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Alexander Grassam-Rowe

BA (Hons) (Oxon) Medical Sciences

DPhil student

  • DPhil Student in Lei Group
  • British Heart Foundation Non-Clinical Fellowship as a Studentship
  • BM BCh (on hiatus for DPhil) - Oxford

Alex's research

Alex's research focuses on understanding the rhythms of the heart and their pharmacological modulation.

Rhythmic contractions of the heart are essential to most larger complex organisms: circulation of oxygenated and nutrient-rich fluid providing the substrates for continued cell function across the organism. These rhythms can become abnormal in diseases and form a significant part of the mortality and morbidity associated with cardiovascular disease - the biggest cause of global mortality.

Alex is currently taking up funding from a British Heart Foundation Non-Clinical Fellowship (2021-2024) as a Studentship to create novel models of atrial fibrillation using mature hiPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes integrated with computational techniques. Alex is also contributing across projects through computational drug discovery, whole-organ and cellular electrophysiology, and improving methods in optical mapping.

Additionally, Alex champions the Lei group's integration of novel bioinformatics techniques across our manifold projects, and works across R and Python using both local and HPC resources. Alex teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in cell culture, cardiac electrophysiology, general coding, and bioinformatics.

Alex matriculated in 2016 at Corpus Christi College for Medicine. Alex achieved a First Class BA in Medical Sciences, following on from his Merits in the previous years and his Exhibition Scholarships at Corpus Christi. Alex was awarded the Andrew Hopley Memorial Prize in his third year for achievement in Medical Sciences.

Outside Alex's research

Alex teaches at the University level for both undergraduate and postgraduate in practicals and seminars, beyond supervising students at these levels in the lab. Alex tutors first year medical students in physiology and pharmacology at the Queen's College alongside providing specialist third-year FHS tutorials across the Colleges on the topic of arrhythmia and hiPSC-CM translational impact.

Alex held the role of Assistant Dean at Corpus Christi College, and was the post-graduate representative to the Medical Sciences Divisional Board.

Outside of his work: Alex is improving his European languages, facilitated 'in-depth Fellowships' with the Centre for Effective Altruism, and is taking courses to improve his understanding of economics.

An image showing representative flashes of signal from a potentiometric dye in hiPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes.
hiPSC-derived atrial cardiomyocytes with membrane potential dye imaging