I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. As an undergraduate I conducted cardiovascular and muscle physiology research as a member of Dr. Kenneth Campbell Lab's in the Department of Physiology. During this time I studied the effects of small molecule drugs on muscle mechanics and the development of cardiac fibrosis in heart failure patients. I hope to continue researching heart failure and cardiac muscle physiology for my PhD thesis.
My research is centered on heart failure and muscle mechanics. Utilizing single muscle fiber mechanical experiments, we are able to examine the physical parameters of skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction such as isometric force, cooperativity, and calcium sensitivity. In particular, I am interested in how these physical parameters of muscle contraction are altered in heart failure.
Example of single fiber muscle used in our biophysics experiments. This gif shows spontaneous oscillatory contraction (SPOC) within this fiber: spoc_contraction.gif
Our lab is heavily involved in biobanking human myocardium. We use these samples for our own experiments as well as share them with other research groups across the country and internationally. In addition to biophysics experiments, our lab manages a biorepository of over 10,000 human myocardium samples from cardiac surgeries such as heart transplants and LVAD placement. With these samples we are able to correlate a patient's clinical information with the contractile and biochemical properties of their myocardium. Using some of these samples, I am examining how LVAD placement influences the contractile properties of myocardium.