Make It Millikin: Blaine Traylor
Alpha Tau Omega
James Millikin Scholar uses project to research cancer cells
Blaine Traylor could end up being "the guy that cured cancer." Even though that would be pretty extraordinary, it may be a bit of a stretch. With the work that the junior chemistry major from Mount Zion, Ill., is working on though, anything is possible.
Traylor's current James Millikin Scholar project includes researching how to induce death of cancer cells. By synthesizing different peptides, he is testing to see if any specific synthetization can cause death among certain cancer cells. Thus far, Traylor is only in the early stages of the project and has quite some way to go before any major revelations are made.
"It would be pretty cool to solve a major healthcare crisis that affects millions of people around the world," Traylor said. "Yeah, if that happens that could be the highlight of my undergraduate career."
As great of an accomplishment that would be, Traylor's focus remains grounded as he works on his numerous other projects, classes and research. Traylor will be joining Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Timothy Guasco, this summer for a third term of research at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
Dr. Guasco and Traylor's work the past few summers has included working with photoelectron spectroscopy, which is the process of lasering samples and then evaluating the results. The purpose of this research is to find what could store carbon dioxide which would result in helping improve global warming.
"I very much look up to Dr. Guasco. The sheer volume I have learned from him through our research is incredible," said Traylor. In addition to his research with Dr. Guasco, Traylor thoroughly enjoys the classes he has with him as well as other professors in the Chemistry Department.
"I have taken all of the chemistry courses offered already, and I'm incredibly sad I have none left. I love a good challenge and those classes gave me exactly that," said Traylor.
In spite of all the remarkable research and work Traylor has been instrumental in thus far, most of his current work does not directly align with his future plans. Recently having taken the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Traylor is excited to apply to medical school and start his journey to becoming a doctor with a specialty in either cardiac or neurology.
"My classes and research have been greatly challenging. Due to those, I feel extremely well-prepared pursuing medical school since I have learned all the science stuff that I will need to know," Traylor said.