Link: University of Iowa

Archive for February, 2016

Samuel Trammell successfully defends PhD thesis

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Oonthonpan and TrammellSamuel Trammell, a genetics PhD Student mentored by Dr. Charles Brenner, successfully defended his thesis on February 22, 2016, entitled “Novel NAD+ metabolomic technologies and their applications to nicotinamide riboside interventions.” Sam has accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen with Dr. Matthew Gillium working on lipid metabolism in diabetes.

Congratulations, Dr. Trammell!

Biochemistry Undergraduate featured in article on the Iowa Biosciences Academy

Monday, February 15th, 2016
Photo by Tim Schoon.

Photo by Tim Schoon.

Maria Núñez Hernandez, an junior undergraduate Biochemistry major studying in the Shea Laboratory, was recently featured in an IowaNow article on the Iowa Biosciences Academy encouraging underrepresented students to attend graduate school.

Last spring, Maria was awarded a 2015 Rex Montgomery Scholarship in the Department of Biochemistry for her outstanding academic record and commitment to research. Maria also presented her research in a poster at the 29th Annual Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics and at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Seattle this past fall.

Taylor Lab publish in the Journal of Biological Chemistry

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Drs. Larry Gray and Adam Rauckhorst of the Taylor Laboratory recently published an article entitled “A Method for MultiplexedMeasurement of Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier Activity,” in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Mitochondrial pyruvate uptake is a central metabolic decision that affects cellular energy production, carbon flux through multiple biosynthetic pathways, and commitment to cellular fate. The recent discovery of the genes encoding the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), the protein complex that conducts pyruvate into the mitochondrial matrix, has invigorated studies on the regulation of mitochondrial pyruvate uptake. An effective activity assay is important for these efforts but previous methods were constrained by high sample requirements and a single replicate-based workflow. Drs. Gray and Rauckhorst co-developed a 96-well scaled assay that enables much greater throughput with substantially decreased mitochondrial sample requirements. They applied this method to provide the first report on the Km and Vmax of the mouse liver MPC. They expect this assay will be useful for understanding the regulation of MPC activity under diverse physiological conditions in health and disease.

Nicholas McCarty selected for 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Society internship

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Nicholas McCartyBiochemistry undergraduate major,  Nicholas McCarty has been selected for a 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Society writing internship. McCarty, from Geneva, Illinois, was recommended for the position by the society’s UI chapter and will spend five months in Washington, D.C., writing for The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa’s news and alumni-relations publication.

The oldest academic honor society in the United States, the Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded on Dec. 5, 1776 to “champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression,” according to a press release. Its writing internships are intended for juniors and seniors in liberal arts or science tracks.

McCarty is already a fellow in the Latham Science Engagement Initiative, a program promoting communication between researchers and the public. He has worked with Professor E. Dale Abel for three years studying heart disease and diabetes; is completing minors in clinical and translational science, chemistry, and entrepreneurial management; and intends to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. after earning his bachelor’s degree.

Professor Weeks chosen for the prestigious President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence

Monday, February 8th, 2016

_D3A3649_weeksProfessor Dan Weeks has been chosen by the Council on Teaching as one of this year’s recipients of the President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence. For the past 28 years Professor Weeks, an internationally known nucleic acid biochemist and developmental biologist, has demonstrated sustained contributions to teaching at the University of Iowa. His teaching has influenced thousands of undergraduates, graduates, and medical students who have gone on to enjoy productive careers in academia, industry and policy.

Professor Weeks will be honored at the 2016 University Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet this fall.

Jessica Peterson helps save life on campus

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Jessica Peterson, an undergraduate Biochemistry major, was involved in saving a life on campus last month. When officers responded to a call to the Recreational Building for a male not breathing, they found that Jessica Peterson, Jacob Reynolds, and Mark Brewer had immediately responded to the subject and were preforming CPR. The three individuals had retrieved the automated external defibrillator and applied it to the unconscious subject. According to Sargent Ohnemus, the actions of these three individuals saved the subjects life. Their actions showed significant assistance to the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety in achieving its mission.

Jessica will receive a civilian commendation from the Department of Public Safety and letter of recognition from President Herrold.