Joanna Śliwowska, Professor

Head of the Laboratory

Phone: + 48 61-848-78-66

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6981-9653
Research gate
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Pub Med.

Scientific interests

The brain is a fascinating organ, which structure and functions we study in our laboratory.   One of the extraordinary features of the brain is neuroplasticity, which is the main area of our research. It is the ability of the brain to change in response to environmental stimuli. It allows the organism to change, adapt, repair itself, and learn.

Research conducted at the Laboratory of Neurobiology is looking for answers to the following questions:

  • How does the brain control the processes of sexual maturation?
  • How do abnormal environmental conditions, such as unhealthy diet contributing to the development of the obesity epidemic, affect the brain and interfere with reproductive processes?
  • What are the neurobiological principles of different functions of female and male brains?


  • Brain and behaviour (Neurobiology, Biology, Animal Science)
  • Neuroecology (Neurobiology, Biology)
  • Neurobiology of mental disorders and addiction (Neurobiology)
  • Principles of neurobiology for veterinary students (Veterinary Medicine)
  • Biology – a review in the English language (Biology)
  • Laboratory animals (Neurobiology, Biology)
  • Seminars for MSc and PhD students (Biology, Neurosciene)

Potential Master’s topics

  • „Effects of oxytocin on kisspeptin and its receptor expression in the hypothalamus in rats with diabetes type 2”.
  • „Effects of maternal cafeteria diet on metabolic status and reproductive functions in offspring”.

We (in collaboration with three other universities) have a Master Program in Neuroscience




2020 – Professor Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland

2017 – Associate Professor Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland

2012 – Habilitation: “Environmental factors and neuroplasticity of rat and sheep brains”.

Department of Biology, Gdansk University, Poland (with honours)

2010 – 2016 – Assistant Professor Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland

2005 – 2010 – Research Associate Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the British Columbia; Canada

2004 – 2005 – Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the British Columbia; Canada

2001 – 2004 – Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA

1996 – 2001 – PhD in Animal Physiology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland


  • 2020 – 2023 – PRELUDIUM Grant (NCN), “Effect of maternal cafeteria diet on metabolic and reproductive functions of rat offspring: in search of a mechanism”. (Principal Investigator Julia Matuszewska, MSc; scientific supervisor prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska)
  • 2019-2021 – PRELUDIUM grant (National Center of Science, NCN), Poland “Oxytocin and kisspeptin interactions and functions in female rats with induced diabetes type 2.” (Principal Investigator: Kamil Ziarniak, MSc; scientific supervisor: prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska)
  • 2018-2021 Mobility grant (Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences) “Neuroendocrine circuits governing natural food reward and reproduction: Basic studies and therapeutic implications”. (Principal Investigator in Poland – prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska)
  • 2015 – 2017 – Mobility Grant (Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences) „Oxytocin as a potential anti-obesity hormone: Towards a better understaning the mechanism of its action in the brain”(prof. Joanna H. Śliwowska – Principal Investigator in Poland).
  • 2016-2020 – National Center of Science (NCN) OPUS grant, Poland “KNDy neurons and reproductive dysfunctions in female rats with experimentally induced obesity and diabetes type 2” (Principal Investigator – prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska)
  • 2017-2019 POLONIUM Grant (France – Poland) „Kisspeptin – a peptide that link metabolic and reproductive functions” (Principal investigator in Poland – prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska)
  • 2011 – 2015 Grant National Center of Science (NCN) OPUS grant, Poland “Characteristics of KISS-1/GPR54 system, a key regulator of reproductive processes inrats with experimentally induced obesity and diabetes type 1 and 2” (Principal Investigator – prof. Joanna H. Sliwowska


Books and chapters

  • Śliwowska J.H. (2019) Role of obesity and alcohol on metabolic and hormonal status and the hippocampal neurogenesis. W: Monografia naukowa -Psychika a Dietetyka – nierozerwalne połączenie- najnowsze doniesienia; pod redakcją J. Fichny i M. Sienkiewicza Wydawnictwo eletive Łódź
  • Ferro, V. A., Sliwowska J. H., Al-Qaraghuli, M., & Alsaadi, M. (2018). Methods of Sterilization and Contraception in Mammals. In M. K. Skinner (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Reproduction. vol. 6, pp. 802–811. Academic Press: Elsevier. Amsterdam
  • Śliwowska J. H. (2010) Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and its Effects on Hippocampal Anatomy and Function, p.  1-85. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, NY, USA
  • Sliwowska J.H. (2010) Long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on hippocampal anatomy and function. In: Hippocampus: Anatomy, Functions and Neurobiology. Eds. A. Gärtner and D. Franz. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, NY, USA
  • Uban K.A., Bodnar T., Butts K., Sliwowska J.H., Comeau W., Weinberg J. (2010) Direct and indirect mechanisms of alcohol teratogenesis; implications for understanding alterations in brain and behaviour fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) In: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Management and Policy Perspectives of FASD. Eds. E. P. Riley, S. Clarren, J. Weinberg, E. Jonsson. Wiley/Blackwell. Germany
  • Sliwowska J.H., Zhang X., Weinberg J. (2006) Prenatal ethanol exposure and fetal programming: implications for endocrine and immune development and long-term health. In: Brain development. Normal Processes and Effects of Alcohol and Nicotine. Ed. M.W. Miller, p. 153-181. Oxford University Press, New York, USA

