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The following are students enrolled in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics graduate program.
Year: 1 PhDEmail: Elena Dent
Academic Background: Graduated from Mississippi State University in 2008 with a BS in Nutrition, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2009 with a post baccalaureate Nutrition Supervised Practice certificate, and from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2015 with a MS in Biomedical Sciences
Research and personal statement: While working as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, I participated in a research project focused on diabetes education. This experience introduced me to the opportunities that research can provide and helped define my career goals of becoming an academic researcher. As a graduate student, I am interested in connecting my experiences in nutrition and metabolic disorders with the strong physiology background I will receive as part of the UMMC Department of Physiology and Biophysics.
Year: 1 PhDEmail: Adrian Eddy
Academic Background: Graduated from Aquinas College in 2014 with a BS in Biology
Research and personal statement: Throughout my undergraduate career, I had planned on continuing my education to become a physician assistant. After graduating, I took a year to work on an ambulance as an emergency medical technician. Through this process, I was able to determine that becoming a PA was not the correct path for me. Though I never participated in research during my undergraduate studies, I always enjoyed the more involved lab experiments and knew that this was the route I should pursue. I have been thrilled to have the chance to further my education at UMMC, and I look forward to exploring the different research opportunities available here.
Year: 1 PhDEmail: Erika Guise
Academic Background: Graduated from University of Wyoming in 2015 with a BS in Physiology
Research and personal statement: During my undergraduate studies at University of Wyoming, I got the chance to work in a neuropharmacology lab assisting with the investigation of how drug use, painful stimuli, and diet can impact neuroplasticity. This experience provided me with an interest in a career in research. In combination with my experience tutoring as an undergraduate, I am very interested in pursuing a career in education. I believe UMMC will provide me with the exceptional training necessary for these fields, and I look forward to discovering the research opportunities available to me here.
Year: 2 PhDEmail: Abdulhadi AlAmodi
Academic Background: I obtained my MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from Alfaisal University College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2014
Research and personal statement: In summer 2011 and 2012, I had the opportunity to work in Dr. Stec’s laboratory at the department of Physiology and Biophysics. I was engaged in cutting edge translation biomedical research projects aiming to develop therapeutic interventions for the treatment of obesity and hypertension. I very much enjoyed the research environment at UMMC, and I was able to gain numerous benefits. This experience empowered my interest in research and clarified my career pathway that I want to be in the future. I am interested in exploring mechanisms of obesity and hypertension development and future effective treatments. As an international student, I believe that UMMC is a world-class research-based institute that will help me achieve my goals and excel in the next phase of my education.
Year: 2 PhDEmail: Gwendolyn Davis
Academic Background: Graduated from Mississippi State University in 2014 with a BS in Biological Engineering
Research and personal statement: While attending Mississippi State University, I had the opportunity to collaborate on research projects analyzing the biomechanics of the mitral valve of the heart. That, coupled with an interest in improving the cardiovascular health and obesity rates within this state, led me to the UMMC Physiology and Biophysics program. I look forward to researching conditions involving ways to identify the underlying causes of diseases and develop more efficient treatments and solutions to prevent them.
Year: 2 PhDEmail: Victoria Wolf
Academic Background: Graduated from Mississippi State University in 2012 with a BS in Biological Engineering and from Mississippi State University in 2014 with a MS in Biomedical Engineering
Research and personal statement: I had the opportunity to complete my master’s thesis work in Dr. Robert Hester’s lab in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. My work focused on mathematical modeling of the normal menstrual cycle in women. While working in the department as a master’s student, I developed a strong appreciation for biomedical research and became very interested in physiological processes related to women’s health issues. As a PhD student, I am interested in researching the role of sex differences in the progression of cardiovascular disease, and I am very excited to begin this next phase of my educational career.
Year: 2 PhD/ 3 MDEmail: 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: 4Email: 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: PhD completed/4 MDE-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: PhD completed/3 MDE-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 is prevalent in my family. I look forward to the seven years I will spend in the program.
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