Alumnus Luke Bussiere returns to campus to talk about cutting-edge cancer treatments using viruses

Luke Bussiere in Class

With cutting-edge research being conducted, cancer treatments as we know them may one day be a thing of the past. UW-Green Bay alumnus, Luke Bussiere ‘14 (Biology) is a microbiology Ph.D. student at Iowa State University (ISU) doing research into the use of viruses, specifically the mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV), to treat cancer. This research has resulted in multiple ongoing clinical trials utilizing MRV as treatment for various tumor types. The results of the trials have proven to be very promising.

“Within the trials, large amounts of live MRV virus is introduced into the blood and spread throughout the body,” he explains. “When using such large amounts of virus, some individuals have experienced mild fatigue, but apart from that there are little known side effects. Many have found that their tumors decrease in size.”

Bussiere returned to UW-Green Bay on March 30 to present this research to two classes — Microbiology and Advanced Microbiology. After the presentation, he will be answering questions about his research and the life of a Ph.D. student.

When asked about his education at UWGB, he said, “I cannot speak enough to how valuable the interactions with my professors were. Their encouragement and guidance impacted the path my career has taken, and is still impacting me today. I am pleased and honored that Dr. Merkel invited me to talk with his classes about my work and I appreciate this opportunity.”

Story by Marketing and University Communication intern, Amanda Rice.

Video and photo by Dan Moore.

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