Link: University of Iowa

Archive for May, 2015

SMWC announces Dr. Theresa L. Gioannini Endowment for Women in Science, awards student Gioannini Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

_D3A3851Saint 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.

Eleventh Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Symposium

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

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.

Lata group

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!

Alumnus Michael Feldkamp et al. received top honors at Vanderbilt’s TechVenture Challange

Monday, May 4th, 2015

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.

Three undergraduates receive 2015 Rex Montgomery Scholarship Awards

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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!