Briana Hockey is a PhD student in the Brock University Muscle Plasticity for Health and Disease Lab, working under the supervision of Dr. Val Fajardo. Her passion for physiology was sparked during her undergraduate studies in Kinesiology, where she became captivated by the adaptability of muscles and their profound impact on overall health. Following, Briana pursued a Master of Science degree investigating the benefits of exercise on skeletal muscle health.
Currently, Briana is in her second-year of her PhD and has held funding from OGS and QEII-GSST. Her PhD research primarily centers on exercise and strategies to counteract muscle wasting conditions, including those associated with aging, diseases, and spaceflight. In particular, she is focused on identifying and validating the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) as a key mediator of tissue plasticity. To accomplish this, she is leading her labs Canadian Space Agency grant investigating the inhibition of GSK3 using genetic modification and clinically relevant drugs. Her aim is to reveal novel therapeutic approaches for muscle wasting conditions, such as those observed with spaceflight. This research has the potential to play a vital role in enabling long-term space flight and human exploration of Mars.