I grew up near Philadelphia and then moved to Ithaca, New York, to earn my BS in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University.
Under the supervision of Dr. Michael Kotlikoff, I used genetic engineering strategies to express genes of interest in specific cell types. From this experience I was excited by the possibilities to understand and solve biological questions by developing technologies.
From there, I moved to Seattle and joined the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington under the supervision of Dr. Buddy Ratner. I completed my PhD work in 2012, which focused on biodegradable polymer synthesis for the implantation of fast vascularizing, organized cardiac muscle bundles.
My project goal in the Bursac lab was the development of microbioreactors for the culture of human skeletal muscle as part of a collaboration to fabricate small devices containing multiple organoids for pharmacology testing.