Jay Wickersham

Mentor: Dr. John Neubert
College of Dentistry
"I have always enjoyed the scientific field and have a desire to become an orthodontist in the future. I decided to find some research within the dental college to help me gain a more broad understanding of some of the many different specialties within the dental field."





Research Interests

  • Anesthetics
  • Palatability
  • Pain tolerance

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship


  • Theta Chi Fraternity


  • Wilmot Gardens
  • UF dental volunteer

Hobbies and Interests

  • Sports
  • Travel

Research Description

Operant Assays for Palatability and Pain Tolerance: Using a Lidocaine Derivative
Even with the high amount of resources being spent on anesthetics, there is still a major problem with pain regarding surgeries and other procedures. A major issue for the dental side of anesthetics is the taste of most solutions currently being used, as they are bitter and react poorly with certain patients. With this being said, there is a need for a new anelgesic to be as effective as the current solutions but will have a better taste assay. Anesthetics are put through an operant assay testing to show the palatability as well as a relflex assay to study the effectiveness as a pain reliever. The new solution has the potential to be used for dental procedures and other operating conditions. The solution in question is a derivative of the current anesthetic lidocaine and was manufactured in the organic chemistry lab here at the University of Florida.