Zachary Balmuth-Loris, PhD
For my undergraduate studies, I attended Syracuse University (SU) pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. It was at SU that I first became fascinated with research, working in Dr. Rebecca Bader’s laboratory developing nanoparticles used for drug delivery as well as Dr. Robert Smith’s laboratory improving signal processing of cochlear implants. Outside SU, I attended a National Science Foundation research program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, examining migratory patterns of tropical fish near areas of deep-sea upwelling. During my senior year, I received a fellowship to conduct my own research aboard a scientific vessel, investigating the role of toxic dinoflagellates in the Sargassum Sea. After graduating, I had begun to develop a keen interest in ischemic stroke, which led me to the University of Miami (UM) and specifically to Dr. W. Dalton Dietrich, a pioneer in the field of cerebral ischemia. My graduate research project was focused on determining the efficacy of a neuroprotective compound as a novel treatment strategy for cerebral ischemia. I spent 4 years mastering a plethora of technical skills from animal surgery and behavior to immunohistochemistry and computer programming. However, being part of a lab that focused strictly on translational science made me want to explore more mechanistic questions during my postdoc training, which is why I joined the William’s lab. My proposed research project is an exciting way to bridge my previous training and interest while also learning novel topics and methodologies, such as state-of-the-art microscopy and gene editing techniques. In my spare time, I enjoy scuba diving, playing ultimate Frisbee, hiking, traveling, and of course, long walks on the beach with Roni.