Link: University of Iowa

Mohammed Ismail awarded the 2016 Montgomery Biochemistry Scholar’s Prize

May 16th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

Mohammed Ismail, an undergraduate major in the Maria Spies laboratory, has been awarded the 2016 Montgomery Biochemistry Scholar’s Prize Award for his outstanding research accomplishments and excellent presentation at the Lata Symposium.Mohammed plans to apply to medical school this summer.

This prize was established by mentees, colleagues and friends of Dr. Rex Montgomery, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Montgomery began his career at the University of Iowa in 1955, and is admired for his impact as a researcher, teacher and mentor. Dr. Montgomery is an internationally recognized carbohydrate biochemist and textbook author. While on the faculty, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Medicine, the Vice President of Research for the University and was the founding director of the University of Iowa Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Montgomery retired in 2005 after more than 50 years on the faculty.

Three undergraduates receive 2016 Rex Montgomery Scholarship Awards

May 5th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

The 2016 Rex Montgomery Scholarships were award to:

Rex Montgomery Scholarships recognize undergraduate students for their outstanding academic record and commitment to research. This scholarship was established by Dr. Rex Montgomery, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Montgomery began his career at the University of Iowa in 1955, and is admired for his impact as a researcher, teacher and mentor. Dr. Montgomery is an internationally recognized carbohydrate biochemist and textbook author. While on the faculty, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Medicine, the Vice President of Research for the University and was the founding director of the University of Iowa Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Montgomery retired in 2005 after more than 50 years on the faculty.

Congratulations – Emily, Laura and Angela!

Four Biochemistry Undergraduates featured at the LSEI Project Engage Showcase

May 5th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

The Latham Science Engagement Initiative (LSEI) 1st Annual Project Engage Showcase held on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Iowa Memorial Union, featured four Biochemistry undergraduate majors (out of 12 total Latham Fellows): Sarah Gardner (Baker Laboratory), Cara Larson (Wallrath Laboratory), Nicholas McCarty (Abel Laboratory), and Maria Nunez Hernandez (Shea Laboratory). The students presented their Scientific Outreach Projects.

The LSEI and Fellowship Program was established through the generous donation of Robert J. and Sue B. Latham, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The program enhances the research opportunities for selected undergraduate students. For more information about LSEI and to apply to the fellowship program, visit: latham.uiowa.edu

Dr. Subramanian Ramaswamy receives 2015 UIRF Inventors Award

May 4th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

Dr. Subramanian Ramaswamy, Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry, has received a 2015 University of Iowa Research Foundation Inventors Award. In 2015, the UI Research Foundation and Dr. Subramanian, secured an option agreement with Spyryx Biosciences, Inc. for Dr. Subramanian’s technology“PLUNC-A Secreted Protein of Respiratory Epithelia and Salivary Glands With Surfactant Activity.”

12th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 28th, 2016 by Judy Means

Seven students presented at this year’s Undergraduate Honors Program. This year marks the twelfth year for the Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Professor Marc Wold, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor, in congratulating these 2016 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done.

Group Picture

(left to right): Jiadi An, Hannah Miller, Mohammed Ismail, Alexander Wolff, Hang Yin, Devon Moose, Jianlan Ren
  • Jiadi An
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Osmotic Pressure Simulations Facilitate Protein Force Field Parameterization: GROMOS 54A7
  • Mohammed A. Ismail
    Mentor: Maria Spies
    Phosphorylation by C-Abl Kinase on RAD51
  • Hannah K. Miller
    Mentor: Todd Washington
    Polymerase Interactions with PCNA
  • Devon L. Moose
    Mentor: Bridget Lear
    Developmental vs. Adult Requirements of the Narrow Abdomen Ion Channel Expression in Drosophila
  • Jianlan Ren
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Osmotic Pressure Simulations Facilitate Protein Force Field Parameterization: CHARMM36
  • Alexander J. Wolff
    Mentor: Daniel Weeks
    Designing and Building a Probe to Examine Endogenous Amyloids in Early Xenopus Development
  • Hang Yin
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Improvement of Sugar-Sugar Interactions in Molecular Dynamics Simulations Using Osmotic Pressure Measurements

The symposium also included the presentation of two undergraduate awards, made possible by a gift from Alap Subramanian. The H.G. Wittmann Scholar Award was presented to Alexander J. Wolff (Weeks lab) and the H.G. Khorana Scholar Award was presented to Hannah K. Miller (Washington lab), recognizing their exceptional understanding of biochemistry and its value to society.

