Department of Entomology
As a volunteer at James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute throughout his undergraduate career, Camden Dezse witnessed patients and their families in some of the most devastating circumstances one can encounter. While his experience was sobering, Camden also found it uplifting. He reflected, “It is truly inspiring to interact with individuals who act so courageously in the face of disease, and it has been a privilege to help patients in any way that I can. I am frequently reminded that life is fragile and that many of us take for granted simple things from our daily life, which has made me value my friends, family, and education even more.”
A double major in Biology, Camden’s future efforts will combine his passions for entomology and medicine with a goal of specializing in the research and treatment of insect-vectored illness. He says the toughest aspect of this has been grasping what his professional life as a physician will entail. His most valuable learning experience came last semester when he had the opportunity to be matched with a physician preceptor. He spent the semester shadowing, learning how to interact with patients and effectively communicate sensitive and complex information, applying the skills he learned in all aspects of his life.
Camden’s undergraduate research apprenticeship under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Short has sought to improve the mass-rearing process of sterile insect technique, a method of biological insect control, with a specific aim to make more sexually competitive mass-reared male mosquitoes. Relying on recent innovations in mosquito microbiota manipulation, Camden’s research has largely unfolded without any prior template. This has presented many obstacles and a few disappointments, but afforded Camden plenty of opportunity for growth in overcoming challenges and thinking critically. Camden will present his findings at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum this spring. He credits his time in the Short Lab for helping him find his academic niche, allowing him to combine his passions in a previously unimagined way.
Camden would like to recognize the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Short and shared the following: “Since I began my research as a member of the Short Lab, Dr. Short has welcomed and encouraged me to ask questions, make my own decisions based on evidence, and she has given me more freedom than I imagine I would have gotten in other labs on campus. The growth that I have achieved under the mentorship of Dr. Short is more than I could have asked for during my undergraduate career.”
After graduation, Camden will prepare for the Medical College Admission Test in late August. He will then take a year to travel abroad, teaching English to school children in Japan, proceeding thereafter to Australia to continue his research of mosquito mass-release programs before finally returning to the U.S. for medical school.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Chrysalis, president | Health Points: Pre-Health Connections and Volunteering, president | Ohio State University’s Honors Program Community| James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute volunteer | Wexner Medical Center’s mass-vaccination effort runner | C.A. Triplehorn Insect Collection volunteer | Cornerstone of Hope’s Camp Erin cabin leader | Grange Insurance Audubon Center volunteer | Neighborhood Services Inc. Food Pantry