Jenna L. Jewell, Ph.D.

Dr. Jenna Jewell is from Durango, Colorado, and received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Political Science from Fort Lewis College. Originally trained in the field of chemistry, she has extensive experience in biochemistry, signaling pathways, cell biology, and vesicle trafficking. After two years studying the metabolism of a newly identified common soil microorganism Acidobacterium capsulatum, Jenna joined Dr. Debbie Thurmond’s lab as a graduate student at Indiana University. There she made significant findings studying soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor activating protein receptor (SNARE) proteins in respect to type 2 diabetes. Jenna’s graduate work focused on how SNARE proteins regulate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells and peripheral tissue glucose uptake.

Wanting to continue her work in biochemistry, cell signaling, and trafficking, she accepted a Cancer Therapeutics Training Fellowship and The Hartwell Foundation Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kun-Liang Guan. There, Jenna identified a new signaling cascade, which her lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center is currently working on. 

In March 2015, Jenna joined the faculty at UT Southwestern as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology. She received the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member award, CPRIT High Impact/ High Risk Research Award, and recently the 2017 Distinguished Researcher Award. Jenna is a member of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Jewell lab focuses on how cells sense nutrients to control cell growth and metabolism, and how these processes are altered in human disease.