June 15th, 2015 by Briana Horwath
Allison (Xun) Chi, a graduate student in Dr. Brandon Davies Lab, has been awarded an Early Career Investigator Travel Stipend Award for travel to the Kern Lipid Conference held in Colorado. Allison will be presenting a poster based on the Davies Lab’s recent paper, “Angiopoietin-like 4 modifies the interactions between lipoprotein lipase and its endothelial cell transporter GPIHBP1″.
June 10th, 2015 by Briana Horwath
Yuan Pan, a biochemistry PhD Student mentored by
Dr. Sheila Baker, successfully defended her thesis on, March 31 , 2015, entitled “Targeting membrane proteins to inner segments of vertebrate photoreceptors”. Yuan has accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and will be working on glioma and tumor microenvironment.
June 4th, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Sarah Gardner, and undergraduate major in the Baker Laboratory, was awarded a 2015 Fight for Sight Summer Student Fellowship for her project entitled “Identifying mechanisms of protein targeting essential for the assembly of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse.”
Fight for Sight is a nonprofit organization that provides funding and acknowledgment to promising scientists early in their eye research careers, before they are eligible for government support from the National Institutes of Health. Sarah is joining an exclusive group of over 3,000 Fight for Sight dating back to 1947, many of whom have gone on to become outstanding leaders in eye and vision research and academic ophthalmology. Congratulations, Sarah!
June 3rd, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Liam Hovey, an undergraduate major in the Shea laboratory, has been awarded the 2015 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.
Liam has presented his research twice at the Annual Biophysical Society Meetings, and twice at the Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics. He has received several awards for his scholarship and research including the national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, UI CLAS Rhodes Dunlap Collegiate Fellowship, the Donald Burton Award in Chemistry, CLAS Dewey Stuit Award and ICRU Fellowships. He was selected to be the sole undergraduate speaking at the afternoon CLAS Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16 (his talk can be seen here). This summer, he will be matriculating in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Washington in Seattle.
May 13th, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) announced its first endowed fellowship for undergraduate research honoring the life of Theresa L. Gioannini, Ph.D., Biochemistry Adjunct Professor and 1971 SMWC graduate. Dr. Gioannini passed away in January 2014. Through the generosity and love for his wife, Jerry Weiss, Ph.D., established the Gioannini Endowment for Women in Science. With this endowment, SMWC is able to offer a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Gioannini’s memory.
Read more about Dr. Gioannini and the endowed fellowship here.
May 7th, 2015 by Judy Means
Ten students presented at this year’s Undergraduate Honors Program. This year marks the eleventh year for the Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Professor Marc Wold, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor, in congratulating these 2015 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done.
Back row (left to right): David Wadkins, Michael Turek, Alexander Hjelmaas, Brady Campbell
Front row (left to right): Yinjie Zhai, Grant Young, Xin Xu, Liam Hovey, Sarah Mayer
Inset: Samuel Mueting
- Brady A. Campbell
Mentor: Adrian Elcock
Understanding the DNA: AA Interface through Molecular Dynamics Simulations
- Alexander J. Hjelmaas
Mentor: Brandon Davies
Investigating the Nature of ANGPTL3 Inactivation of LPL
- Liam Hovey
Mentor: Madeline Shea
Calcium/Calmodulin Modulation of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels
- Sarah L. Mayer
Mentor: Daniel Weeks
Studies on Smooth Muscle Actin Mutations Linked to Human Disease
- Samuel R. Mueting
Mentor: Todd Washington
Regulation of TLS Polymerase Activity by Ubiquitin Binding to a Novel Site on the Catalytic Core
- Michael E. Turek
Mentor: David Price
Characterization of an RNA Polymerase II CTD Phosphatase
- David Wadkins
Mentor: Adrian Elcock
Molecular Simulation Studies of Sequence Dependent Features of DNA and RNA Conformation
- Xin Xu
Mentor: Charles Brenner
Understanding Site Specificity of Non-enzymatic Protein Acetylation in Mitochondria
- Grant H. Young
Mentor: Lori Wallrath
A Fruit Fly Model of Muscular Dystrophy Reveals Novel Mechanisms of Pathology
- Yinjie Zhai
Mentor: Hillel Haim
Structural Modulation of HIV-1 Env by Stability Modifying Agents
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. Hjelmaas (Davies lab) and the H.G. Khorana Scholar Award was presented to Sarah L. Mayer (Weeks lab), recognizing their exceptional understanding of biochemistry and its value to society.
Congratulations to everyone named above and all of our 2015 graduates!
May 4th, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Biochemistry Alumnus Michael Feldkamp (Shea Lab, 2010 PhD) and a team of of graduate, business and law students from Vanderbilt University won top honors at last week’s TechVenture Challenge which teaches students how to bring patented “inventions” by Vanderbilt faculty members to market.
Mike’s team, named First Diagnostics, pitched Corafix (fluorocoxib A), a fluorescently labeled selective inhibitor of the COX-2 enzyme developed by Md. Jashim Uddin, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and scientific mentor of First Diagnostics team, and Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. COX-2 is overexpressed in many cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Read more about competition and their winning proposal here.
May 1st, 2015 by Maren Rogers
The 2015 Rex Montgomery Scholarships were award to:
- Maria Nunez Hernandez, Madeline Shea’s laboratory;
- Mohammed Ismail, Maria Spies’ laboratory;
- and Nicholas McCarty, Dale Abel’s laboratory.
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 – Maria, Mohammed, and Nicholas!
April 23rd, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Dr. Larry Gray, a postdoc in the Taylor laboratory, received a a most outstanding entry for the Carver College of Medicine Health Sciences Research Week poster competition. Larry was recognized at the Research Week awards reception on Thursday, April 23, 2015.
April 8th, 2015 by Maren Rogers
Dr. Brandon Davies was recently awarded an Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) 2015 Distinguished Mentor Award. The Distinguished Mentor Award recognizes the outstanding mentoring of undergraduate students in research and creative projects at the University of Iowa. Winners are nominated by mentees. Faculty/staff recipients of the Distinguished Mentor Awards are provided funding for one ICRU Research Fellow for the academic year following their selection.
Dr. Davies will be recognized at the annual Celebration of Excellence in Research dinner, hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, in April 2015.