each receptor plays in whole-animal physiology by using a variety of in vitro (receptor localization, ligand screening) and in vivo (whole-animal physiology) techniques.


Lab Website: Pluznick Lab

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Zaidman NA, Tomilin VN, Khayyat NH, Damarla M, Tidmore J, Capen D, Brown D, Pochynyuk O, Pluznick JL.  Adhesion-GPCR Gpr116 (ADGRF5) Expression Inhibits Renal Acid Secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.  2020 Oct 2020, 202007620; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2007620117

Cheema MU, Pluznick JL. Gut Microbiota Plays a Central Role to Modulate the Plasma and Fecal Metabolomes in Response to Angiotensin II. Hypertension. 2019 Jul; 74(1): 184-193

Rajkumar P, Cha B, Yin J, Arend L, Paunescu T, Hirabayashi Y, Donowitz M, Pluznick JL.  Identifying the localization and exploring a functional role for Gprc5c in the kidney. FASEB J.  2017 Dec 1

Shepard BD, Cheval L, Peterlin Z, Firestein S, Koepsell H, Doucet A, Pluznick JL. A Renal Olfactory Receptor Aids in Kidney Glucose Handling. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 14;6:32515

Pluznick JL, Protzko RJ, Gevorgyan H, Peterlin Z, Sipos A, Han J, Brunet I, Wan L, Rey FE, Wang T, Firestein SJ, Yanagisawa M, Gordon JI, Eichmann A, Peti-Peterdi J, Caplan MJ. Olfactory receptor responding to gut microbiota-derived signals plays a role in renin secretion and blood pressure regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 12;110(11):4410-5


Compositions and methods for increasing the expression and signaling of proteins on cell surfaces.
Patent # USA PCT/IB2013002242 | 

Activities & Honors


  • Henry Pickering Bowditch Award Lectureship, American Physiological Society, 2019
  • Hamilton Smith Award for Innovative Research, Johns Hopkins, 2019
  • TED Talk: "You smell with your body, not just your nose", TED:, 2017


  • American Heart Association, 2011
  • American Physiological Society, 2002
  • American Society of Nephrology, 2007
  • Salt and Water Club, 2009

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

The startling sense of smell found all over your body, BBC, July 10, 2013

Sniffing out hypertension, The Economist, February 16, 2013

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