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I Am a Researcher


Many students consider becoming a doctor. Jacob Bowman was pretty sure that was the right path for him when he came to Otterbein University - that is until he found himself asking a simple, yet extremely complicated, question in his first biology class: “What is life?” This question has led him down a new path and to a unique research opportunity.



“I have done research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the research building with Dr. Simon Lawrance (professor of biology and earth science),” Jacob said. “I gained invaluable experience in a real lab with a principal investigator and various other people who aren’t undergraduates.”

Jacob’s research has taken him farther than Columbus, Ohio to the Experimental Biology Expo 2013 in Boston. 

“Boston was an amazing experience. I got to see a lot of historical sites all throughout Boston, but more importantly, I got a renewed and refreshed sense of what I want to do in life,” Jacob said. “I saw lectures from a variety of speakers and I got to see a more in-depth depiction of a career in science.”

“A moment that changed how I see myself and my talents was presenting my research in Boston. I had to be knowledgeable about everything within my project, and I was able to successfully think through my project. Presenting research ignited a fire of more curiosity and desire to be in a science career.”

While many schools do not often allow freshmen to start researching until later in their college career, Otterbein professors such as Dr. John Tansey, associate professor of chemistry and program director for biochemistry and molecular biology, encourage students to jump in right away.

“(Dr. Tansey) was on the forefront of talking to me when I was applying here. He seemed to have a genuine interest in having me be a part of the then new biochemistry and molecular biology program,” Jacob said. 

“I have been most proud of doing my research. It wasn’t always easy, and it forced me to work harder. It has been a phenomenal experience.”