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Elisa M. Konieczko

  • Professor
    Biology Department

I am a second generation American of Italian and Polish descent. I was raised in Erie, PA but lived in several East Coast cities while completing my dissertation and postdoctoral fellowships. I returned to Erie as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Gannon University and am now a full Professor of Biology. Although I have taught a variety of courses at Gannon University, my primary teaching responsibilities often include Animal Form and Function, Anatomy and Physiology, cadaver based Human Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Cell Biology. My research is conducted in collaboration with local physicians and researchers. Gannon University undergraduate students work in my research lab on these collaborative projects. I am also interested in pedological research on methods to improve teaching at the university level.

In my spare time, I like cooking, making jewelry, crocheting, and reading/watching science fiction.I met my husband, Chet LaPrice, at a Gannon University Christmas party. He is the Operations Manager at Gannon University's radio station, WERG 90.5. Together, we like to travel, cross country ski, bike ride, and attend local and national baseball games.

 National Grants

Palumbo Trust Foundation Grant, requested $54,000 for a Revolve Microscope. other faculty author: Quyen Aoh. September 2018. Funded in part, for $25,000

Faculty Advisor and research lab mentor, Gannon University subaward, in collaboration with Penn State Behrend,  from the National  Aeronautic and Space Association/Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. Other faculty advisors: Wookwon Lee, H.Rick Diz, Hwidong Kim, Steve Frezza, Lin Zhao, and Qing Zheng, January 2014-December 2015, $20,000.

Co-PI, National Science Foundation Award HRD-1107015, Advance Grant, TRANSFORM:Teaching Research Advancement Network to Secure Female Faculty for Organizational Retention and Management.  Melanie L. Hatch, PI; other Co-PIs: Karinna M. Vernaza,Theresa M. Vitolo, Weslene T. Tallmadge, September 1, 2011-August 31, 2016,$385,919.

Palumbo Trust Foundation Grant The Palumbo Trust Foundation request for $100,000 in Molecular Biology Equipment. Sarah Ewing, Elisa M. Konieczko. March 2012, funded in part, $25,000.

Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society and Sigma Xi National Student Grants

Recipient of BBB Biological National Honor Society Grant, with Alyson Fuller, Gannon biology Major, Fall, 1998, funded in full (~$300)

Recipient of BBB Biological National Honor Society Grant, with Scott Lindsay, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2000, funded in full (~$500)

Recipient of Sigma Xi, the Research Society Grant, with Scott Lindsay, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2000, funded in full ($1000)

Recipient of BBB Biological National Honor Society Grant, with Matt Ruston, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2009, funded in full ($850)

Recipient of BBB Biological National Honor Society Grant, with Morgan Thompson, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2014, funded in full ($1329)

Recipient of BBB Biological National Honor Society Grant, with Jessie Milliken, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2014, funded in full ($1159

Internal Grants at Gannon University

Recipient of Faculty Development Award, Fall 1998; Fall 2000; Fall 2002; Fall 2004; Fall 2006;   Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

Recipient of Faculty Research Award, Spring 1999, Spring 2001, Spring 2003, Spring 2005, Spring 2011, Spring 2016, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

Duratz Student Research Grants

Recipient of Duratz Undergraduate Student Research Grant, with Andrew Carmisino, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2004, funded in full

Recipient of Duratz Undergraduate Student Research Grant, with Kathryn Billig, Gannon biology Major, Spring 2008, partially funded

Recipient of Duratz Undergraduate Student Research Grant, with Koreen Morgan, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2010, funded in full

 Recipient of Duratz Undergraduate Student Research Grant, with Jennifer Connell, Gannon biology Major, Fall 2011, funded in full


Recipient of Gannon University's Distinguished Faculty Award,  2017

Recipient of Gannon University’s Student Government Association Teacher of the Month Award, November 2003

Recipient of Gannon University Undergraduate Research Award for excellence in mentoring undergraduate students in research, Spring 2007

Recipient of Gannon University’s Excellence in Advising Award for the Mororsky College of Health Professions and Sciences, Spring 2012

