Improving Public Health

Dr. Bryan Buss ('89)

Bryan Buss has traveled the world to help improve the public health of underserved and impoverished communities. This includes helping contain the largest outbreak on record of the Ebola virus in Liberia by deploying there in 2015. Two years later he led a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emergency response team in American Samoa, battling the Zika virus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was deployed to the San Francisco International Airport in January 2020 before the virus was detected in the United States, in support of national efforts to stem the virus introduction into the country. Pretty impressive and even more so when you consider, Buss had no real interest in public health during his DVM studies, nor during his time as a mixed animal practitioner in Nebraska. “When I left Iowa State, I had no plans to work in public health,” Buss said. “I said my oath at graduation along with my classmates, but the two statements at the end (‘promotion of public health’ and ‘the advancement of medical knowledge’) didn’t resonate with me at the time.” But after 12 years of practice and substantial family events, Buss found himself doing some pretty serious soul searching. “While I valued my practice experience, I found myself being pulled towards public health issues,” Buss said, “and I found I enjoyed the change of pace.”