Laura G. Malloy
Professor Malloy's cardiovascular research projects address the relationship between metabolism and the function of the heart and blood vessels. She and her students have conducted projects to identify the mechanisms by which the metabolite adenosine and the hormone insulin can protect heart tissue from the injury that occurs following a heart attack.
Another set of studies placed particular emphasis on understanding how the metabolism of the tissue supplied by an artery may feedback to control how that artery contracts or relaxes. The latest group of projects has focused on the paradoxical role played by protein tyrosine kinases in blood vessel function. These enzymes mediate contraction in arteries from animals with high blood pressure but mediate uncontrolled blood vessel relaxation in arteries exposed to the toxin produced by E. coli bacteria.
Professor Malloy has also written two biographical chapters on Helen Taussig, the founder of the medical specialty of pediatric cardiology and is now working on a book about science in Taussig's life. The goals of this work are to encourage the participation of women and minorities in science and to create a mechanism for the teaching of science across the curriculum.
"As a teacher I realize that students come to the classroom and lab with many different strengths and learning styles. I strive to give students the opportunity to use their strengths as well as overcome their limitations by using a variety of teaching techniques in my courses. These include problem solving, group learning exercises, close reading of scientific texts, journals, student led discussion sections, oral presentations, lectures and student initiated laboratory projects. I think it especially important that students experience the uncertainty of scientific inquiry so that the self-confidence they develop in their problem solving ability is genuine. As a researcher I have learned that science is something that scientists take personally. The rewards are not just the broader benefits to society or an increase in our general understanding, though these are profoundly important. The rewards also come from experiencing the pleasure of discovery and the beauty of the natural universe. They grow from the realization that, as Einstein put it, 'God dwells in the details'. I want to share a sense of the aesthetics of science with my students."
Office: 449 Johnstone Science Center