This memorial fund is being established to honor, Professor Troy D. Zars, a celebrated neurobiologist at the University of Missouri, and a beloved colleague, mentor, teacher, and friend, who passed away prematurely in December 2018.
Troy Daniel Zars received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Luther College, a liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa. He then moved to the University of Northern Iowa, where he completed a master’s degree in biology. In 1996, he earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He did his doctoral work with Dr. David Hyde on the genetics of retinal degeneration in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). He was awarded a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship, which took him to Germany to work with Martin Heisenberg in the Department of Genetics and Neurobiology at the University of Würzburg. For his postdoctoral work, he developed a neural systems approach for memory formation using Drosophila.
In 2002, he moved back to the United States to join the faculty in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, where he rose to the rank of Professor. Zars’ research focused on the neurobiology of learning and memory using Drosophila as a model system. Additionally, he taught Cell Biology for many years.
Donations to this Memorial Fund will honor his passion for science and education.