Louise Hesketh

Pathway 0+4

Cohort 2016

0+4 Student

I graduated from King’s in July 2016 with a BSc Biomedical Sciences. Upon graduation, I was awarded the Layton Science Research Award for my work during my final year dissertation research project, which focussed on understanding the biochemical effects on cannabis on the development of the adolescent rat brain. During the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years as an undergraduate, I completed a summer studentship at The Rayne Institute, KCL, in which I investigated the contribution of the parasympathetic nervous system to the initiation of fatal ventricular arrhythmias in a Langendorff heart model.

So far, being a PhD student on the MRC DTP programme has allowed me to develop myself as a well-rounded scientist with specific focus on general skills such as critical thinking and experimental design. I have also been able to develop several experimental techniques on the programme, such as calcium microfluorimetry, which will prove valuable throughout the remainder of my PhD. Additionally, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a large cohort of like-minded students throughout my PhD, and have opted to form, along with 4 others, a MRC DTP Social Committee to keep the cohort in touch and engaged throughout our 4 years.

PhD Project:

In line with my interests in the occurrence of arrhythmias in patients with coronary artery disease, I am currently undertaking a PhD project involved with developing a novel class of hypoxia-activated antiarrhythmic prodrugs. I recently presented a poster on my progress on this project at the KCL British Heart Foundation Postgraduate Symposium.