Sam Boland is a third-year PhD student in the lab of Dr. Patrick Alford and was one of the three inaugural T32 Fellows. Before coming to Minnesota, Sam graduated from Penn State University (where he worked in the lab of Dr. Peter Butler) in 2018 with degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Sam also spent a year working in industry as a Reliability Engineer at Hologic, Inc. in between undergraduate and graduate school.
In the Alford Lab, Sam used his T32 funding to launch a new research project investigating how vascular deficiencies in cerebral arteries may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, Sam is interested in understanding how traumatic mechanical forces can modify the function of vascular smooth muscle cells, illuminating a potential link between head trauma and neurodegenerative disease.
Outside of the lab, Sam enjoys backpacking in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota and volunteering for outreach events with the BME DEI Alliance.