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College of Health and Human Development

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The Integrative Nature of Health and Well Being

Photo of Victoria Jaque

2009-2010 CSUN College of Health and Human Development Research Fellow, Dr. Victoria Jaque

Primarily recognized for her research on mitochondrial disease, Exercise Physiologist Dr. Victoria Jaque focuses additional research on the musculoskeletal responses to exercise and adaptations to chronic physical activity. She has also played a major role in the establishment of the Cal State Northridge Master’s Degree in Assistive Technology and Human Services (ATHS).

The California State University, Northridge Research Fellows Program is a collaboration of the Office of the Provost, the Oviatt Library and each of the Colleges campus-wide. This fellowship was designed to increase opportunities for scholarly research toward compelling or creative activities across disciplines.

As a Research Fellow, Dr. Jaque will co-direct a project with Dr. Paula Thomson who is Director of the Dance Program in Kinesiology and also a clinical psychologist.

Photo of Paula Thomson

The team will consult with Richard Boles, MD, at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles (CHLA), an expert in mitochondrial disease and metabolic genetics. Jaque said, “The short-term goal of the project is to advance knowledge about the relationships between multiple physiological ailments and psychological disorders.” The study will also look at the ways these conditions tend to coexist.

“Preliminary data suggests that people with functional disorders such as migraine, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression, as well as those with mild mitochondrial dysfunction, are actually experiencing a dysregulation of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.” Jaque said.

“These conditions become more pronounced during both psychological and physiological stress. The information we gather from this project will increase awareness of the integrative nature of health and well-being. Mitochondrial and functional diseases are often overlooked,” she said. “This fellowship is especially exciting because greater clinical understanding and recognition can lead to more rapid and effective treatment.”

Dr. Jaque is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology. She earned her Doctorate in Exercise Science from the University of Southern California.

- Jean O'Sullivan