Ana Valencia, PhD


  • Research Assistant Professor, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Complete list of published work.

Ana Patricia Valencia earned her BSc in Dietetics and PhD in Kinesiology (specialized in Exercise Physiology) at the University of Maryland in 2010 and 2017, respectively. She then came to the University of Washington for a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. David Marcinek. There, she investigated the impact of nutritional stressors on mitochondrial metabolism in the contexts of age-related muscle dysfunction and obesity. She joined the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition as a Research Assistant Professor in 2023.

Research Interests

Dr. Valencia’s laboratory is dedicated to understanding how mitochondrial metabolism mediates the effects of nutritional and energetic stressors on cardiometabolic health in aging and obesity.  Her research program spans translational and basic science to address the role of mitochondria in metabolic disease by testing samples from obesity-related clinical studies and exploring mechanisms using controlled animal studies.

How can this research help people with diabetes?

Nutritional stressors, such as overeating or undereating, can affect our chances of developing metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. We aim to explore how mitochondria – the organelle responsible for breaking down food to make energy – respond and adapt to different nutritional stressors, which could either increase or decrease the risk of developing such diseases.