Recepient, with Dr. Catherine Mattinson, of the Best Electronic Poster Award at the 2016 Center for Teaching and Learning Expo, January 2016

  • Human Gross Anatomy (BIOL 365)
  • Human Gross Anatomy laboratory (BIOL 366)
  • Cell Biology (BIOL 375)
  • Cell Biology laboratory (BIOL 376)
  • HIstology (BIOL 320)
  • Histology (BIOL 321)
  • Mechanical and Biological Wonders of Panama [includes a Spring Break Trip to Panama] (ENG 201)
  • Special Topics in Biology (BIOL 492)
  • Animal Form and Function (BIOL 124)
  • Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL 108)
  • Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology I lab (BIOL 109)
  • Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 110)
  • Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology II lab (BIOL 111)
  • Gannon University, B.S. in Biology, 1984
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Ph.D., Thesis Title: The Interaction of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus with Baby Hamster Kidney Cells and Rat Embryo Fibroblasts,  Thesis Advisor: Christopher C. Widnell, Ph.D.;  Department of Neurobiology, Anatomy, and Cell Science; Research area: Cell Biology; 1992
  • Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of James D. Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D.
      March, 1992 - May, 1995
      Department of Cell Biology
      Yale School of Medicine
      333 Cedar Street
      New Haven, CT 06511
      Recipient of Anna Fuller Foundation Fellowship, 3/1992 to 3/1994


  • Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of James M. Crawford, M.D., Ph.D.
      July, 1995 - December, 1996
      Department of Pathology
      Brigham and Women's Hospital

      January, 1997- July, 1997
      Department of Pathology
      Yale School of Medicine


  • Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Gannon University, August 1997-July 2002

  • Associate Professor, Biology Department, Gannon University, August 2002-2011
      Tenured, May 2004
      Director of Gannon’s “3 + 4" LECOM Accelerated Osteopathic Medical Program
       August 1998- June 2006
      Director of Gannon’s University Scholars Program
       August 2000-2003
      Director of Gannon’s “4 + 4" LECOM Medical Program
       September 2002- June 2006
      Director of Gannon’s Pre-Pharmacy Programs
       July 2004- June 2009
      Coordinator of Undergraduate Research
       September 2006 – June 2011
      Director, Biotechnology Program
       July 2008- June 2010

  •  Professor, Biology Department, Gannon University, August 2011-

      Vice President, Faculty Senate, 2013-2014
      President, Faculty Senate, 2014-2015


  • Faculty Mentoring Coordinator, January 2017 - May n2020
  • American Society for Cell Biology; Education Committee, 2005-2012; Public Information Committee, 2013- 2017; Member, Honorific Awards Task Force, 2020 -
  • American Association of Anatomists, Public Policy Committee, 2005-2008, Anatomical Nomenclature Committee, 2012-2013

Lindley, L., Konieczko, E.M., Tallmadge, W., Lombard, E., and Vernaza K. 2019. Faculty Mentoring Expanded: Evaluation of the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices. The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching. 2, 516-518. Available to the public March 15, 2020.

DiSalle JN, Novak AL, Dalvi PS, Konieczko EM. A Teachable Moment: Identifying Hyperostosis Frontalis Interna in a Gross Anatomy Cadaver Laboratory. International Journal of Anatomical Variations. 2019;12(4): 40-44.

Anthony J Kanai, Elisa M Konieczko, Robert G Bennett, Simon G Royce. 2019. Relaxin and Fibrosis: Emerging Targets, Challenges, and Future Directions. Submitted to: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. Vol. 487, 1 May 2019, pp. 66-47.

Konieczko, E.M. and Mattinson, C.E. 2017. 80 Students, 5 Cadavers, and 2 Professors: Innovative Teaching Practices in an Undergraduate Human Gross Anatomy Course. Journal of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. HAPS Educator. Vol. 21 (2): 95-100.

Mattionson, C.E. and Konieczko, E.M. 2017. A Method for Maximixing Dissection Experience with a Minimal Number of Cadavers in an Undergraduate Human Gross Anatomy Laboratory Course. Journal of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. HAPS Educator. Vol. 21 (2): 43-48.

