HomepageBiologyHonors Spotlight Star: Alex Goldsby

Honors Spotlight Star: Alex Goldsby

Under the mentorship of Dr. Beth Bailey, honors researcher Alex Goldsby studies the combined effects of pregnancy and obesity on cardiac function and structure.

Who’s lab are you in?

Dr. Beth Bailey

What is the title of your research?

What are the combined effects of pregnancy and obesity on cardiac function and structure?

Give a brief summary of your research.

Obesity has been linked to many cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease and diabetes. The development of obesity predominately derives from a sedentary lifestyle and a high-fat diet. Cardiovascular changes have been observed throughout pregnancy for it is a common stressor on the heart. Previous work in this lab investigated short-term and long-term effects of high-fat diet on the cardiac physiology of female mice. In this project I will strive to understand the combined effects of obesity and pregnancy on the cardiac structure and function in mice. Female mice will be divided into 4 groups control non pregnant, high fat diet non pregnant, control pregnant, and high fat diet pregnant. All mice will have their hearts surgically removed. Next, cardiac myocytes will be isolated. Last, after isolation we can gather functional and structural data of individual cardiac muscle cells with different microscopes.

What was your motive for joining a research lab?

I joined research because my mentor who was currently doing honors research. She told me of the many opportunities and learning experience you can gain from it. This gave me the motivation to reach out to Dr. Bailey to start research my freshman year.

How has participating in research affected your college experience?

Being involved in research has been one of the best experiences during my college career. It is such a challenging experience to say the least but the rewards that I have gained have trumped all challenges. I have developed multiple relationships with my peers and faculty. Through research I have been able to gain skills to be a better leader. Research has also helped shape my mind with skills of problem-solving and logical reasoning. Joining research was one of my best decisions.

What has been the highlight of your research?

The highlight of my research career was in the summer where I was a summer fellow and future mentor. During this I was able to solely focus on my project without homework, extracurricular activities, or any other distractions. I was able to develop skills that would help me with my honors project. Also, gave me a head start where I could carry some of the data from the summer into the fall. But also, during this time I was able to help give a great experience to my mentees who wanted to see what doing research was all about. We were even able to get one of them to join our research team for the fall.

What are your future plans for after graduation?

My plans after graduation are to go to medical school and become a physician. I have been leaning towards fields of cardiology and orthopedics at this moment. With later plans in life to develop an intervention to help those at risk to heart disease.

Any words of wisdom for perspective future researchers?

Be ready for a challenge when coming into research and be ready to accept some sort of failure. Not everything is going to be perfect in research, that’s why we always do multiple experiments.

Are there any fellow researchers or mentors you would like to thank?

Dr. Beth Bailey
Andrea Cristina Cando-Torres (Fellow Researcher)
Everyone Else who has helped me and Andrea with surgeries.

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