My name is Kyle, and I’m a PhD student in the Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group (MCPG), specifically in Tom Claydon’s lab. I only got involved in research during my final year of undergrad but fell in love with it. I started my master’s degree in the same lab before eventually switching into BPK in Tom’s lab. Here I work on using genetic engineering techniques to help elucidate ion channel function with respect to cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart rate).
What you do?
Our lab studies a particular potassium channel’s role in Long-QT syndrome, a prolongation of the cardiac action potential that can result in irregular heart rates and sudden cardiac death. I use genome engineering techniques such as CRISPR to create mutations in zebrafish that have been found clinically in humans with Long-QT Syndrome.
Any advice you would give to starting graduates?
Take breaks, talk to people, meet other grad students from around the department, and ensure that when you are working you’re in the headspace to make it productive rather than hitting your head against the wall.
Which do you prefer - dogs or cats?
Dogs, and I’m only using this question as an excuse to show off a pic of my favourite dog ever, my uncle’s old dog Connor (Irish Wolfhound/Rottweiler mix).
This post was originally posted to the SFU BPK Instagram on February 24, 2021.