Zack Varpness
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Zack Varpness

Dr. Varpness teaches in the chemistry department and oversees the medical laboratory science program. He is fascinated by the 100 common atoms that make up all of creation and enjoys discovering how these atoms assemble into different structures and substances.

Faithful scientist
Dr. Varpness views his chemistry research as an opportunity to understand the intricacies of God’s creation. He says his work has helped him appreciate God’s creativity and power, and he is grateful whenever he discovers new marks of God’s handiwork.

Gut instinct
In a college-funded research project, Dr. Varpness partnered with Flourish—a locally produced probiotic—to study the interaction between gut bacteria and the human body. He and his student assistant used culturing techniques and mass spectroscopy to see if the probiotic released any chemicals that might contribute to overall health.

Raider roots
Dr. Varpness studied biology and chemistry at Northwestern and received his doctorate in bioinorganic/materials chemistry from Montana State University in Bozeman. He was a chemistry professor at Chadron State College for 11 years before returning to his alma mater in 2018.

Midwest explorer
Dr. Varpness’ studies and teaching have allowed him to explore locations across the Midwest—including Iowa, Montana and Nebraska. While completing his doctoral studies in Montana, he dabbled in mountain hiking, white water rafting and fly fishing.

Read Dr. Varpness’ bio