Getting back on track – Meet Amanda Brissenden PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering

Posted on April 29, 2020


Bending, twisting, leaning, straining, sitting, slouching…our backs go through a lot in a day.

Few know this better than Amanda Brissenden, Sc’15. Her active lifestyle, which has included white water kayaking, rock climbing, and gymnastics to name a few, has caused more than her fair share of back injuries.

Nowadays, while she still keeps active, Amanda has put her back into her research. Amanda is a PhD candidate in chemical engineering whose research focuses on polymer spinal injections designed to restore the function of the discs of the spine and help alleviate pain.

“I was debating between enrolling in health sciences and engineering for my undergraduate studies, and Queen’s engineering seemed like a good fit with a strong community,” she says. “I particularly appreciate the fact the program has a general first year which allowed me to explore different career paths.”

In the final years of her undergraduate studies, Amanda had the opportunity to work with Dr. Brian Amsden on a summer undergraduate research project. These projects were a part of a NSERC CREATE program at Queen’s and focused on soft connective tissues and applications of hydrogels.

This research experience led her to focus on biomedical engineering, a field which she knew would require a masters.

After enrolling in her masters courses and beginning her research, Amanda realized she needed more time to explore her research questions. She’s now into the final years of her doctoral studies.

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