“I knew I was going to need experience for my senior research project and that the experience would be vital for any graduate who wants to go into the sciences, so I gladly accepted,” he said.
Zart regularly seeks out talented younger students to help him in the lab, giving them real-world experiences that could help refine their future areas of study.
“We aren’t just working on contrived problems like we would in class. This is real, and there isn’t always an answer,” he said. “We have to work together to see if there is an answer, and they then become co-owners of the project.”
Though the end goal has morphed since 2015, Milius has continued his work with Zart—and picked up more student researchers along the way. Last summer, Kathryn Chabal ’17 (biochemistry), Nick Sedor ’18 (biochemistry), and Stephen Klaassen ’18 (biology) spent long hours in the Science Center, seeking a viable interface between biology and chemistry by using chemistry to mimic the way biology solves specific problems. By the end of the summer, the crew had sent at least one sample to the University of Iowa for special testing. If their findings are proven, Zart believes they will have enough information to publish the first piece of their research.
“I’ve always playing with the idea of going into teaching or wanting to do research, and this was a great opportunity to see if that is something I want to do. I’ve really enjoyed it, but my other passions will likely lead me down a different road,” Milius said. “I do hope that I can continue researching in some way. I know a lot of physicians do perform their own research, so maybe I can do that.”