Make The Connection

Healthy Choices

July 29, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Student Works Toward Career in Medicine, Medical Research

Bryce Wittman ’22

Name: Bryce Wittman ’22
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Major: Microbiology (Bachelor of Science)
Minor: Chemistry
OWU Connection Experience: Ohio Wesleyan’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

Wittman is spending 10 weeks conducting an “Investigation of Dipyrrin Ligands for the Activation of Oxygen” under the mentorship of Allen Pistner, Ph.D., assistant professor of Chemistry.

Creating Chemical Compounds

“We are currently making a chemical compound and investigating its photochemical and electrochemical properties when different metals are added. There are two main areas of focus in which the application of this compound could be profitable: chemotherapy and fuel cells.

“When applied to cancer treatment, the chemical could be used in a process called photodynamic therapy, which is a more direct and non-invasive approach than other alternatives.”

Energizing Fuel Cell Research

“The chemical we are making and analyzing could be used in fuel cells, which is increasingly becoming of interest, as the byproducts of this energy-production method are environmentally friendly.

“As we synthesize and investigate the compound, we hope to gain a better understanding of its properties and the most efficient way of making it.”

Connecting Ideas with Future Plans

“The research we have been doing closely ties back to previous courses I have taken. Nearly all of the techniques we have done during this project have been done in the lab courses.

“The research also ties into my future plans, as it is applicable to oncology and chemotherapy. I would like to work in the medical field, so having a strong foundation in the science behind many of the developments in the field is beneficial.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose OWU because I was attracted to their strong science programs and the small student-to-faculty ratio, which has been crucial to my development as a student.”

My Plans After Graduation

“After graduation, I would like to go to medical school or do research in the medical field. Or both.”