Link: University of Iowa

Archive for October, 2014

2014 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The 2014 Biochemistry@Iowa newsletter is hot off the presses and available for download. Alumni and friends should receive a hard copy in the mail this week. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information to While you are at it, feel free to send us your news and updates! Previous newsletters are also available online.

Dr. Andrew Norris Appointed Associate Director, FOEDRC

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Dr. Andrew Norris, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at the University of Iowa has been appointed to Associate Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC). Dr. Norris is a physician-scientist whose research is focused on the causes and treatments of diabetes across the lifespan. He received his PhD in molecular biophysics and MD from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Dr. Norris was trained in diabetes research and pediatric endocrinology at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Boston Children’s Hospital, both at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Norris already supports the mission of the FOEDRC by organizing a scientific research development discussion group to increase the success of research grant applications, in addition to providing scientific expertise in developing critical experimental techniques in the metabolism research core laboratories for measuring glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in laboratory animals that will be used by many members of the FOEDRC. In his new role, Dr. Norris will increase his duties by expanding career development tools available to FOEDRC Investigators such as developing and enhancing pre-submission review opportunities and other approaches that will increase the likelihood of success of grant proposals submitted by FOEDRC members. He will also assist in coordinating the weekly Diabetes & Obesity Talk series which draws talented research speakers from around the country. Dr. Norris will work closely with Dr. Abel in providing leadership and strategic planning to foster ongoing success and growth of the FOEDRC.

Congratulations, Dr. Norris!

Biochemistry Alumnus Bradley T. Hyman elected into the Institute of Medicine

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Bradley T. Hyman, a 1982 Biochemistry PhD with Arthur Spector and a 1983 MD from the Carver College of Medicine,  has been elected into the Institute of Medicine.  Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Hyman is the John B. Penney Jr. Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and the the Director of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is in the same IOM class as Nobelists Randy Schekman and Brian Kobilka and  joins a group of fewer than 1800 leading US medical scientists in this elite advisory organization.

Congratulations, Dr. Hyman!

Karina Kruth, Jessica Maier, and Lacy Barton successfully defended their theses during the 2013-2014 academic year

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Karina Kruth, a Biochemistry PhD Student mentored by Dr. Peter Rubenstein, successfully defended her thesis on October 31, 2013, entitled “Effects of three deafness-causing gamma-actin mutations on actin structure and function”. Karina is a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Miles Pufall at the University of Iowa, Department of Biochemistry.


Jessica Maiers, a Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD student mentored by Dr. Kris DeMali, successfully defended her thesis on November 26, 2013, entitled “The role of alpha-catenin and ZO-1 in coupling tight junctions to adherens junctions”. Jessica holds a post-doctoral position with Dr. Vijay Shah at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,  Minnesota.


Lacy Barton, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Pamela Geyer, successfully defended her thesis on July 11, 2014, entitled “Defining the role of a nuclear lamina LEM domain protein in germline stem cells”. Lacy is a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Ruth Lehmann at New York University in New York.

Congrats Karina, Jessica, and Lacy!

IEIIS Announces Travel Awards for Women in Science In Honor of Theresa L. Gioannini

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

In honor of Dr. Theresa L. Gioannini (1949-2014), the International Endotoxin and Innate Immune Society (IEIIS) has announced new travel awards for women in science. The awards will be used to support the attendance and participation of women graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty at IEIIS-sponsored meetings. For more information and an application link, see

In addition, they are currently setting up a summer research fellowship in Theresa’s memory. One student will be selected each summer from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, an all-women’s catholic college that Theresa attended, to conduct research at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.