Joshua Drake, assistant professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise, is one of a number of new faculty members recently hired in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences this academic year. New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and the economy. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Drake’s research focuses on the relationships between mitochondria health, which are considered cell powerhouses, and the capacity for healthy aging. He is particularly interested in how damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria are targeted for degradation and how these processes may be negatively impacted by aging and age-related disease. Drake also studies how interventions such as regular exercise promotes healthy aging through stimulating mitochondrial health.

Drake received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology from West Virginia University and his doctorate in human bioenergetics from Colorado State University. He recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular physiology with the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine.