LAURA GUNTHER, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

Many students spend their college years hoping to find themselves and discover their true calling. Laura Gunther uncovered her passion far earlier than that. 

"I always wanted to be some kind of scientist,” recalls Gunther.  “When I was younger, I was always conducting experiments. I knew I was going to be in the science field, but I just didn’t know exactly where I would end up."

Gunther graduated from WSU in 2010 with a B.S. in biomedical physics and in 2013 with an M.S. in general physics. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in physics from Wayne State. 

Of all the significant relationships she has established with professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), Gunther specifically credits her faculty mentor with having made a significant impact on her studies.

“Takeshi Sakamoto is one of my greatest mentors and has had such an influence on my whole Ph.D. career here,” says Gunther. “He has taught me everything from writing scientific papers and working productively to dealing with constructive criticism, which is critical in this field.”  

In addition, Gunther and J.P. Jin, chair of the Wayne State School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology, are conducting imperative cardiac research. She hopes the project will lead to a better understanding of the root cause of heart failure by studying the regulation of cardiac muscle contractions, which may provide useful information for the development of new treatment options.

In addition to her success as a CLAS student, Gunther recently received international notoriety when she was featured in the Biophysical Society’s annual newsletter. The prestigious organization spotlights the current happenings in the world of biophysics.  

After Gunther earns her Ph.D., she plans to transition to a post-doctoral position and ultimately become a research professor. She thanks Wayne State for affording her so many amazing opportunities. 

“I love the atmosphere of the university and its location in Detroit because there are so many great hospitals associated with the city,” says Gunther. “The research you can do and the possibilities available to students here are endless.”

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LAURA GUNTHER, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES 3/30/2015
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