University Profiles

Annette Kirchgessner

Annette Kirchgessner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration


I specialize in Functional Human Anatomy and teach a cadaver-based course.  My research focuses on enteric neurobiology.

I have been teaching a cadaver-based course in Functional Human Gross Anatomy at Seton Hall University since 2011. Prior to joining Seton Hall, I taught Gross Anatomy at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the American University of the Caribbean Medical School in St. Maarten.


In addition to my teaching duties, I have led a productive and well funded (NIH, American Diabetes Association) research lab in enteric neurobiology which has resulted in over 50 publications in internationally-renowned peer-reviewed journals.


The neurocircuitry of the enteric nervous system (ENS), or intrinsic nervous system of the bowel, controls how the gut reacts to an ingested meal, and regulates the processes of digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination. During inflammation, such as that which occurs in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), various features of gut function, including motility, secretion and sensitivity are altered. As the ENS regulates all of these functions, it is not surprising that inflammation affects enteric neurons and neurodegeneration occurs in IBD. Loss of enteric neurons also occurs in aging and significantly contributes to the age-related increase in gut dysfunction. For example, more than 30% of people over 65-years of age suffer from motility-related disorders. Nevertheless, the ENS remains relatively unstudied in both normal aging and aging complicated by disease.


  • Ph.D., SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • M.A., CUNY Queens College
  • B.A., CUNY Hunter College

Academic Distinctions

  • Anton J. Carlson Award for Basic Research in Gastroenterology (1995)

Office Phone
(973) 313-6185


Office Location
Room 36
Alfieri Hall


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