Val Andrew Fajardo, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: WC 291A
905 688 5550 x4957

My research interests lies on finding novel ways to promote skeletal muscle health to combat the deleterious effects of aging and diseases such as muscular dystrophy, obesity, and diabetes. Our current research focuses on targeting glycogen synthase kinase 3 with low-dose dietary lithium supplementation and calmodulin regulatory proteins like neurogranin to augment calcineurin signalling in muscle and to enhance muscle performance, muscle repair, and muscle metabolism. We are also investigating whether targeting these proteins and pathways along with regular exercise can produce synergistic beneficial effects

  • Calcium regulation in muscle
  • Regulation of muscle mass (ie. atrophy and hypertrophy), metabolism, and fatigue
  • Dietary and exercise interventions for muscle aging and disease
  • Lithium and sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) pump function
  • Obesity and diabetes

Fajardo, V. A., Mikhaeil, J.S., Leveille, C.F., Tupling A.R., LeBlanc, P.J..  Elevated whole muscle phosphatidylcholine:phosphatidylethanolamine ratio coincides with reduced SERCA activity in the functionally overloaded plantaris. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2018, 17(1):47. doi: 10.1186/s12944-018-0687-7.

 Fajardo, V. A.* Fajardo, V. (twin brother), LeBlanc, P.J., MacPherson R.E.K.  Examining the relationship between trace lithium in drinking water and the rising rates of age-adjusted Alzheimer’s mortality in Texas. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2018, 61(1):425-434.

Fajardo, V.A.*, LeBlanc, P.J., Fajardo, V. Assessing the life-prolonging effect of trace lithium in Texas drinking water. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism. 2018, 43(4):412-414.

 Dufresne, S.S., Boulanger-Piette, A., Bosse, S., Argaw, A., Hamoudi, D., Habboutt, K., Marcadet, L., Gamu, D., Fajardo, V.A., Yagita, H., Penninger, J.M., Tupling, A.R., Frenette, J.  OPG-Fc mitigates muscular dystrophy through a mechanism that is largely independent of RANKL and TRAIL pathways.  Submitted to Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2018, 6(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s40478-018-0533-1.

Bradley R.M., Bloemberg, D., Aristizabal Henao J.J., Mitchell A.S., Fajardo, V.A., Bellissimo, C., Mardian E.B., Bombardier E., Pare, M.F., Moes, K.A., Stark K.D., Tupling A.R., Quadrilatero J., Duncan R.E.  Lpaatδ/Agpat4 deficiency impairs maximal force contractility in soleus and alters fibre type in extensor digitorum longus muscle. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Cell Research. 2018, 1863(7):700-711. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2018.04.001.

Baranowski, B., Hayward, G., Fajardo, V.A., MacPherson, R.E.K. Increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rural Texas counties may explain greater Alzheimer’s risk.   Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2018, in press.

 Fajardo, V.A., Rietze, B.A., Chambers, P.J., Bombardier, E., Quadrilatero, J., Tupling, A.R.  Effects of sarcolipin deletion on skeletal muscle adaptive responses to functional overload and unload.  American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology. 2017 313(2):C154-C161.

Fajardo, V.A., Mikhaeil, J., Leveille, C.F., Saint, C., LeBlanc, P.J.  Cardiolipin content, linoleic acid composition, and tafazzin expression in response to skeletal muscle overload and unload stimuli.  Scientific Reports. 2017, 7(1):2060.

Fajardo, V.A., Gamu, D., Mitchell, A., Bloemberg, D., Bombardier, E. Chambers, P.J., Bellissimo, C., Quadrilatero, J., Tupling, A.R.  Sarcolipin deletion exacerbates soleus muscle atrophy and weakness in phospholamban overexpressing mice.  PLoS One, 2017. 12(3):e0173708.

Fajardo, V.A., Trojanowski, N., Miotto, P.M., Castelli, L.M., Amoye, F., Ward, W.W., Tupling, A.R., LeBlanc, P.J. Saturation of SERCA’s lipid annulus may protect against its thermal inactivation. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2017. 484(2):456-460. 

Gamu, D., Trinh, A., Fajardo, V.A., Bombardier, E., Tupling, A.R. Basal and adaptive levels of sarcolipin do not impact mitochondrial enzymatic response to physical activity or dietary perturbation.  Journal of Applied Physiology, 2017. Jap00833.2016

Bott, K.N., Gittings, W., Fajardo, V.A., Baranowski, B., Vandenboom, R., LeBlanc, P.J., Ward, W.E., Peters, S.J. Musculoskeletal health in response to the combined effect of an obesogenic diet and age in male C57BL/6J mice. Mol. Nutr. Food Res, 2017. 61(10)  doi: 10.1002/mnfr.20170013.

