Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars make significant contributions to the dynamic research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies aims to help graduate students and postdocs maximize this pivotal state in their professional development. This office is dedicated to enhancing their experience.
We invite you to explore the materials and information that pertain to you in the pages of this site. Please contact the office with any questions, comments, or ideas that you may have about graduate and postdoctoral studies at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
George H. Kunkel, MS, PhD Candidate
Department of Physiology
Suresh C. Tyagi Laboratory
My aspirations in science grew as I exited high school with the Vincent O’Connor Leadership Award for my dedication on the football field and in the classroom. Majoring in Biology with a minor in Physics at St. John’s University, I applied classroom knowledge to practical emergency situations as an emergency medical technician. My passion for the intricacies of the human body led me to Dr. Irvin Hirshfield’s Microbiology Laboratory within my home school. I was intrigued with the laboratory setting and furthered my research exposure as a McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine’s SMART summer research program. Under the guidance of Dr. Miguel Cruz, in the Thrombosis Research Department, I began learning about biochemical techniques and experimental assays.
Through the multitude of undergraduate experiences, I found a love for uncovering answers to the unsolved figurative riddles within the biological spectrum. With a mind set on research within molecular cardiology, the Dr. Suresh C. Tyagi laboratory at UofL was my first choice. Taking the leap from undergrad directly into a Ph.D. program was challenging, but the guidance of my mentor and department eased this transition.
As a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Physiology, I am working towards a heart failure treatment focused on the molecule TFAM. Through Dr. Tyagi’s guidance, I have now been awarded an NIH Ruth Kirschstein Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for my dissertation project and am an author on a few articles. The benefit of a prospering laboratory is that your options are limitless. I have had the opportunity to present at both national and regional conferences. I am currently preparing to finalize the in-vitro specific aims of my project.
The role of a scientist is to lead a project and its pupils. Having founded the Biology Honor Society at St. John’s and co-founding the UofL SACNAS chapter, I know how important guidance and direction can be for up-and-coming students, especially in the field of science. A collaborative family environment is the most effective way to progress.
Aside from laboratory techniques and the progress of my research I enjoy playing on the Black Knights Hockey team and reading WWII books such as OperationPaperclip, The Lost Airman and Flyboys. Since my family and friends are back home in NYC, I love spending time on Skype.
As a military research scientist, I hope to lead a team of researchers in an effort to alleviate people’s pain through therapeutic discovery. Working at the forefront of cardiovascular research with officers who hold a passion for science and country would be a remarkable accomplishment. A post-doctoral research fellowship in an Army/Navy/Air Force research core facility will be the first step toward a career as a military research leader. Based on my knowledge of the biomedical sciences and my work ethic, I know that my goals are fully attainable. Daily experimental observations, from the eureka moments to the struggles of troubleshooting, strengthen my research abilities.