Konieczko, E.M. (Producer), Shaw, J. (Executive Producer), Weigert, R., (Director) and members of the Weigert Lab (Actors). (2016). Discovery Inside Living Cells in Multicellular   Organisms [Motion Picture]. United States of America: Celldance Studios 2016 Production;   

Konieczko, E.M.  2016."Sharing Expertise through the MALT Program." ASCB Newsletter, November/December 2016 Issue, Vol 39, Number 8, pgs. 15-16.

Vitolo, T. M., Vernaza, K. M., Lindley, L., Konieczko, E. M., Tallmadge, W., and Sasi, S. 2016. Making Changes: Application of an NSF-ADVANCE PAID Grant to a Predominately Undergraduate Institution (PUI). [PDF] [Powerpoint slides]. Proceedings of the ASEE 123rd Annual Conference & Exposition, June 26 – 29, New Orleans, LA. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).Peer Reviewed Publications:

Konieczko, E.M. "Education Minisymposium: Envisioning Educational Change in the Digital Age." 2014 Annual Meeting Highlights of the American Society for Cell Biology,  ASCB Newsletter, January-February 2015 Issue, pp. 14 - 15.

Elisa M. Konieczko and Catherine E. Mattinson. 2014-2016. Gannon University Human Gross Anatomy Lab Dissector. Gannon University Press (Erie, PA).

Vagula, Mary C. and Elisa M. Konieczko. 2012. “Lipid Peroxidation and Polybrominated Diphenyl  Ethers-A Toxicological Perspective.” Chapter 24 in Lipid Peroxidation. ISBN 980-953-143-0.  InTech (Rejeka, Croatia).

Karinna M. Vernaza and Elisa M. Konieczko. 2010. Better Learning through Collaboration and Assessment: Development of an Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Experience.  ASEE 2010 NC Sectional Conference Proceedings. Pittsburgh, PA, March 26-27, 2010., and via CD.

Konieczko, E.M. 2009. Hello Old Friend, My How You’ve Changed.  CBE Life Sciences Education. Vol. 8:167-168.

Cooney TE, Konieczko EM, Roach L, Poole B. Fate of Mu Receptors During Rat Skeletogenesis. Orthopedics 32(2):95, February 2009. (Full article available online at

Cooney TE, Schober JM, Lubahn JD, Konieczko EM.  Relaxin's involvement in extracellular matrix homeostasis: two diverse lines of evidence.  Ann NY Acad Sci 1160: 329-35, 2009.

Lubahn J, Ivance D, Konieczko E, Cooney T. Immunohistochemical detection of relaxin binding to the volar oblique ligament. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2006 Jan;31(1):80-4.

Sasi S., Konieczko, E.M., Contrafatto I., and J.D. Maloney. 2003. Modeling of Catheter-based Ablation of the left atrial-pulmonary vein junction in human hearts. Proceedings of the International Conference on Mathematics and Engineering Techniques in Medicine and Biological Sciences (METMBS’03), June 23-26, 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada, F. Valafar and H. Valafar, Eds., CSREA Press, pp. 417-423.

Galey S.,  Konieczko E.M., Arnold C.A., and Cooney T. 2003. Immunohistological detection of relaxin binding to anterior cruciate ligaments. Orthopedics. 26:1201-1204.

Galey S., Lubahn J., Ivance D., Konieczko E., Arnold C., and Cooney T. 2001. Immunohistochemical detection of relaxin binding to ligaments of the thumb and knee. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Relaxin and Related Peptides, October 22-27, 2000 in Broome, Australia.  Jeffrey Tregear, Richard Ivell, Ross A. Bathgate, and John D. Wade, Eds, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp. 421-424.

Konieczko, E.M., and J. M. Crawford. 1999. Tropic effects of taurocholate on the bile secretory phenotype of WIF-B hepatoma cells. FALK Symposium 108: Bile Acids and Cholestasis. G. Paumgartner, A. Stiehl, W. Gerok, D. Keppler, U. Leuschner, Eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp.166-171.

