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Trisha Kalbaugh

Trish grew up in Keyser, West Virginia where she attended Keyser High School before coming to WVU as a Foundation Scholar and member of the Honors Program.

At WVU, she pursued majors in biology and chemistry. At first she was interested in becoming a physician, but summer research experiences with Drs. Jim McGraw (Biology) and Dave Taylor (Pharmacology) led her to consider a research career. With the sponsorship of Drs. Donna Ford (Biology) and Ronald Smart (Chemistry), she applied for and received the Goldwater Scholarship, giving her an opportunity few undergraduates have: that of independently carrying out a research project. She graduated from WVU in 1997.

After a WVU Honors course in Pharmacology piqued her interest in drug-receptor interactions (a subject that continues to fascinate her), she applied to graduate school in Pharmacology at Duke University, where she studied structure-function relationships in ion channels. Upon finishing her PhD in 2003, she began a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Currently, she studies receptors which mediate excitatory neurotransmission between neurons in the mammalian retina. Trish says, “It’s a true joy to record currents as small as 10^12 Amps – reflecting the movement of ions through a few proteins – but that nevertheless underlie how the eye or the brain works!” When she’s not in the lab, she enjoys running, cooking, and exploring the DC Metro area.