Thursday, January 3, 2019

When Ryan Reis isn’t in class pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences, you might find him conducting research on tumors in Dr. David Soll’s lab in the Department of Biology, volunteering in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, job shadowing an oncology doctor, or engaging with one of two student organizations, Medicus and Best Buddies.

Ryan Reis

“Ryan is extremely passionate about helping others,” said Megan Hoenig, a Nursing student who volunteers with Reis.

Reis is one of 42 outstanding University of Iowa undergraduate and graduate students featured the Dare to Discover banner campaign, launching today in downtown Iowa City. The campaign recognizes students’ important contributions to research, scholarship, and discovery at the University of Iowa.

Many of these research contributions have the potential to impact the lives of everyday Iowans. Amina Grant, a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is investigating lead and copper in drinking water in Iowa. Since there is no safe level for lead in children, she hopes to determine if commercially available lead test strips are reliable for homeowners to use. 

Amina Grant

"My career goals are to work at the interface of environmental engineering and science policy.  I want to drive the change in environmental policy, even if I have to pave the career path myself," said Grant.

“These students represent the next generation of big thinkers, explorers, innovators, and makers,” said John Keller, Interim Vice President for Research. “Students conduct remarkable research and scholarship at the University of Iowa. We are proud to celebrate their achievements through this campaign, which seeks to increase the visibility of scientists and scholars in our downtown community.”

Details about each of the 42 featured students are available at

Dare to Discover banner campaign preview

At the University of Iowa, nearly all graduate and professional students, and 30% of undergraduates, participate in research before they graduate.

The students represent a wide range of disciplines, including the arts and humanities, social sciences, engineering, public health, business, education, and medicine. More than 160 students were nominated by their mentors.

The campaign is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Follow the students’ stories on Twitter @DaretoDiscover and #DiscoverUI.


The University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research provides researchers and scholars with resources, guidance, and inspiration to secure funding, collaborate, innovate, and forge frontiers of discovery that benefit everyone. More at, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover