Link: University of Iowa

Samuel Trammell receives special Graduate Deans’ Distinguished Dissertation Award

July 13th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Dr. Samuel Trammell, a 2016 Genetics PhD with Dr. Charles Brenner, is the recipient of a Graduate Deans’ Distinguished Dissertation Award for his dissertation entitled “Novel NAD+ Metabolomics Technologies and Their Applications to Nicotinamide Riboside Interventions.” The Graduate Deans’ Distinguished Dissertation Award is made only occasionally and recognizes exceptionally meritorious scholarship. Dr. Trammell will be recognized at the 20th Annual James F. Jakobsen Memorial Research Conference on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Iowa Memorial Union. Dr. Trammell is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen with Dr. Matthew Gillium working on lipid metabolism in diabetes.

 

Dr. Sheila Baker promoted to Associate Professor

July 13th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Congratulations to Dr. Sheila Baker for her recent promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure!

Dr. Baker began working as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry in July 2010 after completing a PhD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Vadim Y. Arshavsky at both Harvard Medical School and Duke University. During this period, she established novel systems for monitoring photoreceptor protein localization in frog eyes. Promoted to Research Assistant Professor at Duke in 2009, Dr. Baker wrote her first R01 proposal to the National Eye Institute, which was funded for five years. Dr. Baker has achieved national and international recognition as a scholar in protein trafficking in the vision system.

Colten Lankford receives multiple travel awards to attend FASEB summer conference

July 13th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Colten Lankford, a Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB) graduate student in Dr. Sheila Baker’s laboratory, received travel awards from both the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the MCB program to attend the FASEB summer conference on the Biology and Chemistry of Vision in Steamboat Springs, CO held June 25-30. Colten presented a Data Blitz and poster titled “Identification of HCN1 as a novel 14-3-3 client protein.”

2017 IDT & Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowships

July 5th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

The IDT and Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowships are awarded to three of the most meritorious second year Biochemistry graduate students based on academic and research achievements.

The 2017 IDT Graduate Fellows are Kelli Sylvers and Christopher Ball:

Ms. Kelli Sylvers had a productive first year in the graduate program and made significant scientific progress. Her rotation work has already contributed to one research paper. Ms. Sylvers grew up in Coon Rapids, Minnesota and graduated with a B.S in Biochemistry and a B.A in Biology from The College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN) in spring 2016. Ms. Sylvers is training in the laboratory of Dr. Brandon Davies. Her research involves the characterization of two circulating factors, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8, that regulate lipid metabolism. ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8 form a complex that inhibits lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme responsible for delivering triglycerides from the bloodstream to tissue. ANGPTL3, and possibly ANGPTL8, can also inhibit endothelial lipase, a major regulator of HDL.  Moreover, targeting ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8 can therapeutically lower plasma lipids, which may reduce the risk of cardiac disease. The goals of Ms. Sylvers research are to understand the interactions between ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8, characterize the mechanisms by which they inhibit lipoprotein lipase and endothelial lipase, and to identify small molecules that can disrupt the action of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL8 complexes.

Mr. Christopher Ball had an outstanding first year. He earned over a 4.0 average in his classes for the two semesters and performed in an exemplary manner during his three rotations. During his rotations, he got up to speed quickly in each of the three very different research environments and was able to contribute intellectually to each project. Having a good idea is easier than putting that idea into practice, but Mr. Ball is able to fully translate his imagination into experiments that work. Mr. Ball entered Dr. David Price’s lab in the Spring and has begun several projects aimed at understanding the regulation of transcription by human RNA polymerase II. He is utilizing both biochemical and molecular approaches. Key to his success is his soft spoken thoughtfulness coupled with a drive to succeed. Mr. Ball will attend the Cold Spring Harbor Lab meeting on Transcriptional Mechanisms in the Fall where he will present some of his first results demonstrating a rapid increase in transcribing RNA polymerase II in cells under oxidative stress.

