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Kimberly Bussey

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Biography: 

Dr. Bussey is a cancer cytogeneticist and applied bioinformatician developing tools to help oncologists fully integrate genomics into their current medical data streams to realize the promise of precision medicine for their patients: the right treatment at the right time. Her motivation, the observation that cancer is an evolutionary process characterized by chromosome evolution, led her to study rare tumors, develop software to facilitate annotation of “omic” data, and link manipulations of histone acetylation with visual measurements of 3D nuclear architecture before leaving academia for industry. An alumna of the University of Arizona, Dr. Bussey received her PhD in Medical and Molecular Genetics from Oregon Health and Science University in 2000 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in bioinformatics at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Bussey has published 40 scientific papers and has been granted three patents for her work in rare tumors. She is actively involved with Interface: Faith and Science at Pinnacle, a forum for the exploration of science, faith, and their intersection in modern life. When she isn’t doing science, Dr. Bussey enjoys playing music (piano and English hand bells), hiking, mountain biking, and indulging in her passion for Star Wars with her husband and two daughters.

Education: 

B.S. in General Biology, University of Arizona

Ph.D. in Medical and Molecular Genetics, Oregon Health Science University

Research Interests: 

My research focuses on cancer using the atavism theory which states that cancer is a reversion to unicellular behavior in cells that normally exist in a multicellular context. In this paradigm, the rapid clonal evolution observed in cancer is evidence for a speciation event that yields a parasitic, unicellular collective. I want to identify how the speciation event occurs, how chromosome evolution restores unicellular information flows, and how to apply our new understanding clinically. If the atavism theory is correct, then precision medicine must seek to define not only therapeutic targets but the adaptive trajectory and potential of the tumor as well as the health of the host’s innate tumor defense mechanisms. To do this, there are a wealth of questions that need to be addressed. My current research focuses on clonal cooperation, stress-induced mutational signatures, and bioelectrical control of tumor phenotypes.

Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
LSC 484Internship
FOR 484Internship
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 100The Living World
PTX 484Internship
LSC 484Internship
FOR 484Internship
STP 494Special Topics
STP 560Experimental Statis in Biology
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 100The Living World
PTX 484Internship
LSC 484Internship
FOR 484Internship
ACO 484Internship
LSC 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
MAT 484Internship
LSC 484Internship
ACO 484Internship
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 100The Living World
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 181General Biology I