Hardik Kalra

Hardik Kalra, M.A. student, Human Physiology

Develops innovative diagnostic tools


“Hardik has a heart that drives him to help Iowans facing challenging health problems and the brilliance it takes to come up with creative solutions. His passion for health and physiology will lead him to discover great things.” – Melissa Bates, Associate Professor of Health and Human Physiology

Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Faculty mentor/advisor: Melissa Bates PhD, FAPS, Associate Professor of Health and Human Physiology, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics
What is your degree program and expected graduate date? I am currently in the master’s program in Human Physiology and will be graduating in May 2023.
Please describe your research: My research focuses on developing new models and tools to understand how we breathe. I achieve this by analyzing how the mechanisms that control our breathing interact with the structure of the lung.
In simple terms, why does this research matter? Not being able to breathe is distressing for patients and it negatively affects the body’s ability to respond to stress. By understanding how we breathe, I develop methods to better help physicians alleviate the suffering respiratory patients experience.
How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started participating in research in spring 2019 as a second-year undergraduate student.
How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research has allowed me to implement concepts I learned in class into real life applications, and it has made me think critically about my career path.
What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? My career goal is to become a physician-scientist. After working closely with my mentors Drs.  Melissa Bates and Michael Tomasson and directly seeing them change medicine. They have inspired me to follow in their footsteps in changing medicine and saving lives.



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