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Jennifer Swann, Ph.D.

Jennifer Swann, Ph.D.

Dept. of Biological Sciences
111 Research Drive, B217
Office - D215
Lab - C243
Bethlehem, PA 18015
phone: 610-758-5484
fax: 610-758-4004


Curriculum Vitae


Jennifer Swann, Ph.D.


Research in the Swann lab is focused on determining how the brain regulates behavior.    To this end we use hormones and sex differences as tools to address the problem.  Males and females in a number of species display very different, sex specific behaviors, this implies that their brains are also different.  Similarly hormones, particularly steroids have dramatic effects on the expression of a number of behaviors.  In general, these effects take days to emerge and last for days allowing us to study the brain during the development and expression of the behavior.  And steroids have two different effects in the regulation of sex specific behaviors.  They “organize” the brain during development casting it as male or female, and they “activate” the brain  in adulthood to allow the expression of the behavior.

Our lab has been examining the MPN mag a small nucleus in the caudal lateral aspects of the preoptic area that plays a critical role in male sex behavior by integrating hormonal and pheromonal signals.  We have mapped the connections of the nucleus, identified subtle sex differences in neuronal cell type, and are working to determine the biochemical and sub cellular events that mediate steroidal regulation of male sex behavior.

My background also includes studies in circadian rhythms and we have begun to examine circadian influences on adult neurogenesis and apoptosis. I also oversee novel projects initiated by high school students and undergraduates.


Richendrfer HA, Swann JM. (2010) Neuronal composition of the magnocellular division of the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN mag) is sex specific in the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus). Brain Res. 1351 () 97-103.

Smith JM, Hechtman A, Swann J. (2010) Fluctuations in cellular proliferation across the light/dark cycle in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in the adult male Syrian hamster Neurosci Lett. 473(3):192-5.

Venditti JJ, Swann JM, Bean BS (2010) Hamster Sperm-Associated Alpha-L-Fucosidase Functions During Fertilization. Biol Reprod. 2010 82(3):572-9.

Richendrfer HA, Wetzel JA, Swann JM (2009) Temperature, peroxide concentration, and immunohistochemical staining method affects staining intensity, distribution, and background. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol;17(6):543-6.
Govek EK, Swann JM. (2007) Stereological sex difference during development of the magnocelluar subdivision of the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN mag). Brain Res. 1145: 90-6.

Wang J, Swann JM. (2006) The magnocellular medial preoptic nucleus I. sources of afferent input.  Neuroscience; 141(3):1437-56.

Wood RI, Swann JM  (2005) The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the Syrian hamster: subnuclei and connections of the posterior division.  Neuroscience.;135(1):155-79.

Swann, JM, Wang J. and Govek. EK (2003)  Introducing the MPN mag: a critical area mediating pheromonal and hormonal regulation  of  male sexual behavior. N Y Acad Sci.1007:199-210.

Govek EK, Wang J, Swann JM. (2003) Sex differences in the magnocellular subdivision of the medial preoptic nucleus in Syrian hamsters. Neuroscience.;116(2):593-8.

Swann J, Rahaman F, Bijak T, Fiber J. (2001) The main olfactory system mediates pheromone-induced fos expression in the extended amygdala and preoptic area of the male Syrian hamster.  Neuroscience: 105, 695-706.

Professional Affiliations

International Behavioral Neuroscience Society

Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

  • Program Committee (1999-2001)
  • Co-Chair, Professional Development Committee

Society for College and University Planning - board member




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