Congratulations to everyone named above and all of our 2016 graduates!

Michael Hayes (MCB, MSTP) Wins Most Outstanding Entry at Health Sciences Research Week Poster Competition

April 15th, 2016 by Briana Horwath

Hayes, Mike (MCB, MSTP)Michael Hayes (MCB, MSTP), a graduate student in Dr. Daniel Weeks’ lab was selected as having the most outstanding entry for the Carver College of Medicine Health Sciences Research poster competition. Mike’s poster, “Do amyloid-like complexes control development? An examination of amyloids in Xenopus ooctyes and early embryos”, details that Xenopus oocytes and early embryos form similar aggregates of proteins as part of particles that carry out transcription, processing, and transport of RNA. Collaborative studies with Sydney Skuodas, a graduate student with Dr. Jan Fassler (U of Iowa Biology), employed yeast and Xenopus to understand the enzymes that may assemble and disassemble the protein aggregates.

Congratulations Mike!

Weeks receives 2015-16 Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

April 7th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

_D3A3649_weeksCongratulations to Professor Dan Weeks, who has been selected as the recipient of the 2015-16 Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award: Biological and Life Sciences.

In his nomination letter, Dr. Charles Brenner wrote “For the past 28 years Professor Weeks, an internationally known nucleic acid biochemist and developmental biologist, has demonstrated exemplary mentoring of doctoral students. His mentorship has influenced thousands of undergraduates, graduates, and medical students who have gone on to enjoy productive careers in academia, industry and policy.” He continued, “Professor Weeks has served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Biochemistry for over a decade. His devotion to each and every student collectively makes our graduate program a huge success.”

Professor Weeks will be recognized at the Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award Recognition and Reception on May 4, 2016.

Rubenstein receives the 2016 Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion

April 4th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

Rubenstein 100x150Congratulations to Dr. Peter Rubenstein, Professor of Biochemistry and Internal Medicine, for receiving the 2016 Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion. Dr. Rubenstein will be presented his medallion at the 99th Anniversary Finkbine Dinner on April 12, 2016. Medallions are given in recognition of outstanding leadership, learning, and loyalty within the University of Iowa community. The medallions are named after 1880 law graduate and Des Moines businessman William O. Finkbine and Virgil M. Hancher, who served as president of the UI from 1940 to 1964. The tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine medallions began in 1964.

Schnieders Laboratory Undergraduate Student Awards – NSF Graduate Fellowship & Goldwater Scholar

April 4th, 2016 by Maren Rogers

Congratulations to Ian Nessler, a senior in Chemical Engineering working in Dr. Dr. Michael Schnieders‘ laboratory, was selected for an NSF Graduate Fellowship. Ian is one of five current UI students to receive this fellowship in 2016. Ian plans to pursue his PhD at Michigan starting in the Fall.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education.  The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education.

Congratulations to Rae Corrigan, a Biomedical Engineering student in Dr. Michael Schnieders’ laboratory, has been named a 2016 Goldwater Scholar.  Rae plans to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering, conduct research in computational biochemistry with emphasis on molecular oncology and pharmacogenetics, and teach at the university level.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields. Four-year institutions in the United States are eligible to submit up to four nominations. This year, the Goldwater Committee received 1150 nominations. 252 Scholars and 256 Honorable Mentions were awarded. A full list of the 2016 Goldwater Scholars can be found here: https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/sch-2016.php

Nicholas McCarty – 2016 Goldwater Scholar

April 1st, 2016 by Judy Means

Congratulations to Nicholas McCarty, a third-year Biochemistry student, who has been named a 2016 Goldwater Scholar. Nicholas has worked in the Abel laboratory for the last three years, primarily studying the role of insulin signaling in regulating the cardiovascular system. Nicholas plans to pursue an MD/PhD in Biochemistry and continue his studies on the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields. Four-year institutions in the United States are eligible to submit up to four nominations. This year, the Goldwater Committee received 1150 nominations. 252 Scholars and 256 Honorable Mentions were awarded.

A full list of the 2016 Goldwater Scholars can be found here: https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/sch-2016.php