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Junco Warren, PhD

Assistant Professor
  • Graduate Program Faculty
Junco Warren
4 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA 24016

How and why the heart fails

Can cardiac diseases be managed for longer, greater health?

The research interests of Junco Warren, Ph.D, are centered around metabolic reprogramming in heart failure. The heart undergoes metabolic remodeling under pathological stress, such as a high blood pressure or loss of heart muscle due to myocardial infarction. She is particularly fascinated by the switch from compensated to the decompensated stage during this progressive disease. The heart can cope with the situation for a longer or shorter time, and then it just can’t. The conceptual mechanisms of this pivotal event remain largely unknown. Dr. Warren is propelled by the idea that the key for real-life management of cardiac diseases lies in understanding what constitutes the compensatory mechanisms and why they eventually fail.

Dr. Warren's complete biography page

  • Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute of Resource Developmental and Analysis, Kumamoto University, Japan
  • NIH Research Project Grant Program, 2020
  • Harold. S. Geneen Charitable Trust Award for Coronary Heart Disease Research, 2018
  • University of Utah Research Incentive Seed Grant Program Award, 2018
  • Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award, American Heart Association, 2016
  • Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Minority Travel Grant/Award, American Heart Association, 2011
  • F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 2010
  • The Max Schalach Research Fellowship Award in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, Heart Rhythm Society, 2008
  • Young Investigator Award, Upstate New York Cardiac Electrophysiology Society Meeting, 2005
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical Center: Ph.D., Cardiovascular Biomedical Science/Pharmacology
  • Simmons College, Nutritional Biochemistry, Boston, Mass.
  • Aoyama Gakuin University: B.A., International Economics, Tokyo

“A healthy heart has an amazing capability to balance energy demand with energy supply. But in the failing heart, the balance is broken. Though the body can get any amount of fuel it wants, the heart starves. The problem lies in the orchestration of the proper rhythm and tone of fuel delivery and burning. Did the conductor get the wrong score? Did the first violin play a false note?  And who is the conductor in the first place? In my research, I am driven to find how to tune-up metabolic genes, regulatory molecules, and enzymes in the failing heart to make the music beautiful again – and give us a chance to live longer."