Garilyn Jentarra, Ph.D.

Program Director, Precision Medicine
Glendale, AZ

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Dr. Jentarra received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2004. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona in 2010 and continued there as a Research Associate studying Rett syndrome and other neurogenetic disorders until 2012. She began her teaching career at Midwestern University in 2012 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. She was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2017. Her research at Midwestern has primarily been focused on Alzheimer's disease and the role of microbes in it's development. In 2019, she became the Program Director for the new Precision Medicine Program in the College of Graduate Studies and guided it's development and successful launch in June 2021.  

Program Director, Precision Medicine

Glendale, AZ

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Arizona College of Optometry
College of Dental Medicine-Arizona
College of Graduate Studies - AZ
College of Health Sciences - AZ
College of Pharmacy
Glendale Campus

Precision Medicine

Dental Medicine
Master of Science in Precision Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Podiatric Medicine
Post-Graduate Certificate in Precision Medicine

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Arizona State University | 2004 | Ph.D.

Courses Taught

Dr. Jentarra currently teaches or directs genetics/genomics courses in the Precision Medicine Program. These courses are taught to both Master of Science and Post-Graduate Certificate dual degree students.

PMMSG/PMGCG 501 Introduction to Genetics and Genomics

PMMSG/PMGCG 502 Genetics of Monogenic and Complex Diseases

PMMSG/PMGCG 603 Microbial Genetics, Infectious Diseases, and the Human Microbiome

PMMSG/PMGCG 801 Application of Precision Medicine to Inflammatory and Autoimmune Disease

PMMSG/PMGCG 809 Understanding and Interpreting Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing


Alzheimer's disease is associated with many immunological and inflammatory processes that occur in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amyloid beta, aggregation of which is a key marker of Alzheimer's disease, has been found to have very strong activity as an anti-microbial peptide. My research has been focused on exploring the role that microbes in the body play may play in the development of the patholgy of AD. Using 16s rRNA gene sequencing, we have found many bacterial gene sequences in brain tissue from both AD patients and normal controls, suggesting that the presence of bacteria in the brain is not unusual and perhaps implying that the molecules such as amyloid beta serve to restrict their growth. We have also found bacterial lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid present at high levels in brain tissue, which supports the finding of bacterial genetic sequences in the brain. Our work in AD mouse models has shown that there are dramatic differnces in the gut microbial populations of mice engineered to express gene alleles associated with development of AD pathology. This suggests that the gene alleles associated with AD may substantially influence microbial populations in the body. 


Jasbi P, Shi X, Chu P, Elliott N, Hudson H, Jones D, Serrano G, Chow B, Beach T, Liu  L, Jentarra G*, Gu H*. *Corresponding Authors. Metabolic Profiling of Neocortical Tissue Discriminates Alzheimer's Disease from Mild Cognitive Impairment, High Pathology Controls, and Normal Controls. Journal of Proteome Research 2021, Sep 3; 20(9): 4303-4317.

Kaufman JA, Castro MJ, Ruiz SA, Jentarra, GM, Chavira B, Rodriguez-Sosa JR. Clearing, immunofluorescence, and confocal microscopy for the three-dimensional imaging of murine testes and study of testis biology. Journal of Structural Biology 2020, Mar 1;209(3):107449.

Perkins M, Wolf AB, Chavira B, Shonebarger D, Meckel JP, Leung L, Ballina L, Ly S, Saini A, Jones TB, Vallejo J, Jentarra G, Valla J. Altered energy metabolism pathways in the posterior cingulate in young adult apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 2016, 53(1).

Lu-Yao Ma, Chen Wu, Yu Jin, Ming Gao, Guo-Hui Li, Dharshaun Turner, Jian-Xin Shen, Shi-Jiang Zhang, Vinodh Narayanan, *Garilyn Jentarra, *Jie Wu. *Corresponding Authors. Electrophysiological Phenotypes of MeCP2 A140V Mutant Mouse Model. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 2014, 20(5):385-482.

Garilyn M Jentarra, Stephen Gabe Rice, Shannon Olfers, Chris Rajan, David Saffen and Vinodh Narayanan. Skewed allele-specific expression of the NF1 gene: A possible mechanism for phenotypic variability in NF1. Journal of Child Neurology 2012, 27(6) 695-702.

Garilyn M. Jentarra, Stephen G. Rice, Shannon Olfers, David Saffen and Vinodh Narayanan. Evidence for population variation in TSC1 and TSC2 gene expression. BMC Medical Genetics 2011, 12:29.

Garilyn M. Jentarra, Shannon L. Olfers, Stephen G. Rice, Nishit Srivastava, Gregg E. Homanics, Mary Blue, Sakkubai Naidu, and Vinodh Narayanan. Abnormalities of cell packing density and dendritic complexity in the MeCP2 A140V mouse model of Rett syndrome/X-linked mental retardation. Designated “Highly Accessed” in BMC Neuroscience 2010, 11(1):19).

Vijaysri S, Jentarra GM, Heck MC, Garvey K, Mercer AA, McInnes CJ, Jacobs BL. Vaccinia viruses with mutations in the E3L gene as potential replication-competent, attenuated vaccines: intra-nasal vaccination.  Vaccine 2008, 26(5):664-76.

Jentarra GM, Heck MC, Youn JW, Kibler K, Langland JO, Baskin CR, Ananieva O, Chang Y, Jacobs BL.  Vaccinia viruses with mutations in the E3L gene as potential replication-competent, attenuated vaccines: scarification vaccination.  Vaccine 2008, 26(23):2860-72.

Jentarra GM, Snyder SL, Narayanan V. Genetic Aspects of Neurocutaneous Disorders. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 2006, 13:43-47.

Brandt T, Heck MC, Vijaysri S, Jentarra GM, Cameron JM, Jacobs BL. The N-terminal domain of the vaccinia virus E3L-protein is required for neurovirulence, but not induction of a protective immune response. Virology 2005, 333(2):263-70.


Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART

Society for Neuroscience (SFN)

American Society for Virology (ASV)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


NIH R21, AG072561-01, National Institutes of Aging

Gu (PI) and Jentarra (Co-PI)                                                                                                                                      05/01/21-03/31/23

Targeting Whole-body Fatty Acid Metabolism in Alzheimer’s Disease, with Special Interest in Lauric Acid


Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium through the Midwestern University Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee (MAAC)  

Jentarra (PI) + 6 Co-investigators                                                                                                                               07/01/20-06/30/21     

Exploring intestinal microbiota dysbiosis in transgenic Alzheimer’s disease mouse models