Jenna Ziebell

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Jenna Ziebell

Senior Lecturer
Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre

Room 417-25 (Level 4) , Medical Science 1

+61 3 6226 4705 (phone)

Dr Jenna Ziebell is a senior lecturer in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. Her research interests revolve around the role of microglia in health, ageing and disease. Dr Ziebell has a strong interest in traumatic brain injury, and priming of the immune system with ageing.


Dr Ziebell has a long-standing interest in the role of inflammation in neurological diseases, particularly the role of microglia (the immune cells of the central nervous system). She is a mid-career researcher who recently returned to Australia from the Translational Neurotrauma Program in Phoenix, AZ, USA; where she led a research team that investigated the role of microglia in acute neurological diseases. Her interest in the role of microglia in health and disease was ignited during her PhD at Monash University and has continued throughout postdoctoral research at the University of Adelaide (2009-2011), University of Kentucky (2012), USA, and University of Arizona/Phoenix Children’s Hospital (2012-2015). Dr Ziebell’s areas of interest include microglial activation in health and disease, trauma and injury related circuitry rearrangements, microglial priming and senescence in ageing and dementia. Therapeutically, she has interests in pharmacological interventions to manipulate microglial response to injury and disease.

Career summary



Thesis title



Date of award


The role of FasL and TNF in cell apoptosis following experimental focal traumatic brain injury

Monash University





Monash University




Professional practice

Australian Neuroscience Society

Society for Neuroscience


Neuroscience, immunology, neurobiology, dementia

Teaching responsibility

Dr Ziebell acts as the unit co-ordinator for units within the Bachelor of Dementia Care, including CAD004 and CAD201

View more on Dr Jenna Ziebell in WARP

Research Themes

Dr Ziebell’s research aligns to the University’s Better Health research theme. Her research interests include experimental models of neurological disease including traumatic brain injury and dementia. Dr Ziebell’s research primarily focuses on the inflammatory cascades initiated in these diseases and how this influences disease progression, neuronal circuits, as well as cognition and motor function.

Current projects

Current projects include:

1. Microglia: does their role in synaptic remodelling change with age?

2. How do microglia:synapse dynamics change with Alzheimer’s disease?

Fields of Research

  • Neurosciences (320999)
  • Central nervous system (320903)
  • Cellular nervous system (320902)
  • Neurology and neuromuscular diseases (320905)
  • Neurogenetics (310511)
  • Systems physiology (320803)
  • Autonomic nervous system (320901)
  • Health promotion (420603)
  • Cellular interactions (incl. adhesion, matrix, cell wall) (310105)
  • Cell physiology (320801)
  • Medical biochemistry - lipids (320504)
  • Nutrition and dietetics (321099)
  • Cell metabolism (310103)
  • Continuing and community education (390301)

Research Objectives

  • Clinical health (200199)
  • Prevention of human diseases and conditions (200104)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences (280103)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Treatment of human diseases and conditions (200105)
  • Overweight and obesity (200411)
  • Behaviour and health (200401)
  • Health education and promotion (200203)
  • Health related to ageing (200502)
  • Preventive medicine (200412)
  • Injury prevention and control (200408)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander determinants of health (210301)
  • Disability and functional capacity (200403)


Total publications


Journal Article

(24 outputs)
2022Doust YV, Sumargo N, Ziebell JM, Premilovac D, 'Insulin resistance in the brain: Evidence supporting a role for inflammation, reactive microglia, and the impact of biological sex', Neuroendocrinology pp. 1-21. ISSN 0028-3835 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1159/000524059 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Doust YV; Sumargo N; Premilovac D


2021Doust YV, King AE, Ziebell JM, 'Implications for microglial sex differences in tau-related neurodegenerative diseases', Neurobiology of Aging, 105 pp. 340-348. ISSN 0197-4580 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.03.010 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Doust YV; King AE


2021Doust YV, Rowe RK, Adelson PD, Lifshitz J, Ziebell JM, 'Age-at-injury determines the extent of long-term neuropathology and microgliosis after a diffuse brain injury in male rats', Frontiers in Neurology, 12 pp. 1-23. ISSN 1664-2295 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2021.722526 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Doust YV


2020Collins JM, Woodhouse A, Bye N, Vickers JC, King AE, et al., 'Pathological links between traumatic brain injury and dementia: Australian pre-clinical research', Journal of Neurotrauma, 37, (5) pp. 782-791. ISSN 0897-7151 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1089/neu.2019.6906 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Collins JM; Woodhouse A; Bye N; Vickers JC; King AE