The 2017 Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellow is Alicia Ortiz:

Ms. Alicia Ortiz joined the Biochemistry Department in the Fall of 2016 after having been actively engaged in microbiology research at University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Upon her recruitment to the University of Iowa, Alicia was named an Alfred P. Sloan Scholar, a fellowship awarded to promote the doctoral training of deserving US citizens from minority backgrounds.  As a first year student in the Biochemistry graduate program, Ms. Ortiz excelled accumulating an impressive academic and research credentials.  As a consequence of her successes, she was awarded a position on the Predoctoral Training Grant in the Pharmacological Sciences.  This is an NIH-funded institutional training program that promotes the interdisciplinary training of graduate students.  Ms. Ortiz will carry out her dissertation work in the laboratory of Dr. Kris DeMali and will focus her research efforts on understanding how epithelial cells sense and transmit forces in normal and cancer cells.

Congratulations to the 2017 IDT & Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellows!

Rachel Harder receives Women in Science and Engineering Scholarship

July 5th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Rachel Harder, a junior Biochemistry undergraduate student,  is the recipient of the J. Lynn Stoll Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. This scholarship is are awarded annually by Women in Science and Engineering, a UI program that focuses on helping females in all the STEM majors. Congratulations, Rachel!

Elizabeth Boehm receives 2017 Marion Dave Francis Innovator Award

July 5th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Dr. Elizabeth Boehm, a 2016 PhD with Dr. Todd Washington, received the 2017 Marion Dave Francis Innovator Award which recognizes a PhD student whose research has demonstrated their singular personal initiative, creativity, and resulting continuous discovery, as exemplified by Dr. Francis.

Dr. Elizabeth Boehm grew up in small farming community in northern Illinois. She attended Winona State University in Winona, MN where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She joined the graduate program in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Iowa in August 2012. She earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in August 2016 under the mentorship of Professor Todd Washington. Her research focused on understanding what happens when damaged DNA is replicated during cell division. She developed an experimental approach that allowed her to observe the formation of individual protein complexes in real time. This approach and the new computational tools that she developed for this project will be widely applicable to researchers studying similar protein complexes in many other fields. Currently, Elizabeth is a post-doctoral research associate at Harvard Medical School working with Professor Johannes Walter, a leader in the DNA replication and repair field.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Tim Collingsworth Recieves CIRTL Fellowship

May 22nd, 2017 by Briana Horwath

Timothy Collingsworth, a graduate student in Mike Schnieders’ lab, has received one of ten fellowships from the UI Center for the Integration of Teaching, Research and Learning (CIRTL). This fellowship is awarded to graduate students “who have demonstrated an interest in developing innovative, teaching-focused research here at the University of Iowa.” Tim’s proposed project is, “Effect of Recording Lectures on Student Success”. Congrats Tim!

Nicholas McCarty receives 2017 Montgomery Scholar’s Prize

May 17th, 2017 by Maren Rogers

Nicholas McCarty, an undergraduate major in the Dr. Dale Abel’s laboratory, has been awarded the 2017 Montgomery Biochemistry Scholar’s Prize Award for his outstanding research accomplishments and excellent presentation 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

Biochemistry Undergrads Present at Latham Science Engagement Initiatives Project Engage Showcase

May 15th, 2017 by Briana Horwath

Biochemistry majors Lance Heady (BS 2018) and Steven Huang (BS 2018) presented their outreach projects at the Latham Science Engagement Initiatives Project Engage Showcase and Reception at the IMU on April 29, 2017. Latham fellows learn about science communication and public engagement and in the spring semester and develop individual out reach projects. Lance’s project was on the impact of governmental funding on disease research. Steven’s project was on developing virtual laboratory tours to make research more accessible to the general public.

Lance Heady

Steven Huang

2017 OVPRED Award Winners

May 10th, 2017 by Judy Means

Congratulations to Lance Heady and Laura Fischer, both junior Biochemistry majors, who are recipients of the Excellence in Undergraduate Research award.  This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in scholarly investigation, artistic creation, or performance by University of Iowa undergraduates.