Dr. Amy Desaulniers is an Assistant Professor within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SVMBS) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Dr. Desaulniers earned her Ph.D. in 2018 from UNL in the area of reproductive physiology and endocrinology. Her doctoral work identified a critical regulator of steroidogenesis within porcine Leydig cells using a novel transgenic swine model. Dr. Desaulniers served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Missouri for three years before returning to UNL to join the faculty within the SVMBS in 2021.
Dr. Desaulniers team teaches Animal Physiology I and II (VMED 645 and 646) for graduate and veterinary students. She is also interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her previous pedagogy research focused on the identification of effective methods to promote learning in large enrollment undergraduate physiology courses. Her long-term teaching goal within the SVMBS is to identify innovative and evidence-based strategies to enhance deep learning and knowledge retention in order to better prepare future veterinary professionals and biomedical scientists.
The broad focus of the Desaulniers laboratory is to elucidate the biology of the mammalian testis in order to enhance fertility in agriculturally relevant species as well as humans. Dr. Desaulniers and her team are especially interested in Leydig cells within the testis, which produce steroids that are critical for both male fertility and health. Leydig cell dysfunction not only impedes reproduction, but also increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. The Desaulniers laboratory uses animal models to examine how pre- and post-natal insults (e.g., heat stress or milk deprivation) influence Leydig cell differentiation, steroidogenesis, and overall fecundity. A better understanding of the factors that affect mammalian testicular function will lead to the development of novel therapies and/or intervention strategies to maximize fertility in both animals and humans.