Bryce Bergeron

Bryce Bergeron
Mentor: Dr. Benjamin Canales
College of Medicine
 
"An inquisitive mind and genuine enthusiasm for science led me to the world of research my freshman year. I wanted hands-on experience to supplement my coursework, to develop my critical thinking skills, and be at the forefront of scientific discovery. My involvement with research has helped foster relationships with faculty that I would have otherwise never met. Research has heightened my mind and re-shaped the way I think. I will continue to engage in research throughout my future endeavors because it can answer and solve society's questions and problems."

Major

Microbiology and Cell Science

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Point-of-Care Devices
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • HHMI Science for Life Intramural Research Award
  • President's Honor Roll/Dean's List
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship

Organizations

  • Microbiology and Cell Science Student Organization
  • Gators for Haven Hospice
  • Team Florida Cycling (Mountain Bike)

Volunteer

  • Surfers for Autism
  • Haven Hospice
  • Sidney Lanier Workout Program

Hobbies and Interests

  • Freediving
  • Surfing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Music

Research Description

Developing a Device for Rapid Determination of Urine Oxalate
Of the $11 billion healthcare dollars spent on kidney stone disease in 2006, more than 99% was spent on stone diagnosis and surgical treatment, with less than 1% coming from office-based kidney stone prevention. Since more than 80% of kidney stones are oxalate based, it seems logical that both patients and healthcare providers would want to monitor urinary oxalate levels, as decreases in urinary oxalate levels correlate directly to decreased stone risk and crystal supersaturation. Urine oxalate can be measured to estimate stone risk and to assist with preventative dietary counseling. Although reliable urine oxalate assays are available through a small number of commercial and private laboratories, these studies require significant sample preparation and complex equipment, like color spectrophotometers or ion chromatographs. My objective is to develop a user-friendly, reliable, precise, and inexpensive point-of-care device that can rapidly determine urinary oxalate levels. I hypothesize that 1) the substances that interfere with oxalate measurement in human urine can be filtered out using activated charcoal and 2) the amount of oxalate in a spot sample of filtered human urine can be measured by studying the intensity of color change in a reaction catalyzed by oxalate oxidase. If successful, this device could usher in a new era of oxalate measurement, management, and research, paving the way for large-scale screening and preventative investigations across a variety of oxalate-related disease states.