Konieczko, E.M., A.K. Ralston, A.C. Crawford, S.J. Karpen, and J.M. Crawford. 1998. Enhanced Na+-dependent bile salt uptake by WIF-B cells, a rat hepatoma hybrid cell line, following growth in the presence of a physiological bile salt. Hepatology, 27 (1):191-199.

Valentijn, J.A., D. Sengupta, F.D. Gumkowski, L.H. Tang, E.M. Konieczko, and J.D. Jamieson. 1996. Rab3D localizes to secretory granules in rat pancreatic acinar cells. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 70:33-41.

Konieczko, E.M., P.A. Whitaker-Dowling, and C.C. Widnell. 1994.  Membrane fusion as a determinant of the infectibility of cells by vesicular stomatitis virus. Virology. 199:200-211.

Jena, B.P., F.D. Gumkowski, E.M. Konieczko, G. Fischer von Mollard, R. Jahn, and J.D. Jamieson. 1994. Redistribution of a rab3-like GTP-binding protein from secretory granules to the Golgi complex in pancreatic acinar cells during regulated exocytosis.  J. Cell Biol. 124:43-53.  

Pasternak, C.A., J.E.J. Aiyathurai, V. Makinde, A. Davies, S.A. Baldwin, E.M. Konieczko, and C.C. Widnell. 1991. Regulation of glucose uptake by stressed cells. J. Cell Physiol. 149:324-331.

My research currently focuses on topics centered on teaching and learning for college students. In addition, I collaborate with other faculty at Gannon University, and with local physicians and scientists on cell and tissue culture projects, as well as microscopic analysis of cells and tissues. My research often includes Gannon University undergraduate students.



  • Habitat for Humanity, Erie, PA Affiliate; Family Partnership committee (2019- present) Family Selection Committee (2009- 2019) ; Chair, Family Selection Committee (2010 - 2013; 2015 - present); Board Member (2013 - 2019); Board Secretary (2015-2019)
  • Crime Victim Center, Erie PA, Board Member (2012-2015)

Relevant Service on Gannon University Committees

  • Biology Department Search Committees, usually as a member, sometimes as the chair
  • External Member of other Department Search Committees
  • Member, Science, Engineering and Health Professions College Dean Search Committee
  • Member, Morosky College Ranke and Tenure Committee
  • Co-Chair, Morosky College Dean Search Committee
  • Member, Provost Search Committee
  • Member, Biology Department Gustafson Power Scholarship Committee
  • Member, Biology Department Committee for the Departmental Position Statement
  • Member, Biology Department Kohlmiller Scholarship Committee
  • External Member, Physician Assistant ARC PA committee
  • Member, Honors Program Advisory Committee
  • Member, Honors Program Advisory Council
  • Member, Provost’s Program Assessment Working Group (PAWG) as part of the University’s revision to the Liberal Studies Core
  • Chair, Pre-Pharmacy Committee at Gannon University
  • Member, Pre-Professional Health Programs Advisory Committee
  • College of Science, Engineering and Health Professions Safety Committee, member and chair
  • College of Science, Engineering and Health Professions Academic Affairs Committee, member and chair
  • Member, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Grant committee
  • Coordinator, Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Celebration (later known as Celebrate Gannon), 2004 – 2012
  • Member, Faculty Senate, 2004-2007, Executive Committee member, 2007
  • Faculty Senate Vice President, 2013-2014
  • Faculty Senate President and voting member of the Gannon University Board of Trustees, 2014-2015
  • Chair, Faculty Mentoring Advisory Committee
  • Member of:
  • University Liberal Studies Committee
  • University Academic Affairs Committee
  • University Restructuring Committee
  • University Compensation Committee, (also chair)
  • University Rank and Tenure Committee
  • University Review Council
  • University Budget Advisory Committee
  • University Institutional Review Team
  • University Faculty Research Committee (also chair)
  • University Ruskin Campus Committee
  • University FERPA training committee
  • University E-Portfolio Conversion Committee
  • University Electronic Grade Reporting Committee
  • University Online Evaluation Committee
  • University Pre-tenure Review Committee, ex-officio


Elisa           M. Konieczko

+1 8148717651
Office: Z 202

Contact Elisa Konieczko