Dr. Valerie Busler
“Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made”
More than a quarter of a century ago, my sister and I began playing school during our summer vacations. She, being the older sibling and an aspiring teacher, always played the part of the instructor, whereas I, being the younger child and desiring to be a student forever, filled the role of pupil. We laughed as in our adult lives we found ourselves in those very roles, she as an elementary school teacher, and I as a seemingly perpetual student. What I did not realize until later was that a teacher has the joy and privilege of being both educator and life-long student.
The road to teaching was a rather circuitous route for me. My passion for science, desire to help others, and prayers for God’s guidance led me first toward biomedical research and later to medical school. While my experiences in medical school kindled a passion for both pathology and hospice care, I sought nontraditional outlets that would make use of my education and skills as well. Through a sequence of events that can be explained seemingly only by God’s providence, I found myself presented with the opportunity to teach a biology course for the Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) Program at the Tennessee Prison for Women during the summer of 2011. This was an opportunity I could not let pass and one that proved to be an immeasurable joy as I experienced the privilege of working with these exemplary students. Thus began my journey as a teacher at the college level.
Whether I am pursuing educational and academic endeavors or resting from work, I treasure spending time with my husband, Forrest Busler. We are part of the close-knit church family at Natchez Trace Church of Christ and, being native Tennesseans, enjoy having our biological families close to us as well. Forrest is a pathologist, so it is not uncommon for us to spend time together studying or conversing about science and medicine; however, we seek to experience the awes of science in God’s creation directly, as well, and backpack, hike, bike, and canoe as often as our schedules allow. We also have interests in medical mission work and have spent time both in Peru and at Kenya’s Kijabe Hospital, one of the world’s only evangelical Christian mission hospitals equipped with anatomic pathology laboratories.
As an undergraduate at Lipscomb University, it meant a great deal to me to study under professors who are Christians, especially as a science major. I give thanks to return to the place where my growth as a scientist and as a Christian were so well-nurtured and to have the opportunity now in turn to strengthen young minds in their faith in Christ through the study of His miraculous creation.
Education: M.D., Wake Forest University School of Medicine (2010), M.S. Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University (2006), B.A. Biology and German, Lipscomb University (2001)
Professional Experience: Adjunct Professor, Lipscomb University (2011-present), National Science Foundation GK-12 Graduate Teaching Fellow (2005-2006), Pre-Intramural Research Training Fellow, National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases (2001)
Courses Taught: The Human Body in Health and Disease, Introductory Microbiology
Professional Areas of Interest: LIFE Program, medical missions, applications of psychology and counseling skills to medicine and education, utilization of hands-on investigations across all levels of science education
Scholarly Activities: Poster presentations: American Society for Microbiology General Meeting (2004 and 2006) and American Society for Microbiology Tennessee-Kentucky Branch Meeting (2005)
Published research: Busler V J, Torres VJ, McClain MS, Tirado O, Friedman D, Cover TL. Protein-protein interactions among Helicobacter pylori Cag proteins. J Bacteriol 2006;188:4787-4800.
Awards: Wake Forest University School of Medicine Department of Pathology student acknowledgment for excellence and leadership in pathology (2010), American Society for Microbiology Corporate Activities Program Student Travel Grant, for travel to General Meeting (2006), Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Training Grant (2003-2004), Microbes and Defense Academic Society (2003-2006)
Professional Organizations: Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (2011-present), Christian Medical and Dental Associations (2006-present), American Society for Microbiology (2004-present), Sigma Alpha Iota, International Professional Women’s Music Fraternity (1997-present)
Church: Natchez Trace Church of Christ
Personal: Born to Frank and Judy McMurray on February 23, 1978, in Nashville, TN. Married Forrest Busler on July 3, 2004, in Murfreesboro, TN.