Link: University of Iowa

Guowei Qi named 2019 Goldwater Scholar

May 10th, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Congratulations to Guowei Qi, a sophomore Biochemistry student, who has been named a 2019 Goldwater Scholar. Guowei is currently a member of Dr. Michael Schnieders’ Lab researching protein side optimization. Guowei is a member of the University of Iowa Honors Program, the Presidential Scholar community, UI Student Government, and the UI Environmental Coalition. He has also recently served on the 2018 CLAS Dean Search Committee and is an Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Ambassador.

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 1223 nominations.

A full list of the 2019 Goldwater Scholars can be found here: https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/2019-goldwater-scholars-by-institution-state/

Samantha Mackin and Ian McElree awarded Montgomery Scholar’s Prizes

May 2nd, 2019 by Maren Rogers

Samantha Makin, an undergraduate major in the Dr. Kris DeMali’s laboratory,  and Ian McElree, an undergraduate in Dr. Chun-Fang Wu’s laboratory in the Department of Biology, have been awarded 2019 Montgomery Biochemistry Scholar’s Prizes for their outstanding research accomplishments and excellent presentations at the Lata Symposium.

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 Undergraduate Students Awarded 2019 Rex Montgomery Scholarships

May 2nd, 2019 by Maren Rogers

The 2019 Rex Montgomery Scholarships were award to:

  • Kinsey Gudenkauf, Dr. Scott Shaw’s laboratory;
  • Jade Miller, Dr. Maria Spies’ laboratory; and
  • Francesca Spencer, Dr. Daniel Weeks’ laboratory

Rex Montgomery Scholarships recognize undergraduate students for their outstanding academic record and commitment to research. This scholarship was established by the late Dr. Rex Montgomery, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Montgomery began his career at the University of Iowa in 1955, and was admired for his impact as a researcher, teacher and mentor. Dr. Montgomery was 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.

Dr. Brandon Davies Named as Junior Associate Editor of the Journal of Lipid Research

May 2nd, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Dr. Brandon Davies was one of four junior faculty members working anywhere in the world to be named Junior Associate Editors of the Journal of Lipid Research. Dr. Davies is part of the first cohort that were nominated by the journal’s associate editors. Dr. Davies was chosen on the basis of his outstanding contributions to the field and in anticipation of his future impact in lipid biochemistry and physiology. An assistant professor of Biochemistry since 2012, Dr. Davies was also the recipient of the Journal of Lipids Research Junior Investigator Award in 2017 and is currently serving on the Deuel Conference Board.

Congratulations to Dr. Davies!

15th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 24th, 2019 by Judy Means

Eleven students presented at this year’s Undergraduate Honors Program.  This year marks the fifteenth year for the Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Professor Marc Wold, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor, in congratulating these 2019 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done.

(front row – left to right): Ariel Kopel, Samantha Mackin, Ashley Segura-Roman, Irini Petros (back row – left to right): Samuel Cole Kitzman, Derek Metzger, Andrew Henry, Lucas Maakestad, Sophia Vogeler

(left) Ian McElree, (right) Jesse Cochran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesse Cochran
Mentor: E. Dale Abel
Sex Differences in the Response of C57BL/6 Mice to Ketogenic Diets

Andrew Henry
Mentor: Andrew Norris
Influence of CFTR on Linoleic Acid Metabolism

Samuel (Cole) Kitzman
Mentor: Pamela Geyer
Modeling a premature aging syndrome by a mutant form of Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor (BAF) in Drosophila

Ariel Kopel
Mentor: Sheila Baker
The Role of Synaptic Calcium Channels in Cone Photoreceptors

Lucas Maakestad
Mentor: Todd Washington
Overexpression and Purification of the Fork-Remodeling Enzyme Rad5

Samantha Mackin
Mentor: Kris DeMali
Identifying Mechanisms Coupling Cell Metabolism to Force Transmission

Ian McElree
Mentor: Chun-Fang Wu
Exploration of the rosA Oscillatory ERG Phenotype in Drosophila

Derek Metzger
Mentor: Brandon Davies
Functional Analysis of Human ANGPTL3 Mutants

Irini Petros
Mentor: Dan Weeks
Protein Aggregates in Different Subnucleolar Compartments in Xenopus laevis

Ashley Segura-Roman
Mentor: Brandon Davies
Endothelial Lipase Regulation by ANGPTL3

Sophia Vogeler
Mentor: Charles Brenner
Evaluating the Efficacy of NAD Precursors in Treating Hyperphagia

The symposium also included the presentation of two undergraduate awards (see pictures below), made possible by a gift from Alap Subramanian. The H.G. Wittmann Scholar Award was presented to Derek Metzger (Davies lab) and the H.G. Khorana Scholar Award was presented to Sophia Vogeler (Brenner lab), recognizing their exceptional understanding of biochemistry and its value to society.

 

Congratulations to everyone named above and all of our 2019 graduates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Colleen Caldwell, Marc Wold, and Maria Spies featured on the cover of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

April 5th, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Graduate student Colleen Caldwell (M. Spies Lab) was the co-first author on a paper published in, and featured on, the cover of the February 2019 issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (volume 26, issue 2, page 129). The article titled, “Dynamics and selective remodeling of the DNA-binding domains of RPA” was the product of a collaboration between the laboratories of Professors Marc Wold, Maria Spies, and Edwin Antony (Marquette University). It describes biochemistry and single-molecule studies that characterized the conformational dynamics of individual domains of Replication Protein A (RPA). RPA binds to single-stranded DNA and is essential for the replication and repair of DNA. This paper shows that individual domains of RPA rapidly bind and dissociate from DNA and that these dynamic interactions are modulated when RPA interacts with partner proteins. These studies suggest that remodeling of the RPA complex probably directs the proper processing of different single-stranded DNA intermediates in the cell.

Congrats Colleen, Dr. Wold, and Dr. Spies!

Cole Kitzman Recieves Ishan Jain Travel Award

April 2nd, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Cole Kitzman, a Biochemistry and Pre-Medicine major in Dr. Pamela Geyer’s lab, has received the Ishan Jain Travel award. This award is presented to an undergraduate student performing research within the Cell and Developmental Biology Program at the University of Iowa. Cole used these funds to travel to the 60th Annual Drosophila Research Conference March 27-31 in Dallas, TX and present a poster entitled, “Modeling a premature aging syndrome caused by a mutant form of Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor (BAF) in Drosophila”

Congrats Cole!

Dr. John Dagle Named Recipient of the Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

March 25th, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Dr. John Dagle (Pediatrics-Neonatology and secondary faculty in Biochemistry) was selected as the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Tow award recognizes those who demonstrate both clinical excellence and compassion in delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues.

Congratulations Dr. Dagle!

Lacy Barton Featured in Damon Runyon Video

March 20th, 2019 by Briana Horwath

Lacy Barton, a 2014 PhD graduate from the Geyer Lab, has been recently featured in a video produced by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.  This video highlights women in science and Lacy’s current research. Lacy is currently a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Skirball Institute at the New York University School of Medicine.

Ashley Segura-Roman – Callen Prize Winner

March 19th, 2019 by Judy Means

Congratulations to Ashley Segura-Roman (Brandon Davies lab) for being named the recipient of the Joseph E. and Ursil I. Callen Prize for an outstanding senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the academic year 2019-2020. The award is given to a University of Iowa senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who shows a high academic record and evidence of school and/or civic leadership in high school and/or college.

Congrats, Ashley!