Since 2015

  • Ziarniak K, Kołodziejski PA, Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E, Dudek M, Kalló I, Sliwowska JH. (2020) Effects of Ovariectomy and Sex Hormone Replacement on Numbers of Kisspeptin-, Neurokinin B- and Dynorphin A-immunoreactive Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus in Obese and Diabetic Rats. Neuroscience. 2020 Dec 15;451:184-196. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.10.003. Epub 2020 Oct 14.
  • Matuszewska J, Ziarniak K, Dudek M, Kołodziejski P, Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E, Śliwowska JH. (2020) Effects of short-term exposure to high-fat diet on histology of male and female gonads in rats. Acta Histochem. Jul;122(5):151558. doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2020.151558. Epub 2020 May 20.
  • Dudek M, Ziarniak K, Cateau ML, Dufourny L, Sliwowska JH. (2019) Diabetes Type 2 and Kisspeptin: Central and Peripheral Sex-Specific Actions. Trends Endocrinol Metab 30(11):833-843.
  • Sliwowska JH, Ziarniak K, Dudek M, Matuszewska J, Tena-Sempere M. (2019) Dangerous liaisons for pubertal maturation: The impact of alcohol consumption and obesity on the timing of puberty. Biology of Reproduction 1;100(1):25-40 .
  • Ziarniak K, Kołodziejski PA, Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E, Kallό I, Śliwowska JH. (2018) High-fat diet and type 2 diabetes induced disruption of the oestrous cycle and alteration of hormonal profiles, but did not affect subpopulations of KNDy neurones in female rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 30(11):e12651.
  • Bardóczi Z, Wilheim T, Skrapits K, Hrabovszky E, Rácz G, Matolcsy A, Liposits Z, Sliwowska JH, Dobolyi Á, Kalló I. (2018) GnRH Neurons Provide Direct Input to Hypothalamic Tyrosine Hydroxylase Immunoreactive Neurons Which Is Maintained During Lactation. Frontiers in Endocrinology (Lausanne).Nov 22;9:685.
  • Dudek M., Ziarniak K. and Sliwowska JH. (2018) Kisspeptin and metabolism: The brain and beyond. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology Apr 16;9:145
  • Dufourny L, Delmas O, Teixeira-Gomes AP, Decourt C, Sliwowska JH.(2018) Neuroanatomical connections between kisspeptin neurones and somatostatin neurones in female and male rat hypothalamus: a possible involvement of SSTR1 in kisspeptin release. Journal of Neuroendocrinology Mar 15:e12593. doi: 10.1111/jne.12593.
  • Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E., Kołodziejski P. A., Sassek M., Sliwowska J.H. (2017) Kisspeptin-10 inhibits proliferation and regulates lipolysis and lipogenesis processes in 3T3-L1 cells and isolated rat adipocytes. Endocrine 56(1):54-64
  • Dudek M, Kołodziejski PA, Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E, Ziarniak K, Sliwowska JH. (2017) Effects of orchidectomy and testosterone replacement on numbers of kisspeptin-, neurokinin B-, and dynorphin A-immunoreactive neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus in obese and diabetic rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 29(2).
  • Sliwowska JH, Comeau WL, Bodnar TS, Ellis L, Weinberg J. (2016) Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Pair Feeding Differentially Impact Puberty and Reproductive Development in Female Rats: Role of the Kisspeptin System. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 40(11):2368-2376.
  • Dudek M, Kołodziejski PA, Pruszyńska-Oszmałek E, Sassek M, Ziarniak K, Nowak KW, Sliwowska JH. (2016) Effects of high-fat diet-induced obesity and diabetes on Kiss1 and GPR54 expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and peripheral organs (fat, pancreas and liver) in male rats. 56:41-9.
  • Gawałek M., Sliwowska J.H. (2015) Neuronal basis of reproductive dysfunctions associated with diet and alcohol: From the womb to adulthood. Reproductive Biology 15(2):69-78.
  • Sliwowska JH, Bodnar T, Weinberg J. (2014) Prenatal alcohol exposure alters response of kisspeptin-ir neurons to estradiol and progesterone in adult female rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 38(11):2780-9.
  • Sliwowska JH, Fergani C, Gawałek M, Skowronska B, Fichna P, Lehman MN. (2014) Insulin: its role in the central control of reproduction. Physiol Behav. 22;133:197-206.


Other publications

  • Śliwowska J.H. Uwaga! Nastolatek dojrzewa. Charaktery 1/2020
  • Śliwowska J.H. W zdrowym ciele zdrowy DUCH. Charaktery 9/2020
  • Śliwowska J.H. Kiedy życie jest słodkie i toczy się na kanapie, czyli jak powstaje i do czego prowadzi otyłość. Biologia w szkole 27/ 2018
  • Sliwowska J.H. Konik morski w mózgu, czyli o budowie i funkcjach hipokampa. Biologia w szkole 6/ 2017
  • Sliwowska J.H. Nie wszystko musi zależeć od genów. Jak czynniki środowiskowe mogą zmieniać nasz mózg i nasze zachowanie. Biologia w Szkole 1/2017
  • Gawałek M., Sliwowska J.H. Kisspeptyna: czy dojrzewanie płciowe rozpoczyna się w mózgu wraz z pierwszym pocałunkiem? Biologia w Szkole 3/2015