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Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Biochemistry Alumnus Billy Hudson receives the Protein Society’s 2017 Carl Brändén Award

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Dr. Billy G. Hudson, a 1966 PhD with Drs. Rex Montgomery and Robert Barker, is the recipient of the Protein Society’s 2017 Carl Brändén Award which honors an outstanding protein scientist who has also made exceptional contributions in the areas of education and/or service to the field. Dr. Hudson is currently the Elliot V. Newman Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, & Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, as well as, the Director of the Center for Matrix Biology at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Hudson has worked tirelessly to develop the Aspirnaut K-20 STEM Pipeline for Diversity Program that provides internships to an untapped pool of talented high-school students to encourage them to work in the STEM fields and go on to college. Dr. Hudson’s outstanding research accomplishments include seminal discoveries about the structure and chemistry of collagen IV scaffolds in extracellular basement membranes and have led to a potential treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

Biochemistry Alumna Dr. Bridget Coughlin named CEO of the Shedd Aquarium

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

CoughlinBiochemistry  Alumna, Bridget Coughlin, a 1999 PhD with John Donelson, was recently named CEO of the Shedd Aquarium. She’ll be the fourth president in the Shedd’s history and the second female head of a Museum Campus institution when she takes over in mid-April. Dr. Coughlin, was previously the vice president of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator at the Denver Science Museum. Read the full Chicago Tribune article here.

2015 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Cover_2015_newsletterThe 2015 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.

Biochemistry Alumna Dr. Debbie Thurmond joins City of Hope as Chair of the Department of Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology

Monday, September 21st, 2015

HeadshotBiochemistry  Alumna, Debbie C. Thurmond, a 1997 PhD with Alan Goodridge, has joined City of Hope as professor and founding chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology within the institution’s new Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute. Thurmond will lead City of Hope’s efforts to develop new diabetes treatments, focusing on potential therapies that can reverse or prevent the onset of the disease.

Dr. Thurmond joins City of Hope from Indiana University, where she was a professor of pediatrics and associate director of the Basic Diabetes Research Group within the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.

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.

Allyson Mayer, Biochemistry Undergraduate Alumna, receives NSF Fellowship

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Biochemistry Undergraduate Alumna, Allyson Mayer, who studied in the Brenner Laboratory, was recently awarded an NSF Fellowship for her thesis project entitled “The Role of Glucose Transporter 8 (GLUT8) in Hepatic Metabolic Control.” Allyson is currently pursuing her PhD in Molecular Cell Biology under Drs. Brian DeBosch and Kelle Moley at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Congratulations, Allyson!

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.

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!

Biochemistry Alumna turned Science Writer Nicholette Zeliadt in Latest Issue of The Scientist

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Nicholette Zeliadt, an undergraduate in the Department of Biochemistry from 1997 to 2001, has parlayed her science education into a science writing career.

Her most recent article, “Tailoring Your Proteome,” is in this month’s issue of The Scientist. Earlier articles have appeared in Scientific American, Science, Nature, and The Scientist.

As a biochemistry student, Nicholette took a Technical Communications course, for which she gave a presentation on pathogenic prions–arguably her first real piece of science writing for an audience.

Her professional science writing career was launched when, after earning her PhD at the University of Minnesota, she interned at Scientific American for a summer during her mass media fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

To read more articles by Nicholette, visit Nature or Scientific American online.


Biochemistry Alumna Dr. Susan Wente Named Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Vanderbilt

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Iowa native and University of Iowa Department of Biochemistry alumna Dr. Susan Wente has been named as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Vanderbilt University.

A professor at Vanderbilt since 2002, she was selected for the position after an intensive nationwide search.

Dr. Wente graduated from the University of Iowa with honors and high distinction in biochemistry. She went on to receive her PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Her post-doctoral work was conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Before her promotion, Dr. Wente served as associate vice chancellor for research at Vanderbilt for five years. She has also served as senior associate dean of biomedical sciences, professor of cell and developmental biology, and co-chair of the university-wide academic strategic plan executive committee at Vanderbilt.

Despite her many administrative and educational roles, Dr. Wente maintains an active research program on cellular communication between cytoplasm and nuclei.

Recently named a “2014 Woman to Watch” by Nashville Medical News, Wente has also received the Women in Cell Biology Senior Career Recognition Award from the American Society of Cell Biology and a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institutes of Health.