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Jessica Pfleger, Ph.D.

Jessica Pfleger, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jessica Pfleger, Ph.D.

“It’s critical to understand the complex nature of transcription in the heart. A detailed understanding of its molecular regulators and their genomic targets and interplay is necessary for the therapeutic targeting of gene expression.”


Probing the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease

Can a richer understanding of the biology of the heart lead to innovative new therapies? 

The main focus of Jessica Pfleger's research is to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of death in the nation and the world. Specifically, her focus is on the regulators of cardiomyocyte transcription that alter gene expression and contribute to cardiac pathology. Since the heart is one of the most energetically demanding organs with little capacity for substrate storage, its metabolic state serves as a crucial sensor of its health. Thus, Dr. Pfleger is interested in understanding the influence of metabolism on cardiac transcription and gene expression. Her objective is to understand the complexities of these biological processes for the design of novel therapeutics to combat cardiovascular disease.

  • Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science

Pfleger J*, Coleman RC, Ibetti J, Roy R, Kyriazis ID, Gao E, Drosatos K, Koch WJ*. Genomic Binding Patterns of Forkhead Box Protein O1 Reveal Its Unique Role in Cardiac Hypertrophy. Circulation. 2020 September 1;142:882-898. PMID: 32640834 
*Corresponding Author

Pfleger J*, Choi S*, Heui Jeon Y, Yang Z, He M, Shin H, Sayed D, Astrof S, Abdellatif M. Oxoglutarate dehydrogenase and acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 2 selectively associate with H2A.Z-occupied promoters and are required for histone modifications. Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2019 Oct;1862(10):194436. PMID: 31682939  
*Equal Contribution

Pfleger J, Gresham K, Koch WJ. G protein-coupled receptor kinases as therapeutic targets in the heart. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2019 Oct;16(10):612-622. doi: 10.1038/s41569-019-0220-3. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PMID: 31186538.

Temple University, Instructor, Center for Translational Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Temple University, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Walter Koch

  • Rutgers University, Ph.D., Cellular Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rutgers University - New Jersey Medical School
  • Syracuse University, B.S., Biology
  • American Heart Association- Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Science Research Prize for Early Career Investigators- Finalist, 2019
  • American Heart Association- Best of AHA Specialty Conferences Invitation, 2018
  • American Heart Association- BCVS- New Investigator Travel Award,2018
  • International Society for Heart Research- Best Poster Award, 2018
  • International Society for Heart Research- Early Career Investigator Travel Award, 2018
  • The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET): Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society- Invited Oral Presentation Award, 2017
  • Temple University Translation Science Symposium- Best Poster Award ,2017
  • Seahorse Bioscience Poster Travel Award- AHA Scientific Sessions, 2013
  • Research Achievement Award- Syracuse University, 2009
  • Academic Excellence Award- Syracuse University, 2009
  • Distinction in Biology- Syracuse University, 2009
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, 2009
  • Golden Key Honor Society, 2009
  • The National Scholars Honor Society, 2009
  • The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2006
  • Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, 2006