Hailey Jansen

PhD Candidate (3rd year)

Email: hailey.jansen@dal.ca


Why Dal?

Dalhousie University is an amazing place to study for two reasons. First, it has an outstanding and reputable medical research program. Secondly, it is nestled within the heart of Halifax which makes it a unique place to live and study.

Why physiology and biophysics?

As an undergrad student, I worked in a cardiovascular research lab at UBC and enjoyed every moment of it. I eagerly watched in both anticipation and fascination as an excised heart would beat for hours while suspended by a complex network of tubing and other lab equipment.

For my master’s degree, I worked in a molecular epigenetics lab and loved it, but often reflected back on the image of the heart effortlessly contracting without skipping a beat. Thus, I was drawn back to studying the heart for my PhD.

When looking for potential labs to apply to, it was equally important to me to be able to apply the knowledge and experiences I gained while working in molecular biology labs as it was to have the opportunity to learn new experimental techniques and approaches.

I found that in Dalhousie’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In the Rose Lab, I use a variety of techniques to study cardiovascular disease. In particular, I investigate changes that occur at the level of the whole animal and the isolated cell, as well as alterations in gene expression patterns.

For me, I found the perfect combination. I am studying something I truly love and care about while using a variety of molecular biology and electrophysiological experimental approaches.

What inspires you?

I work on cardiovascular disease, which is unfortunately rather common in society. To be involved in research that can one day be applied to creating new therapeutic approaches to treating heart disease is truly inspiring and motivating.

I am fortunate enough to work with animal models of cardiovascular disease, as well as human tissue biopsies obtained from cardiac surgery patients. Knowing that a complete stranger is willing to donate a piece of their heart for medical research in itself is daunting and inspirational. Using their precious donation to explore the mysteries behind human disease is both a tremendous responsibility and an amazing experience.

By the nature of it, research evolves around discovering the unknown. Knowing that for any given set of experiments, I am quite possibly the first one to unravel the mysteries behind a given hypothesis is motivation to delve deeper into the very questions being asked.

Stepping back after months of performing experiments, drawing the threads of data together, then putting those individual pieces together to examine the bigger picture is both humbling and inspirational. Thus, the discoveries I am making inspires me to continue my research as each finding opens the next chapter of unanswered questions to explore.

Teaching, labs, research groups

  • Member of Dr. Robert Rose’s lab
  • Member of the Cardiovascular Research Group



  • Hua, R, MacLeod, S, Polina, I, Moghtadaei, M, Jansen, HJ, Bogachev, O, O’Blenes, SB, Sapp, JL, Legare, JF, Rose, RA. Effects of wildtype and mutant forms of atrial natriuretic peptide on atrial electrophysiology and arrhythmogenesis. Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 2015;8:1240-1254.
  • Krishnaswamy, P, Egom, EE, Moghtadaei, M, Jansen, HJ, Azer, J, Bogachev, O, Mackasey, M, Robbins, C, Rose, RA. Impaired parasympathetic nervous system regulation of the sinoatrial node in Akita diabetic mice. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 2015;82:125-135.
  • Egom, EE, Vella, K, Hua, R, Jansen, HJ, Moghtadaei, M, Polina, I, Bogachev, O, Hurnik, R, Mackasey, M, Rafferty, S, Ray, G, Rose, RA. Impaired sinoatrial node function and increased susceptibility to atrial fibrillation in mice lacking natriuretic peptide receptor C (NPR-C). The Journal of Physiology 2015;593:1127-1146.

Textbook chapter:

  • Jansen, HJ and Rose, RA. Natriuretic peptides: critical regulators of cardiac fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix in the heart. In: Cardiac Fibrosis and Heart Failure: Cause or Effect. Editors: Wigle, J and Dixon, I. pages 383-404. 2015

Awards, honours, conferences

  • International Society of Heart Research XXXV Annual Meeting of the North American Section in Seattle, USA (Poster presentation - June 2015)
  • Cardiovascular Group Research Day (Poster presentation – 2014, 2015)
  • Department of Physiology and Biophysics Research Day (Poster presentation – 2014, 2015)