Faculty: Dr. Jasna Twynstra

Dr. Jasna TwynstraAssistant Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences
Office: BR 177
Telephone: 519 432 8353 ext 20107
Email: jasna.twynstra@uwo.ca

Academic Background

  • BSc (Biological Sciences), University of Guelph
  • PhD (Human Health and Nutritional Sciences), University of Guelph

Research and Scholarly Interests

The focus of my research is on regulation of nutrient delivery to body tissues, specifically to the peripheral nerves. In particular, I am interested in vascular control of nutrient delivery and the effects of diet and lifestyle on vascular health, with a focus on vasomotor control. With the use of ultrasound technology, we are able to detect blood flow velocity through the microvasculature supplying the sciatic nerve of the rat. Using intravenous injections, agents are directly delivered to the sciatic nerve, allowing us to determine the control mechanisms of blood flow, and hence nutrient, delivery to this tissue.


  • Human Ecology 2266F/G Communications
  • Human Ecology 4411F Research Methods
  • Foods and Nutrition 9222A Research Methods and Statistics

Professional Memberships

  • Microcirculatory Society

Representative Publications and Presentations

  • Mair Z, Twynstra J, Vercnocke A, Welch I, Jorgensen S, Ritman E, Holdsworth D, Shoemaker JK. (2012) Intrinsic Microvasculature of the Sciatic Nerve in the Rat. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System. In press.
  • Twynstra J, Ruiz DA, Murrant CL. (2012) Functional coordination of the spread of vasodilations through skeletal muscle microvasculature: implications for blood flow control. Acta Physiologica. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02465.x
  • Twynstra J, MedeirosPJ, Lacefield JC, Jackson DN, Shoemaker JK. (2012) Y1R Control of Sciatic Nerve Blood Flow in the Wistar Kyoto Rat. Microvascualr Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.mvr.2012.06.005
  • Charlotte W. Usselman, Louis Mattar, Jasna Twynstra, Ian Welch, and J. Kevin Shoemaker. (2011) Rodent cardiovascular responses to baroreceptor unloading: Effect of plane of anaesthesia. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 36(3):376-81.
  • T.D. Olver, J. Twynstra, L. Mattar and J.K. Shoemaker. (2011) Glucose (1 g·k g-1 body mass) increases vascular conductance in skeletal muscle but not sciatic nerve vascular beds in rats. Oral Presentation. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 2011, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Twynstra J, Lacefield JC and Shoemaker JK. (2011) Y1R-mediated regulation of sciatic nerve blood supply in wistar kyoto rats. Poster Presentation. International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience 2011, Buzios, Brazil
  • Junuzovic J, Thorne ML, Lacefield JC and Shoemaker JK. (2010) Blood flow dynamics in sciatic nerve supply artery detected by Doppler Ultrasound. Poster Presentation. American Autonomic Society 2010, Marco Island, FL
  • Junuzovic J and Murrant CL. (2008) Pathways used to transmit conducted dilations are dependent on the stimulus used to initiate the conducted response. Poster Presentation. Experimental Biology 2008, San Diago CA, April 2008. The FASEB Journal.
  • Leonard S, Junuzovic J, Croy BA and Murrant CL. (2008) Phenylephrine induces conducted responses in the uterine vasculature of the pregnant mouse in situ. Poster Presentation. Experimental Biology 2008, San Diago CA, April 2008. The FASEB Journal.
  • Junuzovic J and Murrant CL. (2007) The directional of vasodilatory conducted responses is dependent on the vascular site in which they are initiated. Poster presentation. Experimental Biology 2007, Washington DC, April 2007. The FASEB Journal. Abstract # 588.2:A209.
  • Junuzovic J and Murrant CL. (2007) Acetylcholine and pinacidil produce conducted responses via different gap junction mediated pathways. Poster Presentation. 8th World Congress of Microcirculation, Milwaukee WI, August 2008. Microcirc 14:543 Abstract # VR33.
  • Dua AK, Junuzovic J, and Murrant CL. (2007) A central role for KATP channels in arteriolar vasodilation and vasoconstriction signaling. Poster presentation. Experimental Biology 2007, Washington DC, April 2007. The FASEB Journal. Abstract # 593.14:A723.
  • Junuzovic J and Murrant CL. (2006) Unidirectional and bidirectional vasodilatory responses to single and multiple dilators. Poster presentation. Experimental Biology 2006, San Francisco CA, April 2006. The FASEB Journal. Abstract # 202.11:A276.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that in order to teach the students and to get the message across to them, the students must first be excited about the topic. Once stimulated, they increase their curiosity and develop thoughtful questions. As a professor, I strive to fulfill the student’s curiosity by answering their questions in a classroom environment that encourages student’s thinking, participation, involvement and creativity.

I believe that teaching is a constantly evolving process, and even after years of experience, I always look for ways to improve my next lecture and to create a better learning environment for the new students.