Allow us to introduce you to Tommy Martin, a trainee in The Kirk Lab at Loyola University Chicago, who is scheduled to defend his PhD thesis in October 2021. Tommy is first author on a recently published AJP-Heart and Circ article, which is co-authored by Jonathan Kirk, an Associate Editor for AJP-Heart and Circ, and a founding member of our Behind the Bench podcast crew. Tommy has a story that will resonate with trainees and early career researchers: he was vacillating between going to medical school and getting a PhD. His interview with the very personable and enthusiastic Jonathan Kirk was the deciding factor to take the fork in the road that led to graduate school for a PhD in cardiovascular research. Our intrepid Behind the Bench co-hosts Lisandra de Castro Brás (East Carolina University) and Charlotte Usselman (McGill University) interview Tommy about life in the lab as a would-be medical student, learning how to use a pipette for the first time, his best advice to trainees for how to nail the post-doc interview process, and the drive and commitment necessary to pursue success in science. We also get the inside scoop about all things Jonathan Kirk (that beard!), and along the way we manage to discuss BAG3 protein expression in sarcomeric proteins in heart failure. Tommy Martin is engaging, sharp and clearly a rising star in cardiovascular research. Listen now, and don’t miss the bonus outtake after the credits.
Thomas G. Martin, Sara Tawfik, Christine S. Moravec, Toni R. Pak, Jonathan A. Kirk BAG3 expression and sarcomere localization in the human heart are linked to HSF-1 and are differentially affected by sex and disease Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published May 26, 2021.