2020Holloway OG, King AE, Ziebell JM, 'Microglia demonstrate local mixed inflammation and a defined morphological shift in an APP/PS1 mouse model', Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 77, (4) pp. 1765-1781. ISSN 1387-2877 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3233/JAD-200098 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Holloway OG; King AE


2019Holloway OG, Canty AJ, King AE, Ziebell JM, 'Rod microglia and their role in neurological diseases', Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 94 pp. 96-103. ISSN 1084-9521 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2019.02.005 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 23Web of Science - 23

Co-authors: Holloway OG; Canty AJ; King AE


2019Morganti-Kossmann MC, Semple BD, Hellewell SC, Bye N, Ziebell JM, 'The complexity of neuroinflammation consequent to traumatic brain injury: from research evidence to potential treatments', Acta Neuropathologica, 137 pp. 731-755. ISSN 0001-6322 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00401-018-1944-6 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 79Web of Science - 76

Co-authors: Bye N


2019Stuart KE, King AE, King NE, Collins JM, Vickers JC, et al., 'Late-life environmental enrichment preserves short-term memory and may attenuate microglia in male APP/PS1 mice', Neuroscience, 408 pp. 282-292. ISSN 0306-4522 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.04.015 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 11

Co-authors: Stuart KE; King AE; King NE; Collins JM; Vickers JC


2017Ziebell JM, Ray-Jones H, Lifshitz J, 'Nogo presence is inversely associated with shifts in cortical microglial morphology following experimental diffuse brain injury', Neuroscience, 359 pp. 209-223. ISSN 0306-4522 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.07.027 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 13


2016Rowe RK, Ziebell JM, Harrison JL, Law LM, Adelson PD, et al., 'Aging with traumatic brain injury: effects of age at injury on behavioral outcome following diffuse brain injury in rats', Developmental neuroscience, 38, (3) pp. 195-205. ISSN 0378-5866 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1159/000446773 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 24


2016Ziebell JM, Rowe RK, Harrison JL, Eakin KC, Colburn T, et al., 'Experimental diffuse brain injury results in regional alteration of gross vascular morphology independent of neuropathology', Brain Injury, 30, (2) pp. 217-224. ISSN 0269-9052 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1090012 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3


2016Ziebell JM, Rowe RK, Muccigrosso MM, Reddaway JT, Adelson PD, et al., 'Aging with a traumatic brain injury: could behavioral morbidities and endocrine symptoms be influenced by microglial priming?', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 59 pp. 1-7. ISSN 0889-1591 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.03.008 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 32Web of Science - 30


2015Evilisizor MN, Ray-Jones HF, Lifshitz J, Ziebell JM, 'Primer for immunohistochemistry on cryosectioned rat brain tissue: example staining for microglia and neurons', Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 12, (99) Article e52293. ISSN 1940-087X (2015) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.3791/52293 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 12


2015Ziebell JM, Adelson PD, Lifshitz J, 'Microglia: dismantling and rebuilding circuits after acute neurological injury', Metabolic Brain Disease, 30, (2) pp. 393-400. ISSN 0885-7490 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11011-014-9539-y [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 28Web of Science - 28


2014Ellis Jr TW, Ziebell JM, Adelson PD, Lifshitz J, 'Commentary on Kamper et. al., juvenile traumatic brain injury evolves into a chronic brain disorder: The challenges in longitudinal studies of juvenile traumatic brain injury', Experimental Neurology, 261 pp. 434-439. ISSN 0014-4886 (2014) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.06.008 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2


2014Taylor SE, Morganti-Kossmann C, Jonathon L, Ziebell JM, 'Rod Microglia: A Morphological Definition', PLoS One, 9, (5) Article e97096. ISSN 1932-6203 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097096 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 76Web of Science - 71


2012Cao T, Thomas TC, Ziebell JM, Pauly JR, Lifshitz J, 'Morphological and genetic activation of microglia after diffuse traumatic brain injury in the rat', Neuroscience: An International Journal, 225 pp. 65-75. ISSN 0306-4522 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.08.058 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 119Web of Science - 115


2012Carthew HL, Ziebell JM, Vink R, 'Substance P-induced changes in cell genesis following diffuse traumatic brain injury', Neuroscience: An International Journal, 214 pp. 78-83. ISSN 0306-4522 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.04.028 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 25


2012Ziebell JM, Taylor SE, Cao T, Harrison JL, Lifshitz J, 'Rod microglia: elongation, alignment, and coupling to form trains across the somatosensory cortex after experimental diffuse brain injury', Journal of neuroinflammation, 9, (247) pp. 1-11. ISSN 1742-2094 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-247 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 92Web of Science - 94


