Aaron Coey (Class of 2011)

photo of Aaron Coey

  • senior double major in Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • minor in Molecular Biology
  • from Cincinnati, OH
  • selected as a 2010-11 Beckman Scholar

"Hi, I'm a senior biochemistry and microbiology double major with a minor in molecular biology. Since my first year, I've actively participated in undergraduate research and in the university's music program. I'm a violinist in the symphony orchestra and work as a part-time student accompanist. In my spare time, I play intramural sports and participate in group fitness activities like yoga and spinning."

Undergraduate Research

"I started out as a pre-medical student and I chose Miami because of its strong ties to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and because of the dual admissions program, which guarantees early acceptance to medical school. Because of my interest in medically relevant science, I began conducting research with a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where I work with human heart proteins. The goal of my work is to determine the structure and function of the KCNE membrane proteins that are critical for the proper functioning of the human heart.

photo of Aaron Coey in lab"As my involvement in undergraduate research increased, I developed a love for the pure science of academic research and decided not to attend medical school. Instead, I'll apply to Ph.D. programs across the nation and pursue a career as a professor of biophysics. To me, biophysics is such an attractive field because it employs a diverse array of physics, biology and chemistry to answer some of the most complicated questions about biological systems.

"Sometimes I spend up to 60 hours a week in the lab. So far, my passion and hard work have yielded four publications and the opportunity to attend conferences in San Francisco, Snowmass CO, Nashville and Baltimore. I've received multiple research awards, including Miami's Undergraduate Summer Scholars grant, Hughes-Miami Internship grant, and the prestigious Beckman Scholars grant. These awards have permitted me to live in Oxford during the summer to continue fulltime research in the lab."


photo of Aaron Coey performing as piano accompanist"I'm also active in the Department of Music as a violinist in the Miami University Symphony Orchestra and as a piano studio accompanist. This creative outlet is an excellent opportunity to get away from the demands of my science coursework. I'm very impressed by the high caliber of musicians in the orchestra and the dedication of its conductor. The orchestra has performed with many renowned soloists and professional orchestras.

"As a pianist, I work with other instrumentalists to help them with their pieces when piano accompanists are required. I've accompanied everything from vocalists to violinists to tubas and performed in student recitals that are required for Miami's music degree programs. This year as a non-music major, I participated in the departmental concerto on the piano."

Outside Activities

"I enjoy intramural soccer and volleyball and group fitness at the Recreational Sports Center. During the winter, you can find me on the ski slopes. I use physical activity as a way to de-stress after a long day's work in the lab and because I believe that a fit body is essential to a fit mind.

"I'm also an advocate for GLBTQ rights and I'm a member of the university's GLBTQ organization, Spectrum. The organization seeks to raise awareness on GLBTQ issues and has multiple fundraisers for causes such as the Trevor Project and HIV awareness.

photo of Aaron Coey and friends preparing to work on a house"While at Miami, I've participated in Habitat for Humanity. In fall 2007, I worked with Camp Hope, in New Orleans, to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina, and, with my friends, I helped to build a house in College Corner for an underprivileged family."

[December 2010]