Alexandria Marciante, PhD

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Alex Marciante

Year I became a Gator: 2019

Department: Physical Therapy

Mentor: Gordon Mitchell, PhD

Research focus: My research focuses on different physiological, genetic and environmental factors (i.e. neural injury) that undermine respiratory motor plasticity. Recent work has focused on utilizing pharmacologic interventions and optimizing therapeutic protocols of acute intermittent hypoxia to rescue/maximize diminished neuroplasticity.

What drives me: I am driven by the element of discovery that comes with research, specifically in the neuroplasticity. My goal is that my current work on different factors that impede neuroplasticity will help guide the development of optimal treatments for individuals with compromised breathing.

What I like most about the BREATHE Training Program: I am still relatively new to the T32, but what I have enjoyed thus far is the range of active research within the BREATHE Training Program. Being able to connect with researchers that span from basic to translational research provides unique interactions and collaborations.

Awards & achievements since being on the T32: 2022 Respiration Research Recognition Award from the American Physiological Society

What I like about Gainesville: The outdoors! All of the big Spanish moss trees, gators that hang out in the ponds on and off campus, and exploring the springs in and around the area.

Why I chose BREATHE at the University of Florida: I chose BREATHE at UF for my postdoctoral training because of the program Dr. Gordon Mitchell has started here and the range of BREATHE research that continues to build on that foundation. My Ph.D. focused on forebrain control of body fluid homeostasis and blood pressure regulation in a model of sleep apnea, and I was interested on expanding into areas related to neuroplasticity in the control of breathing affected by physiological, genetic, and environmental factors. There’s nowhere better!

What makes the BREATHE Training Program unique? The amount of networking and professional development not only for graduate students, but also postdocs is tremendous. Providing unique training specific to stage of career is invaluable and owed to the high level of engagement and commitment from the mentors to trainee success and growth.

What I do for fun: I enjoy working out, being outside with my chocolate lab and kitten, and learning new hobbies that challenge my creative side.