Deborah Muoio, PhD Awarded Duke School of Medicine Distinguished Professorship

DMPI faculty member Deb Muoio has been named the George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Disease. Distinguished professorships are awarded to faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary scholarship in advancing science and improving human health. They are the highest honor that Duke bestows on its faculty members.

Projects in Dr Muoio’s lab focus on delineating and understanding metabolic networks that maintain mitochondrial integrity and energy stability in cardiac and skeletal muscles. To this end, the laboratory has developed a sophisticated new platform for deep and comprehensive phenotyping of mitochondrial respiratory function and energy transduction. By combining this platform with powerful molecular profiling tools resident within the DMPI, the lab is uncovering new insights into mechanisms by which mitochondria modulate insulin action and cardiometabolic health. Recent studies have revealed a heretofore unrecognized vulnerability in the fat oxidation pathway that links heart failure to a metabolic bottleneck that can compromise mitochondrial bioenergetics. Ongoing work seeks to determine the specific causes and consequences of the bottleneck, and the role of ketones as an alternative fuel that can bypass and/or modulate the bottleneck to improve mitochondrial resilience. These studies are underway using mouse models and primary human myocytes harboring genetically-engineered manipulations in mitochondrial carbon trafficking.

Congratulations Deb on receiving this most well deserved and prestigious award! We celebrate your past accomplishments and look forward to many more.