Kathryn Jaques Schunke

Dr. Schunke
Research Assistant Professor
SEH 5243 | Office hours: TBD
[email protected]

Dr. Kathryn Schunke’s research focuses on hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) in the cardiac and cerebrovascular systems.  HIF is a transcription factor and ‘master regulator’ of oxygen homeostasis in the body. It plays an important role in the physiology of the hypoxic response, enhancing angiogenesis, glycolytic metabolism, and cell survival. Clinical pathologies involving HIF are equally broad, including ischemic disease of the heart, extremities and cerebrovasculature, cancer angiogenesis and Von Hippel Lindau syndrome.  Given the important role of oxygen signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of these diseases, there is substantial clinical interest in factors that regulate HIF.

It has recently been discovered that some of the chromatin modulatory machinery essential for proper development, maintenance and repair of the genome plays a previously unappreciated role in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease. Dr. Schunke’s current research focuses on understanding the epigenetic regulation of HIF in response to myocardial infarct. Using a combination of animal, molecular and next-generation sequencing techniques, she aims to identify targets for new therapeutic approaches to ischemic heart disease.


  • B.S., University of California at Davis, 2005
  • Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2010
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2010-2015
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2015-2017
  • Schunke KJ, Walton CB, Veal DR, Mafnas CT, Anderson CD, Williams AL, Shohet RV. Protein Kinase C Binding Protein 1(PRKCBP1) Inhibits Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1) in the Heart. Cardiovasc Res. 2018 Nov 5. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy278. PMID:30395227
  • Williams AL, Khadka V, Tang M, Avelar A, Schunke KJ, Menor M, Shohet RV. HIF1 mediates a switch in pyruvate kinase isoforms after myocardial infarction. Physiol Genomics. 2018 Apr 13. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00130.2017. PMID: 29652636
  • Chen L, Xu X, Zeng H, Kannie W, Chan Y, Yadav N, Schunke KJ, Faraday NF, Van Zijl P, Xu J. Separating out fast and slow chemical exchange using off-resonance variable delay multiple pulse (VDMP) MRI. Magn Reson Med. 2018 Feb 5. doi: 10.1002/mrm.27111.
  • Schunke, K.J., Rosati L.M., Herman, J.M., Zahurak, M.L., Usach, I., Klein, A., Rosati, L.M., Yeo, C.J., Korman, L.T., Laheru, D.A., Abrams, R.A. Long-term analysis of Two Prospective Studies that Incorporate Mitomycin C into an Adjuvant Chemoradiation Regimen for Pancreatic and Periampullary Cancers. Adv in Radiat Oncolhttp://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.adro.2017.07.008.
  • Schunke KJ, Toung TK, Zhang J, Pathak A, Zhang J, Koehler R, Faraday N. A Novel Atherothrombotic Model of Ischemic Stroke Induced by Injection of Collagen into the Cerebral Vasculature. J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Oct 11. pii: S0165-0270(14)00361-6
  • Faraday N, Schunke KJ, Saleem S, Fu J, Wang B, Zhang J, Morrell C, Dore S. Cathepsin Gdependent modulation of platelet thrombus formation in vivo by blood neutrophils PlosOne. 2013 Aug 5;8(8):e71447.
  • Schunke KJ, Coyle L, Merrill GF, Denhardt DT. Acetaminophen attenuates doxorubicin- induced cardiac fibrosis via osteopontin and GATA4 regulation: Reduction of oxidant levels. J Cell Physiol. 2013 Oct;228(10):2006-14.
  • Baliga SS, Jaques-Robinson KM, Hadzimichalis NM, Golfetti R, Merrill GF.  Acetaminophen reduces mitochondrial dysfunction during early cerebral postischemic reperfusion in rats. Brain Res. 2010 Jan 14.
  • Chakir K, Daya SK, Aiba T, Tunin RS, Dimaano VL, Abraham TP, Jaques-Robinson KM, Lai EW, Pacak K, Zhu W, Xiao R, Tomaselli GF, Kass DA. Mechanisms of enhanced beta-adrenergic reserve from cardiac resynchronization therapy.  Circulation. 2009 Mar 10;119(9):1231-40.
  • Jaques-Robinson KM, Golfetti R, Baliga S, Hadzimichalis NM, Merrill GF. Acetaminophen is cardioprotective against H2O2- induced injury in vivoExp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Oct;233(10):1315-22.
  • Hadzimichalis NM, Baliga SS, Golfetti R, Jaques KM, Firestein, BL, Merrill GF. Acetaminophen-mediated cardioprotection via inhibition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore induced apoptotic pathway.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Dec;293(6):H3348-55.
  • Merrill GF, Merrill J, Golfetti R, Jaques KM, Spiler-Hadzimichalis NM, Baliga S, Rork T.   Antiarrhythmic Properties of Acetaminophen in the Dog.  Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Oct; 232:1245-1252
  • 2017 – present   Reviewer for PLoS One Journal
  • May 2017    Deans Award: First place poster presentation; Biomedical Sciences and Health Disparities Symposium, University of Hawaii.
  • May 2016    Deans Award: First place poster presentation; Biomedical Sciences and Health Disparities Symposium, University of Hawaii.
  • April 2011    Best of ATVB Award: American Heart Association: AHA Sessions, Orlando, FL.
  • November 2011   Young Investigator Travel Award, American Heart Association: ATVB,  Chicago, IL.
  • June 2008    New Investigator Travel Award, Jackson Cardiovascular-Renal Meeting, Jackson, MS.
  • July 2008    FASEB Travel Award, Experimental Biology, San Diego, CA.
  • March 2007   FASEB Travel Award, Experimental Biology, Washington, DC.
  • May 2006   American Physiological Society, Life Short Course II, Orlando, FL.


  • 2018 – 2021   American Heart Association: CDA, “HIF-1 Activity can be Inhibited by PRKCBP1 in the Heart,”  Role: PI
  • 2017 - 2018   NIH NIGMS COBRE, “Zmynd8 Regulates Hypoxic Cardiomyocytes,” Role: Pilot Project PI
  • 2016 – 2018   Hawaii Community Foundation: Medical Research Grant, “A Novel Inhibitor of HIF-1 Action in the Heart,”  Role: PI
  • 2015 – 2017  NIH NIGMS T32 NRSA  (University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine),  Role: Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2011 – 2013  NIH NIGMS T32 NRSA  (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine),  Role: Postdoctoral Fellow