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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Dr. Johnathan Tune, UNT Health Science Center

Ask an Expert: Dr. Johnathan Tune, UNT Health Science Center

A year ago, Dr. Tune came home. He completed his bachelor's degree in Biology at UNT in 1994 and earned his PhD at the UNT Health Science Center in 1997. From there, he's put together one impressive career: Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, assistant professor back at the HSC (2000-03), faculty member at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans followed by the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. In March 2020, he came full circle as the Professor and Chair of the HSC's Department of Physiology and Anatomy. Had he opted for a non-medical career, it's clear Dr. Tune might still have been a professor at UNT -- no, not at the College of Music -- as a professor of a particular era of American history. Just keep reading and you'll see what we mean.

 

Q&A

What is the focus of your research?
My research focuses on mechanisms that influence cardiovascular function in health and disease. In particular, my laboratory has a long-standing interest in studying how obesity and diabetes promote cardiovascular disease. I also enjoy teaching physiology to students in a variety of programs at the HSC and helping to expand collaborative efforts across the UNT World.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
The favorite thing about my job has to be the people. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many amazing individuals in UNT World over the years and I thoroughly enjoy working with, and learning more about each and every one of them.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous growth of UNT World over time. I think the addition of activities to help foster collaboration across the entire UNT System would be extremely valuable in helping faculty, staff and students maximize opportunities and potential for continued growth of the institution.

What is your proudest work moment?
My proudest personal moment was when I received the Henry Pickering Bowditch Award Lectureship, one of the highest honors bestowed by the American Physiological Society, in 2013. More recently, I would have to say my proudest moment was witnessing how faculty, staff and students have stepped up and positively responded to countless obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is your proudest non-work moment?
There is definitely a continuum here as I am extremely proud of my family: My wife Mary of 24+ years and our four children: Johnathan (19), Will (17), Caitie (14) and Caroline (11). I very much enjoy being there for them and watching them grow through the ups and downs of life.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your colleagues?
I am very interested in history, especially the Civil War.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...

Book: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Doris Kerns Goodwin); Civil War: A Narrative (Shelby Foote); Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (James McPherson)
Movie: Forrest Gump; The Godfather trilogy; Shawshank Redemption
Place to visit: Historical locations: Visiting Gettysburg and Antietam battlefields was fascinating to me