Link: University of Iowa

Archive for December, 2012

Rubenstein and Weeks selected as Directors in new curriculum

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Professor Peter Rubenstein has been named Co-Director of the Mechanisms of Health and Disease Strand of the new Carver College of Medicine Curriculum set to be introduced in Fall, 2014 with George Bergus, MD. As Director, Dr. Rubenstein will oversee the parts of the Curriculum Renewal Project, including the sequencing of concepts and integration of basic science and clinical content. The new Curriculum will also incorporate a Keystone Course at the conclusion of the Third and final pre-clinical semester.  Professor Dan Weeks and Jason Barker, MD were chosen to develop this course.  They assume these positions on January 1.

News from Biochemistry undergraduates and undergraduate alumni

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Congratulations to Andrew Petersen, a 2007 BS with Lori Wallrath, who successfully defended his PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin on December 4. Dr. Petersen’s studies focused on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, using the fruit fly Drosophila as a model. His research findings were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS, 109: E656-64, 2012).

Several undergraduates have also published or presented work with their research mentor this year. Salah Moghram, a fourth year Biochemistry major currently conducting biochemistry research with Dr. Amnon Kohen (Chemistry), has co-authored a paper in PNAS, entitled “Folate binding site of flavin-dependent thymidylate synthase.” The article is available online. Other current or former undergraduates to co-author papers or presentations this year include: Melissa Palma (2011 BS), Chelsea Khaw (2012 BA), and Ashley Angell (2012 BS), all from the DeMali lab.

Juanita Limas, a 1999 BS with Lori Wallrath, was featured on The History Channel recently, on season two of “How the States Got Their Shapes.” Juanita appears on the “Midwest vs. The Rest” episode of the show, which is available for purchase.



Maria Spies publishes volume on DNA Helicases

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Maria Spies is the editor of a recently-published volume from Springer, entitled “DNA Helicases and DNA Motor Proteins.” The book is available on Google books, and features chapters written by Dr. Spies and other members of her lab, including Colin Wu (postdoctoral fellow), David Beyer (graduate student), and Mohamed Ghoneim (graduate student).

Charles Brenner elected 2012 AAAS Fellow

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Brenner, professor and head of biochemistry, who has been awarded the distinction of 2012 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), for “distinguished contributions to the field of NAD metabolism, particularly for identification of the eukaryotic nicotinamide riboside pathway and previously unknown steps in NAD biosynthesis.” AAAS members are elevated to the rank of “Fellow” because their efforts to advance science or its application are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Dr. Brenner will be presented with an official certificate and rosette pin during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston next February.

The University of Iowa press release can be read here.