Molly Wheeldon

Health disco OG image
Molly Wheeldon

Molly Wheeldon

Health disco academic program
healthy disco cohort year

I am a second year Honors College student majoring in human development and family sciences, with minors in chemistry and global health alongside a Medical Humanities certificate. I am passionate about medicine and health-oriented research – an interest I have been able to pursue through the URSA Engage program.

My Research

research spreadsheet

In this research project, I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Veronica Irvin to analyze the correlation between personal care product use and breast cancer risk. Personal care products often contain endocrine-disrupting compounds, which are largely infamous for harming the human body. I performed a systematic review followed by a coding process to analyze outside data previously gathered from women around the globe.

I was inspired to pursue this area of research because I am motivated to make a difference within the field of medicine and strongly believe that such research can lead to significant scientific breakthroughs. Ultimately, my research found that there are many positive correlations between frequent care product use and breast cancer risk, leading me to advise others to avoid using personal care products containing such harmful endocrine-disrupting compounds such as parabens and phthalates.

A Shift in Perspectives

pubmed search results

Prior to this experience, I was unaware of the multifariousness of research. I learned that research is an individualized experience, not just for those participating but those conducting the studies as well. From my project, I not only gained knowledge regarding breast cancer and personal care product usage, but also strengthened my communication abilities, enhanced my leadership skills, and heightened my confidence that I can make a meaningful contribution to the field of health sciences. I experienced the importance of team collaboration and formed worthwhile connections with those with similar interests.

Next Steps

Molly Wheeldon and faculty advisor

I have been lucky enough to be able to continue research with Dr. Irvin, pursuing and raising awareness about the causes of breast cancer. We plan to partner with local Samaritan Health clinics to offer our knowledge to patients and general community members. This is one aspect of research I find extremely valuable – sharing findings with others to establish an environment of informed individuals. In addition, I will be working with the Sister Study to expand research regarding interval breast cancer, a health concern that remains foreign to many. After graduating from OSU, I hope to attend medical school, which will allow me to further my passion for health care and continue practicing the essential skills that research has taught me.

Why did you choose the College of Health at OSU to pursue your studies?

In the College of Health at OSU, there is an abundance of opportunities sitting in the palm of my hand. From gaining hands-on research experience and pre-medical mentoring, I have access to valuable resources that I know will help me achieve my career and education goals.

What sparked your interest in health?

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to become a physician. I have gone from watching childhood health-related shows such as Doc McStuffins, to making meaningful steps toward this momentous goal. Obtaining a career in health means having the ability to make a positive impact on my environment, community and individual self – something of immeasurable value.

Why are you interested in research?

By engaging in research, I am fully immersing myself into the College of Health experience. Research allows me to gain direct involvement in the realm of science and health, affirming and expanding my passion for the two subjects. Through research, I am forming meaningful connections, engaging in personal growth, and enhancing my knowledge in various fields.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

Under the mentorship of Veronica Irvin, I will be analyzing interval breast cancer data gathered from interviews with women who experienced this health concern. Additionally, I will partake in writing grant proposals that would expand the ability to perform breast cancer research.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

After graduating OSU in the spring of 2026, I plan to further my education by attending medical school. My ultimate goal is to become a physician, which enables me the opportunity to pursue my interest in medicine while also engaging in continuous learning and impactful leadership.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.