Julie M. Fagan

Julie M. Fagan.

Associate Professor
Bartlett Hall 109
Phone: 610-847-2411
Phone: 848-932-8354
Email: fagan@rutgers.edu


I have redirected my focus of research from studying proteases and their inhibitors in health and disease (see examples of prior research below), to 1) the Human-Animal Bond; 2) the breakdown of food and agricultural waste and other organic feedstocks to biofuel; 3) Community engagement

1) Companion Animal Research: Areas of research interest include understanding animal emotion and the Human-Animal bond, and how companion animals improve quality of life. We are researching whether interactions with therapy dogs are beneficial to children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities. More specifically, we are examining 1. parents perception of their autistic child's behavior following interaction with a therapy dog in the home and in the classroom setting and 2.whether classroom canines benefit teachers and special needs school students.

2) Biomass to Biofuel: It is difficult to comprehend just how much food we throw away. At Rutgers, dining hall services generates over fifty tons of food waste per day!. In the US, food scraps alone contribute to ~15% of the total waste going into landfills; with about 30% of the waste that we produce being biomass . These organic materials could easily be diverted away from landfills and produce renewable energy and organic compost. I am involved in a) producing compressed natural gas from waste biomass using anaerobic digestion, b) examining the infrastructure development for CNG vehicles and fuels, and c) exploring the challenges and opportunities of locating anaerobic digesters in the urban fringe to convert food and animal waste from farms, grocery stores and food establishments into biomethane and high quality compost.

3) Community Engagement: Researching the transition from me to we. Beginning as a pilot project in three states (NJ, NJ, PA), community exchange networks have been launched that will seek to identify community member's skills, talents, services and products as well as their needs. The motivation and frequency by which individuals give of their time and talent and receive of others time and talent within communities will be examined and analyzed as to how it relates to a sense of connection to one's community and a sense of purposefulness and self-worth. The ultimate goal of this project is to have every county in the US have their own community-based exchange network that would promote strong and resilient communities. Incorporation of disaster preparedness functionality into the developing sharing exchange economy will be a focus that is expected to be an invaluable tool to help identify individuals that may have specific needs and those that could meet or offer assistance with those needs in times of disaster.

Education & Developing Tomorrows Leaders

Our educational system is geared toward the high achieving students that are motivated by grades to learn; enabling them to pursue their dream. A major problem with education today is that educators fail to engage the other students. The structured classroom setting leaves little room for student creativity, leadership and commitment to society. Students need to find/identify their passions and given the space and motivation to be creative. It is when students realize their potential to succeed, that they become empowered to achieve in society. My colloquium courses are structured for success by providing students with the framework to gain a thorough understanding of societal issues and then engaging them through problem-solving community service projects.

11:015:405 Colloquium: Ethics in Science and Society (fall semester, 2 sections in spring)
11:015:407 Colloquium: Issues in Animals and Agriculture (fall semester)


Title Location Year
Associate Professor Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 1990
Assistant Professor Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 1986
Postdoctoral Fellow Physiology and Biophysics
Harvard Medical School
Research Assistant Biochemistry, University of Arizona 1981
Research Assistant Nutrition and Food Science, University of Arizona 1979
Research Assistant Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 1977
Teaching Assistant Clinic for Neuromuscular Disease, University of Arizona 1975


Degree Location Year
Postdoc Harvard Medical School 1986
Ph.D. University of Arizona 1983
M.S. University of Massachusetts 1977
B.A. Syracuse University 1975
A.A. Colby Sawyer College 1973

Representative Publications relating to Food Waste / Biomass To Biofuel

Wysokinski, M, Jennings, A, Fagan, JM. 2010 Biomass Management: Recycling of Food Scraps by Industrial Waste Management Facilities.

Lou, F, Elfar, M, Childs, L, Fagan, JM. 2009 Biomass to Biofuels. Establishment of website, valuable wastes , to enhance productivity and green method of biomass to bio-fuels.

Landgrebe, L, Voss,D , Fagan, JM. 2010 Food to Fuel: Anaerobic Digestion at the Rutgers New Brunswick Campus

Patel, K, Tricarico, M, Fagan, JM. 2011 Anaerobic Digestion for Rutgers

Alonso, H, Anand, R, Oberstein, A, Marshall-Otto, K, Upadhyay, R, Valetutti , P, Fagan, JM. 2011 Challenging Food Waste and Hunger. An exploration of the interrelated issues of food waste and hunger in the United States, and finding solutions to limiting their prevalence in our local community.

Representative Publications relating to Animal-Assisted Therapy

Messina, C, Fagan, JM. 2011 The Use of Animals as a Therapy for Autism. A review of the disease and how the use of animals, specifically horses, may improve the well-being of those affected with autism.

Audette, J, Mammen, S, Fagan, JM. 2011 Dogs are More than Just Pets. An investigation on animal-assisted therapy and its benefits on children with ADHD as well as developing children without a learning disability.

Fagan, JM, Zinna, C, Chan, Y-Y. Parents Perception of their Autistic Child's Behavior Following Interaction with a Therapy Dog in the Home Setting. Manuscript in Preparation

Representative Publications on Education & Developing Tomorrows Leaders

GGREAT Solutions to Today s Issues: The videos up on YouTube


were created by teams of 2-4 Rutgers University students enrolled in classes taught by Dr. Julie Fagan, Students do in-depth investigations on issues/problems of particular interest to them and then conduct a community service project designed to make a positive impact on society. In addition to generating a video on each project, the student/professor teams prepare collaboratively-written papers; 223 of which are published with many more on the way.

Rutgers University Community Repository Link

Representative Publications on Proteases in Health and Disease

Fagan JM, Rex SE, Hayes-Licitra SA, Waxman L. 1999
L-Arginine reduces right heart hypertrophy in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Biochem.Biophys Res Commun 254:100-103.

Fagan JM, etal.1999 Postranslational modifications of cardiac and skeletal muscle proteins by reactive oxygen species after burn injury in the rat. Annals of Surgery 229:106-114.

Tiao G, Fagan JM, Roegner V, Lieberman M, Wang J-J, Fischer JE, Hasselgren PO. 1996 Energy-ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis during sepsis is regulated by glucocorticoids. J Clin Invest 97(2):339-348

Fagan JM, Hasselgren PO, etal.1996 Sepsis increases oxidatively damaged proteins in skeletal muscle. Arch Surg 131:1326-1331; discussion 1331-1332.

Strack PR, Waxman L, Fagan, JM. 1996 Activation of the multicatalytic endopeptidase by oxidants. Effects on enzyme structure. Biochemistry 35:7142-7149.

Kirtikara K, Schaich KM, Fagan JM, Frenkel C.1995 A lignin peroxidase assay. J Microbiol Meth 23:253-259.

Fagan JM, Waxman L.1992 Characterization of the ATP-independent pathway in RBCs that degrades oxidant-damaged hemoglobin. J Biol Chem 267:23015-23022.

Fagan JM, Waxman L.1991 Purification of a protease in red blood cells that degrades oxidatively-damaged hemoglobin. Biochem J 277:779-786.

Waxman L, Fagan JM, Goldberg AL.1987 Resolution of two high molecular weight proteases in reticulocytes; one of which requires ATP and ubiquitin conjugation. J Biol Chem 262:2451-2457.

Fagan JM, Waxman L, Goldberg AL.1987 Skeletal muscle and liver contain a soluble ATP+Ub-dependent proteolytic system. Biochem J 243:335-343.

Waxman L, Fagan JM.1987 Mammalian cells have multiple pathways for degrading proteins. In Burgess RR (ed) Protein purification: micro to marco. Alan R Liss New York 459-473.

Fagan JM, Waxman L, Goldberg AL. 1986 Red blood cells contain a pathway for the degradation of oxidized hemoglobin that does not require ATP or ubiquitin. J Biol Chem 261:5705-5713.

Fagan JM, Goldberg AL.1986 Inhibitors of protein and RNA synthesis cause a rapid block in prostaglandin production at the prostaglandin synthetase step. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83:2771-2775.

Waxman L, Fagan, JM, Tanaka K, Goldberg AL.1985 A soluble ATP-dependent system for protein degradation from MEL cells: evidence for a protease which requires ATP hydrolysis but not ubiquitin. J Biol Chem 260:11994-12000.