Professor, Integrative Physiology; Center for Neuroscience; Director, Stress Physiology Laboratory

Monika Fleshner, PhD

Monika Fleshner, PhD is a professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology, a member of the Center for Neuroscience, and the director of the Stress Physiology laboratory. Professor Fleshner was appointed in 2021 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to contribute to a congressionally requested study that will shape NASA’s role in supporting and utilizing biological and physical sciences research during a highly critical period for the U.S. space program.  She is the winner of the international Norman Cousins Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society and the national Guyton Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate immunology and has trained ~50 MS/PhD/Postdoctoral students. Her integrative research program focuses on understanding 1) the impact of acute and chronic stressor exposure (mental and physical) on behavior, neural, hormonal, and immunological function; 2) how such systems interact to affect the whole organism; and 3) the mechanisms of increased stress robustness (resistance/resilience) produced by exercise, prebiotics, and cannabis constituents. She has published ~190 peer-reviewed articles and has a GoogleScholar h-index of 84 and 10-index of 185.  The National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and Mead Johnson Nutrition have previously funded her research program. Current funding is provided by the Office of Naval Research and NASA.  She is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Budget Committee and has previously served as the President of the International Society for Exercise Immunology (ISEI, 2011-2013), and President (2011-2012) and Secretary/Treasurer (2004-2006) of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS).