John Giacona, Ph.D., PA-C, is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Clinical Research Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine. He is a board-certified Physician Assistant and certified Hypertension Specialist practicing at the Clinical Heart and Vascular Center as a member of the Hypertension Section in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Giacona holds a bachelor of science and arts degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his master of physician assistant studies degree and doctor of philosophy degree from UT Southwestern Medical Center.

His research interests include the influence of nutrition and exercise on the autonomic control of blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein metabolism, and skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. In addition to being active in clinical research, he also provides teaching services for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies by leading the cardiovascular clinical medicine section of the didactic curriculum.

Dr. Giacona currently serves as a board member for the Academy of Physician Associates in Cardiology as Chair of Preventive Cardiology, and is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American College of Cardiology, and the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants. He also serves as a member on the American Heart Association's Hypertension Professional/Public Education & Publications Committee for the Council on Hypertension.


Graduate School
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2021), Physician Assistant

Research Interest

  • Clinical Lipidology
  • Mitochondrial Function
  • Neural Control of Blood Pressure
  • Primary Aldosteronism
  • Resistant Hypertension
  • Skeletal Muscle Energetics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Exploring Dynamics of Blood Pressure Variability: Sitting Still, Rising Pressure?
Giacona JM, Am J Hypertens 2024 May
Preventing cognitive decline by reducing BP target (PCOT): A randomized, pragmatic, multi-health systems clinical trial.
Giacona JM, Bates BM, Sundaram V, Brinker S, Moss E, Paspula R, Kassa S, Zhang R, Ahn C, Zhang S, Basit M, Burkhalter L, Cullum CM, Carlew A, Kelley BJ, Plassman BL, Vazquez M, Vongpatanasin W, Contemp Clin Trials 2024 Jan 138 107443
Severe Hypertension in Hospitalized Patients: To Treat or Not to Treat?
Giacona JM, Vongpatanasin W, Am J Hypertens 2023 Dec
MEN2B Masquerading as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
Khan G, Giacona J, Mirfakhraee S, Vernino S, Vongpatanasin W, JACC Case Rep 2022 Jul 4 13 814-818


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Honor of Jon Williamson, PhD
    UT Southwestern Applied Clinical Research Department (2023)
  • Student Excellency in Service Award in Honor of John Schermerhorn, MD
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2023)
  • Capra Symposium Research Competition Winner
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2022)
  • Student Excellency in Research Award in Honor of Raul Caetano, MD, PhD
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2022)
  • Alpha Eta National Honor Society
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2020)
  • Pi Alpha National Physician Assistant Honor Society
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2020)
  • Student Excellency in Clinical Care Award in Honor of Gordon Green, MD
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2020)
  • Student Excellency in Leadership Award in Honor of Ruth Guy, MD
    UT Southwestern School of Health Professions (2020)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Academy of Physician Associates in Cardiology (2022)
  • American Academy of Physician Associates (2017)
  • American College of Cardiology (2021)
  • American Heart Association (2021)
  • American Physiological Society (2022)