Brenda Kunkel, Secretary II, was honored at a reception for The University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award nominees. Ms. Kunkel was recognized for her long-term commitment to helping students and faculty reach their goals and her excellent record of service at the University. The reception was held at the University of Iowa President’s House on the evening of July 27, 2011.
Archive for July, 2011
Congratulations are due to our newest PhD, Shun Zhu. A student of Adrian Elcock, Dr. Zhu successfully defended his thesis on “Computational and experimental studies of protein kinase-inhibitor interactions.”
After graduation from the University of Iowa, he plans to conduct postdoctoral research in the U.S. to further broaden his scientific vision. Ultimately, he plans to apply his knowledge in computational structural biology to the development of drugs against human diseases and cancer. Watch this space for an announcement of post-doctoral plans.
Provost Barry Butler has announced the University’s commitment to hire ten faculty members in an “Obesity Cluster” developed to address one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Developed by Allyn Mark of Internal Medicine and Charles Brenner, the obesity initiative will unite faculty in all Colleges within the University who are interested in the basic biology of obesity and the community, behavioral and economic aspects of obesity. Ten additional faculty hires will have academic homes in the Colleges of Medicine, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Public Health, Nursing and Business. Among the possible themes for a Biochemistry hire in the obesity cluster is carbohydrate and/or fat metabolism as it relates to gene expression and human physiology. The University of Iowa Obesity Initiative is expected to interact with the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center and centers at Iowa State and Northern Iowa Universities. Read more on the Obesity Initiative in Dr. Brenner’s interview on Radio Iowa.
Coe College Professor Maria Dean, her student Katelyn Marshall and Biochemistry faculty members Sheila Baker and Madeline Shea were featured in a recent Press Citizen article on the FUTURE program. Dean and Marshall are spending the summer in Baker’s laboratory as FUTURE Fellows, supported by the Ruth Ann Henriksen Fund in Biochemistry. FUTURE, now in its third year, is directed by Madeline Shea.
Dr. Xin Chen, a 1994 PhD with Dr. Peter Rubenstein, visited the Biochemistry Department last week and presented a seminar on dipeptidyl aminopeptidase along with some of her new work, from her sabbatical at Harvard, on ER-associated protein degradation. Chen is an Associate Investigator at the Institute of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research at the Nation Health Research Institutes in Taiwan.
Congratulations to Dr. Charles Brenner, who was recently elected Chair of the publications committee at ASBMB. ASBMB publishes the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, and the Journal of Lipid Research.
Since July 2009, Biochemistry has enjoyed the annual tradition of welcoming a new laboratory to the Department. July, 2009 brought the Brenner group; July, 2010 brought Sheila Baker; and today brought Miles Pufall and his first post-doctoral fellow, Dawne Shelton. Trained by Barbara Graves at University of Utah and Keith Yamamoto of UCSF, Miles brings a research program that will dissect a fundamental problem in biochemistry and a specific problem in leukemogenesis. As he dissects protein-nucleic acid interactions, he seeks to dissect how proteins functions are modulated by changing environmental signals. With his NCI R00 grant, he plans to identify and dissect changes in glucocorticoid induced gene expression in glucocorticoid sensitive and resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Dawne and Miles are currently establishing facilities for protein purification and characterization, cell culture, and gearing up to use CCOM facilities in structural biology and genomics.