2011Ziebell JM, Bye N, Semple BD, Kossmann T, Morganti-Kossmann MC, 'Attenuated neurological deficit, cell death and lesion volume in Fas-mutant mice is associated with altered neuroinflammation following traumatic brain injury', Brain research, 1414 pp. 94-105. ISSN 0006-8993 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.07.056 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 36Web of Science - 35

Co-authors: Bye N


2010Semple BD, Bye N, Rancan M, Ziebell JM, Morganti-Kossmann MC, 'Role of CCL2 (MCP-1) in traumatic brain injury (TBI): evidence from severe TBI patients and CCL2/ mice', Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 30, (4) pp. 769-82. ISSN 0271-678X (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/jcbfm.2009.262 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 237Web of Science - 229


2010Semple BD, Bye N, Ziebell JM, Morganti-Kossmann MC, 'Deficiency of the chemokine receptor CXCR2 attenuates neutrophil infiltration and cortical damage following closed head injury', Neurobiology of Disease, 40, (2) pp. 394-403. ISSN 0969-9961 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2010.06.015 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 93Web of Science - 88


2010Ziebell JM, Morganti-Kossmann MC, 'Involvement of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines and Chemokines in the Pathophysiology of Traumatic Brain Injury', Neurotherapeutics, 7, (1) pp. 22-30. ISSN 1933-7213 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.nurt.2009.10.016 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 493Web of Science - 476


2007Gantios I, Fang K, Jiang L, Babovic D, Lawrence AL, et al., 'Ablation of D1 dopamine receptor-expressing cells generates mice with seizures, dystonia, hyperactivity, and impaired oral behavior', National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America. Proceedings, 104, (10) pp. 4182-4187. ISSN 0027-8424 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611625104 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 53Web of Science - 56


Chapter in Book

(5 outputs)
2016Hellewell SC, Ziebell JM, Lifshitz J, Morganti-Kossmann MC, 'Impact Acceleration Model of Diffuse Traumatic Brain Injury', Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume 1462, Injury Models of the Central Nervous System, Springer, F Kobeissy, CE Dixon, RL Hayes and S Mondello (ed), United States, pp. 253-66. ISBN 978-1-4939-3814-8 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3816-2_15 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14


2015Evilsizor MN, Ray-Jones HF, Ellis Jr TW, Lifshitz J, Ziebell JM, 'Microglia in Experimental Brain Injury: Implications on Neuronal Injury and Circuit Remodeling', Brain Neurotrauma: Molecular, Neuropsychological, and Rehabilitation Aspects, CRC Press, FH Kobeissy (ed), United States, pp. 79-90. ISBN 9781466565982 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2012Ziebell JM, Corrigan F, Vink R, 'Animal models of mild and severe TBI: what have we learned in the past 30 years?', Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury. Challenges and Developments, Cambridge University Press, C Morganti-Kossman, R Raghupathi & A Maas (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 114-125. ISBN 9781107007437 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139030564 [eCite] [Details]


2011Corrigan F, Ziebell JM, Vink R, 'Models of rodent cortical traumatic brain injury', Neuromethods, Humana Press, EL Lane & SB Dunnett (ed), United States, pp. 193-209. ISBN 978-1-61779-300-4 (2011) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Morganti-Kossman C, Semple B, Ziebell JM, Yan E, Bye N, et al., 'Modulation of the immune response by head injury', New insights into neuroimmune biology, Elsevier, I Berczi (ed), United Kingdom ISBN 978-0-12-384691-4 (2010) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Conference Publication

(3 outputs)
2020Ziebell J, 'Session Chair', International Neurotrauma Symposium 2020, 29 March - 2 April 2020, virtual (2020) [Chair International Conference]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Goldberg LR, Canty A, King AE, Price AD, Carr AR, et al., 'Can mature -age non-traditional students succeed in an online Bachelor of Dementia Care program?', International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress, San Francisco, 23-27 July 2017, San Francisco (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Goldberg LR; Canty A; King AE; Price AD; Carr AR; Westbury JL; Elliot K-E

2015Canty A, Goldberg LR, Ziebell JM, Ceperkovic H, 'Meeting the challenge of designing and delivering an entry level unit of study to engage and inspire adult learners in online neuroscience education in a Bachelor of Dementia Care', ICERI2015 Proceedings, 18-20 November, 2015, Seville, Spain, pp. 3941-3951. ISBN 978-84-608-2657-6 (2015) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Canty A; Goldberg LR; Ceperkovic H


Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
2021Ziebell J, 'Interview with Marg Flemming: Brain Injury and Dementia', Print Radio Tasmania (2021) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Translating Awareness, Literacy, and Knowledge of Traumatic Brain Injury (TALK-TBI) (2021)$999,998
The proposal has outstanding levels of community engagement. The team has allocated time (milestone indicators) and resources (budget) for extended community engagement at all stages of the project making the proposal highly feasible. Additionally, we have already established relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) and CI Schramm have assisted with the design of the project and TAC have agreed to host at least one Aboriginal health worker for the duration of this project. In addition, TAC has confirmed the transferability of the skills (e.g. communication, analysis, education design) gained from working on this project are highly desirable for future research and education programs.The incidence of TBI in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is almost twice the national average this means urgent attention is needed to increase awareness and educate. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) has indicated to the research team that brain injury awareness and education are a priority for their communities. Our research proposal aims to not only establish awareness of TBI but also the lived experience of those who have sustained a TBI. Accounts can be captured in their language making the applicability to others in the community stronger. These personal accounts may also identify areas of need for specific educational programs, which are culturally appropriate and can be developed in consultation with the local communities.
Medical Research Future Fund ($999,998)
Grant - Traumatic Brain Injury Mission
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Ziebell JM; Cook PS; Doherty KV; Eccleston CEA; Schramm TA; Fitzgerald M; Padgett C; King AE; Vickers JC
Could gut microbiota influence cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease? (2018)$0
This pilot grant will map gut microbiota in three populations:A) Individuals with a clinical diagnosis of dementia: Individuals identified by a clinician as living with dementia will be recruited (n=20). These individuals must be residing in the community as gut microbiota alterations are known to be dependent on the environment (13).B) Spousal caregivers for those living with dementia: Carers of individuals living with dementia are six times more likely to develop dementia (14). Stress is a leading theory for this occurrence, however shared gut microbiota is a potential unexplored link. This group potentially represents the pre-clinical population where alterations to gut microbiota are occurring before symptoms are established (n=20).C) Spousal caregivers providing informal care to someone who does not have dementia: A cohort of individuals providing care to a spouse living with a chronic illness will be recruited (n=20). This group will provide evidence as to whether the disease and/or gut microbiota influence AD development.By determining the gut microbiota diversity in these populations, we will begin to understand whether gut microbiota influences cognitive decline and dementia. Initially this will be a cross-sectional study but if data are promising then it will lead to a longitudinal study.
uBiome, Inc. ($0)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Ziebell JM; King AE; Lea EJ
Can microglia priming influence neurodegeneration? (2018)$10,000
Inflammation has been implicated in premature ageing of the brain and the development of neurological disease (1). Microglia are the inflammatory cells of the brain, and currently it is unclear whether they are active (driving pathology) or passive (a bystander) in the ageing and neurodegenerative processes. In response to disturbances in the microenvironment microglia are capable of secreting both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines to restore homeostasis. With subsequent disturbances, microglia mount an exaggerated response, due to priming. Increasing age impedes microglias ability to perform the most essential of homeostatic functions. At this time microglia are known as dystrophic; stuck in a pro-inflammatory phenotype. Understanding this switch to a pro-inflammatory state may aid in preventing the effects of ageing through modulation of microglial activity and offers a novel target for therapy to slow the progression of neurological disease. For this to be effective, we must first define the precise roles of microglia in ageing and neurodegeneration. By determining microglial phenotype throughout disease progression we can gain insight into their role in disease pathology.
University of Tasmania ($10,000)
Grant-Strategic Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Ziebell JM; King AE; Lea EJ
How do microglia-synapse dynamics change with Alzheimer's disease? (2017)$50,000
This project explores the emerging role of microglia in facilitating changes to neuronal connections, synaptic plasticity or the ability of the brain to remodel throughout the lifespan in response to a changing environment. Using state of the art imaging techniques, this project will explore microglia-synapse interactions in real time, to elucidate the role microglia play in synaptic plasticty in Alzheimer's disease and throughout ageing.
Dementia Australia Research Foundation Ltd ($50,000)
Grant-Dementia Grants Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Ziebell JM; Canty A; King AE
Microglia: Does their role in synaptic remodelling change with age? (2016)$15,000
University of Tasmania ($15,000)
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Ziebell JM

Research Supervision




PhDNeuropathological, Glial and Behavioural Changes following a TBI in a Mouse Model of Amyloidosis2018
PhDModulation of Synapses by Microglia in Traumatic Brain Injury2018
PhDDo Sex Differences in Microglia Contribute to Dementia Risk?2019