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The following are students enrolled in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics graduate program.
Year: 1Email: John Henry DaSinger
Academic Background: Graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2009.
Research and personal statement: After graduating from the University of Connecticut, I became a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. Barbara Alexander in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the UMMC. Dr. Alexander's research investigating the renal mechanisms involved in the fetal programming of hypertension helped me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in physiology research. I look forward to my graduate training and gaining the skills necessary to have a successful career in academic biomedical research.
Year: 1Email: Ashley Newsome
Academic Background: Graduated from Belmont University in 2012 with a BS in Biology.
Research and personal statement: As an undergraduate student, I participated in three research projects that showed me the link between basic science research and health promotion. My summer work in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Alexander convinced me that I would receive excellent training as both a clinician and scientist at UMMC. I am currently entering my first year as an MD/PhD student here, and I hope that my future research contributes to the understanding of mechanisms of disease progression and therapies to improve disease outcomes in cardiovascular disease.
Year: 1Email: Jin Wei
Academic Background: Graduated from Jilin University, China in 2011 with a BS in Biology.
Research and personal statement: After graduated from Jilin University, I worked as a research associate in the laboratory of Dr. Ruisheng Liu at UMMC and focused on research in renal physiology and renal mechanisms for hypertension. I have been familiar with the techniques in molecular biology, such as immunofluorescence staining and real-time PCR. I also have learned the microperfusion of the arterioles and tubules of the kidney. I am currently entering the 1st year of graduate program in Physiology. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and skills from the graduate training that contribute to my future career. In my future research, I would like to understand the significance of the afferent arterioles and tubuloglomerular feedback in acute kidney injury (AKI).
Year: 2E-mail: Joyee Esters
Academic background: Graduated from Millsaps College in 2011 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Philosophy.
Research and personal statement: In the summer of 2008, I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program under the direction of Dr. Robert Hester. As my primary project, I focused on computer modeling which furthered my interests in both physiology and basic science research. I was given the opportunity to continue working on computer modeling projects throughout my years as an undergraduate student and, as a result, I decided to pursue a career in physiology. Physiology research is intriguing, not only because the human body is a complex system, but also because it is the foundation that leads to greater understanding of normal physiological processes. It also furthers our understanding of abnormalities in function that lead to various disease states. As a graduate student, I am pleased and honored to embrace the knowledge available to me in order to participate in the advancement of medicine and science.
Year: 2E-mail: David Sandlin
Academic background: Received a BS in Chemistry from Millsaps College in 2010 and an MS in Biomedical Sciences from UMMC's School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences in 2011.
Research and personal statement: I performed research in organic chemistry during my undergraduate education at Millsaps College. In doing so, I realized how much I enjoy discovery, teaching, and using my knowledge to solve complex problems Though that experience was a far cry from what I'll be doing at UMMC, I feel that it, along with my master's degree, has greatly prepared me for my course of study.
As a first-year student of the MD/PhD program, I am still in the process of determining what in particular my research will be focused on. As I progress through classes and rotations, I hope to discover my aptitudes and interests then tailor my studies around them. Physiology is intrinsic to the practice of medicine, and the complex integration of each organ system is fascinating to me; that and the great amount of translation between laboratory benchside and patient bedside are what attracted me to this department. I am very excited to be a part of the MD/PhD program, and I am looking forward to spending the next seven years at UMMC.
Year: 3E-mail: John Clemmer
Academic background: Graduated from Mississippi State University in 2008 with a BS in Biological Engineering and received a MS in Biomedical Engineering in 2010.
Research and personal statement: As a master's student, my research was in biomechanics and was involved in various mechanical testing of soft tissues. My focus was on the rabbit patellar tendon as well as high rate compression. I've become very interested in research during my educational career, more particularly in cardiovascular and exercise physiology.
Year: 4E-mail: Emily Gilbert
Academic background: Graduated from Millsaps College in 2009 with a BS in Biology, BA in Classical Studies and a minor in Chemistry.
Selected laboratory: Dr. Michael Ryan
Research and personal statement: This August I shall begin my first year of medical school as an MD/PhD candidate. I first became interested in this combined program in the summer of 2006 when I worked as an intern in the Physiology and Biophysics department at UMMC under the direction of Dr. Michael Ryan. After continuing to participate in research in Dr. Ryan's lab the next two summers as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, I formally decided to apply for the combined program. Currently, I am beginning work on my project to study the connection between sex steroids and the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus.
Year: 4E-mail: Peter Mittwede
Academic background: Graduated in 2008 from Belhaven College with a BS in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science.
Selected laboratory: Dr. Robert Hester
Research and personal statement: As an undergraduate pre-medical student at Belhaven, I spent two years doing parasite research with rats. This experience cultivated in me an interest in research, which led me to the MD/PhD program here at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. I have chosen to pursue studies in medicine and in physiology because I believe they are complementary. Cardiovascular physiology in particular is fascinating to me, both because of my background in exercise science and because heart disease in prevalent in my family. I look forward to the seven years I will spend in the program.
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