Intro to Membrane Physiology and Biophysics I

Year 1 - University of Miami, Program in Biomedical Sciences

Year 1 - University of Miami, Program in Biomedical Sciences

I'm excited to kick off this blog about my life as a PhD student and I'd like to start with a little bit of an introduction. As of this moment, I am halfway through my third year of my PhD program at the University of Miami. I joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, where I'm in a lab that studies cardiac arrhythmia. Specifically, I study small proteins found throughout the surface of the cells in the heart which are called ion channels. Ion channels allow different ions to pass into or out of the cell very easily and this causes an electrical signal in the heart called an action potential. Anything that changes the passing of ions through their respective ion channels can cause cardiac arrhythmia, and while I've been in lab at UM I've been studying different compounds that could be used as a treatment to prevent cardiac arrhythmia. 

I love doing research and I particularly love neuroscience, which is the study of the brain. Even though my current research focus is on the heart, the same principles of the function of ion channels apply to the heart. Graduate school can be a unique and sometimes tricky experience, and it is also highly individualized, meaning everyone has a different experience while they're in graduate school. For me, graduate school has been an enormous journey of growth and new challenges and successes. My journey to getting my PhD has caused me to really evaluate the things that are the most important to me and has deepened my passion for science and research in ways that I never expected.

I hope that any of you reading this blog, whether you're a scientist or non-scientist, can find inspiration or encouragement here for the scientific world and for life in general. After all, science is the study of life and the natural world that we are all a part of. I truly hope you enjoy!



Bree Watkins