Faculty Focus: Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD

Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Alexander Bassuk portraitWhat is your hometown? 


How/when did you become interested in science and/or medicine?

My father was a pediatric surgeon, and the idea of helping children in need has always been a part of my life. Learning about neural development at the University of Chicago drew me to science.

When did you join the University of Iowa faculty?


How or why did you choose to join the faculty at the University of Iowa?

Excellent clinical care and research in a great town for raising a family.

Is there a teacher or mentor who helped shape your career?

I have had so many! My colleagues and students are really fantastic teachers and mentors to me still.

How do you see your faculty role impacting medicine and/or science?

My science and clinical practice have always informed one another. As the division head of pediatric neurology, it has been very exciting to continue our tradition of outstanding clinical care for children with epilepsy and other neurological disorders and to mentor and support young physician-scientists who are leading the way toward a better understanding of disease and toward new treatments. 

What is the biggest change you’ve experienced in your field since you were a student?

The human genome was not yet sequenced when I started medical school. This achievement has opened up a new world of possible diagnostic abilities and treatments. 

What one piece of advice would you give to today’s students?

Do it because you love it and remember what a privilege it is to be able to help others in this way.

In what ways are you engaged in professional activities outside the University?

I have particularly enjoyed supporting students and professionals from diverse backgrounds in their pursuit of careers in medicine and science. As a heritage Spanish speaker (my parents are from Argentina), I have even been able to do this in Spanish a few times!

What are some of your outside interests?

Reading, biking, running, hiking. 

Learn more about Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD.