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Janina Vaitkus

Janina VaitkusEducation:

Education: University of Maryland in College Park, B.S. in Bioengineering (2013)
Hometown: Edgewater, MD
PhD Advisor: Francesco Celi, MD, MHSc
Graduate Program: CCTR/CaMM


Research Interests:

Janina's prior research at the University of Maryland, College Park was focused on biomechanical changes to the vascular endothelium in response to inflammation. In the Celi Lab here at VCU, Janina’s thesis work combines fat, cancer, and inflammation. She is investigating white adipose tissue browning and increased energy expenditure in the clinical context of cancer associated cachexia. By gaining a better understanding of the complex interplay between tumor and fat, and the mechanisms causing white adipose browning, the ultimate goal is to unveil new targets to help treat patients with cancer cachexia. 

Personal Bio:

Janina was born in raised in Edgewater, Maryland. Even though she misses a more readily-available supply of Maryland blue crabs, Janina loves Richmond and equally loves that she can call it 'home.' When she's not in class, lab, clinic, or teaching, you can find Janina spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends, training for triathlons, crafting and creating, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring all of the amazing restaurants and activities that Richmond continues to offer.


Vaitkus JA, Celi FS. The role of adipose tissue in cancer-associated cachexia. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2017;242(5):473-481.

Vaitkus, J.A., J.S. Farrar, and F.S. Celi, Thyroid Hormone Mediated Modulation of Energy Expenditure. Int J Mol Sci, 2015. 16(7): p. 16158-75.

Ni, B., J. S. Farrar, J. A. Vaitkus and F. S. Celi (2015). "Metabolic Effects of FGF-21: Thermoregulation and Beyond." Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 6: 148.

K.M. Stroka, J.A. Vaitkus, and H. Aranda-Espinoza. Endothelial cells experience morphological, dynamical, and biomechanical changes in response to TNF-α, Journal of Biomechanics, 2012.