Mikhaeil, J., Sacco, S., Saint, C., Gittings, W., Bunda, J., Giles, C., Fajardo, V.A., Vandenboom, R., Ward, W.E., LeBlanc, P.J.  Influence of longitudinal radiation exposure from micro-computed tomography on muscle mass, function, and metabolic activity in mouse skeletal muscle. Physiological Reports, 2017. e13338.

Leveille, C.F., Mihkaeil, J., Turner, K. Silvera, S., Wilkinson, J., Fajardo, V.A*.  Mitochondrial cristae density: a dynamic entity that is critical for energy production and metabolicFajard power in skeletal muscle, Journal of Physiology, 2017. 595(9):2779-2780.

Paré M.F., Baechler, B.L., Fajardo, V.A., Earl, E., Wong, E., Campbell, T.L., Tupling, A.R., Quadrilatero, J. Effect of acute and chronic autophagy deficiency on skeletal muscle apoptotic signaling, morphology, and function. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Cell Research, 2016. 1864(4):708-718.

Fajardo, V.A., Smith, I.C., Bombardier, E.B., Chambers, P.J., Quadrilatero, J., Tupling, A.R.  Diaphragm assessment in mice overexpressing phospholamban in slow-twitch type I muscle fibres. Brain and Behavior, 2016. 6(6):e010470.

Dufresne, S.S., Dumont, N.A., Boulanger-Piette, A., Fajardo, V.A., Gamu, D., Kake-Guena, S.A., David, R.O., Bouchard, P., Lavergne, E., Tupling, A.R., Penninger, J.M., Pape, P.C., Frenette, J. Muscle RANK is a key regulator of calcium storage, SERCA activity, and function of fast-twitch skeletal muscles. American J Physiol Cell Physiology, 2016. 310(8):C663-72.

Fajardo, V.A., Bombardier, E.B., McMillan, E., Tran K., Wadsworth, B.J., Gamu, D., Hopf, A., Vigna, C., Smith, I.C., Bellissimo, C., Michel, R.N., Tarnopolsky, M.A., Quadrilatero, J., Tupling, A.R.  Phospholamban overexpression in mice causes a centronuclear myopathy-like phenotype. Disease Models and Mechanisms, 2015. 8:999-1009.

Fajardo, V.A., Bombardier, E.B., Tran K., Metherel, A.H., Irvine, T., Holloway, G.P., Green, H.J., Stark, K.D., Tupling A.R.  Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Phospholipid Fatty Acid Composition and Sarcolipin Content in Rat Skeletal Muscle. The Journal of Membrane Biology, 2015. 248(6):1089-96.

Fajardo, V.A., Bombardier, E.B., Irvine, T., Metherel, A.H., Stark, K.D., Duhamel, T.E., Rush, J.W.E., Green, H.J., Tupling, A.R. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid supplementation reduces SERCA Ca2+ transport efficiency in rat skeletal muscle. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2015. 187:56-61.

Fajardo, V.A., McMeekin L., Saint C., LeBlanc, P.J. Cardiolipin linoleic acid content and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase activity are associated in rat skeletal muscle. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2015. 187:50-55.

Gamu D., Bombardier E., Smith, I.C., Fajardo, V.A., Tupling A.R. Sarcolipin provides a novel muscle-based mechanism for adaptive thermogenesis. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 2014. 42(3):136-42.

 Fajardo, V.A., Bombardier E, Vigna C., Devji T., Bloemberg D., Gamu D., Gramolini A.O., Quadrilatero J., Tupling A.R. Co-expression of SERCA Isoforms, Phospholamban and Sarcolipin in Human Skeletal Muscle Fibers. PLoS One, 2013. 8(12):e84304. Top 25% most cited in PLoS One.

Bombardier E., Smith, I.C., Gamu D., Fajardo, V.A., Vigna C., Sayer A.R., Gupta S.C., Bal N.C., Periasamy M., Tupling A.R. Sarcolipin Trumps β-Adrenergic Receptor Signaling as the Favored Mechanism for Muscle-Based Diet-Induced Thermogenesis. FASEB J, 2013. (9):3871-8.

Bombardier, E., Smith, I.C., Vigna, C. Fajardo, V.A., Tupling, A.R. Ablation of sarcolipin increases the energy requirements for Ca2+ transport by sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPases in resting skeletal muscle. FEBS Letters, 2013. 587(11):1687-1692.

Fajardo, V.A., McMeekin L., Basic A., Lamb G.D., Murphy R.M., LeBlanc P.J. Isolation of sarcolemmal plasma membranes by mechanically skinning rat skeletal muscle fibers for phospholipid analysis. Lipids, 2013. 48(4):421-30.

  • Muscle Physiology and Exercise Metabolism
  • Regulation of Human Metabolism