Link: University of Iowa

Archive for March, 2011

Biochemistry Faculty Present at Spring Meetings

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Biochemists were in high demand on the east coast this month: Dr. Adrian Elcock gave an invited talk at the New York Academy of Sciences Workshop in New York City as well as at the Biophysical Society National Meeting, Biopolymer Biophysics In Vivo Sub-group; Drs. Ernie Fuentes and Madeline Shea both gave talks at the Biophysical Society National meeting in Baltimore; and Dr. David Price spoke at the Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, D.C.

Peter Rubenstein wins 2010 Faculty Service Award from the Carver College of Medicine

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Congratulations to Peter Rubenstein, who won the 2010 Faculty Service Award from the Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Rubenstein is a Harvard PhD, who conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF and joined Biochemistry faculty in 1977. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1982 and Professor in 1987. He is an internationally known expert on the structure and function of actin, who is principal investigator of two R01 grants with funded effort on two other grants. He has taught and served as course director for the Medical Biochemistry course (99:163) since 1991. Approximately 175 first-year medical students take this course, where they learn fundamentals of biochemistry as applied to current medical practice. For his efforts, the medical students have voted him a finalist for Outstanding 1st year Medical Student Teacher no less than 12 times, and winner of the award three times. His medical student teaching also includes Case-Based Learning (050:162) in which a small group of students meet with Dr. Rubenstein to discuss a medical case and break it down to the biochemical level.

Dr. Rubenstein’s service efforts have has been directed towards diverse projects, which include improvements in the educational curriculum, laboratory safety, departmental reviews, education of Internal Medicine Residents, advice to Heads and Deans, grant reviews, recruitment of individuals at all levels, and faculty mentorship. Congratulations again to Dr. Rubenstein for winning the 2010 Faculty Service Award.

Biochemists awarded Carver Collaborative Pilot Grants

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Amy Lee (Molecular Physiology and Biophysics) and our own Sheila Baker have been awarded a Carver Collaborative Pilot Grant to study the trafficking of Cav1.4 voltage-gated Ca2+ channels to the ribbon synapse of photoreceptors. Cav1.4 channels are essential for transmission of signal from photoreceptors to second order neurons in the retina. Mutations in this channel lead to X-linked incomplete congenital stationary night blindness 2.

In addition to the Lee-Baker award, Lori Wallrath and Dawn Quelle (Pharmacology) were awarded a Pilot Grant to study the function of a newly identified protein that associates with chromosomes and likely regulates the epigenetic status of the genome. The protein, termed NIAM (Nuclear Interactor of ARF and Mdm2), has domains that are typically associated with chromatin remodeling and post-translational modification of histone tails. The collaboration will bring together the expertise of the Wallrath lab in chromatin biology and that of the Quelle lab in cancer biology, utilizing both Drosophila and human cells as model systems.

Congratulations to Amy, Sheila, Lori and Dawn for their outstanding proposals. Many thanks to the Roy J. Carver Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, for support of research at the Carver College of Medicine.