Joshua C. Drake has been named an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech  Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise.

He is one of a number of new faculty members hired in the 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 Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Drake’s research focuses on how aging impairs the cellular mechanisms responsible for keeping the cell’s major energy producer, called mitochondria, healthy. This is known as mitochondrial quality control. Most of his efforts are focused on myofibers, the major cell type that makes up skeletal muscle and heart. His lab investigates the role these mechanisms play in the loss of skeletal muscle with age, called sarcopenia, and the development of other age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease, and others. The lab also investigates how mitochondrial quality control can be manipulated through exercise and/or dietary intervention to promote healthy aging.

Drake received his bachelor of science and his master of science from West Virginia University in exercise physiology and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in human bioenergetics.