Friday, August 5, 2016

URSP Student Highlights: Forrest Bussler

Hello! My name is Forrest Bussler and I am a senior in the Bioengineering department. I have been working with Dr. Agrawal in the microscale laboratory in Krasnow building since the beginning of the Fall semester 2015. Currently, I am working on looking at how the area a cell occupies its level of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Besides my area of research in ER stress, other projects in the lab focus on cell transfection, microscale device fabrication and analysis, as well as gradient analysis. Many of the studies done in the lab involve working with cancer, mainly breast cancer.
My interest in bioengineering grew due to how diverse it is and its ability to help others maintain a healthy and functional lifestyle through various engineering methods mixed with experience in other areas such as programming, electrical engineering, and biology. There will always be more ways to improve the lives of the less fortunate, and I want to be at the forefront of that movement.
Cancer is a biological phenomenon that even today, is still not completely understood. It is different for each person and treatment options may be limited due to the size of a tumor, the degree of metastasis, or the location of the cancer. It effects nearly everyone whether it be a loved one or oneself, and because of this, I want to understand it better and develop techniques to better treat and diagnose it.
The entire lab meets each Monday to discuss progress, options for moving forward with the projects, and one person in the lab does a formal presentation of their work so far and the background associated with it.
In addition to my patterning research with cell area and ER stress, I am working with graduate student Steven Roberts to create a chemical gradient on a microdevice to simulate cancer extravasation due to differences in a chemoattractant.