Link: University of Iowa

Archive for the ‘Robert Barker’ 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.

2016 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Friday, November 4th, 2016

2016_newslettercoverimageThe 2016 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.

Francis Castellino receives CCOM Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Biochemistry alumus Dr. Francis Castellino has been selected recipient of the 2014 University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement. Dr. Castellino received his MS and PhD degrees in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa in 1966 and 1968, respectively, working under the direction of Professor Robert Barker. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University under the legendary Dr. Robert Hill, he accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Chemistry at University of Notre Dame, where he launched his independent research program focused on the fundamental mechanisms of homeostasis – how coordinated biological processes in the body maintain internal conditions.

For the past four decades, Professor Castellino has successfully climbed the ladder of academic leadership at the University of Notre Dame, while simultaneously performing groundbreaking foundational research in medicine. Dr. Castellino is the Kleiderer/Pezold Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research, and Dean emeritus of the College of Natural Science. His success in both research and administration stems from his passion for understanding fundamental biochemical processes in human beings. He has amplified his own accomplishments and those of others with his strong dedication to making the University of Notre Dame a rich academic environment.

Dr. Castellino will be honored by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine at the Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony held on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Levitt Center for University Advancement. Following this ceremony, Dr. Castellino will present a special seminar to the Department of Biochemistry on “Subversion of Host Innate Immune Defense Systems by Virulence Factors of Streptococcus pyogenes” at 9:00am in 2189 MERF with a reception immediately following in the MERF Atruim.

Congratulations to Dr. Castellino on this well deserved honor.



Highlights from the 65th Anniversary and 4th Annual Retreat

Monday, August 26th, 2013


The 2013 Biochemistry 65th Anniversary and 4th Annual Retreat, organized by Lori Wallrath, Charles Brenner, Maria Spies, Earle Stellwagen, Mark Miller, Lacy Barton, and Maren Rogers, was held on Saturday, August 24. The scientific program at the Levitt Center for University Advancement featured talks by Charles Brenner and Catherine Musselman, Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, Dale Abel, and Director of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, Richard Smith. In addition, Gary Firestone (1980 PhD with Ed Heath), Tristram Parslow (1977 MD/PhD with Daryl Granner), Bob Deschenes (faculty from 1989-2004),  and Debbie Thurmond (1997 PhD with Alan Goodridge) gave scientific presentations.

The poster session featured 39 posters. Six total awards were given in three categories. In the undergraduate division, first place went to Dylan Thiemann (Wallrath lab), and second place to Liam Hovey (Shea lab). In the Postdoc/Research Assistant/Associate category, Jiannan Guo (Price lab) and Rebecca Fagan (Brenner lab) won first and second places, respectively . Two Lois Bigger Gehring Awards were given to support graduate student travel to research conferences. Lacy Barton (Geyer lab) and Jessica Maiers (DeMali lab) each won this award for best poster in the graduate student category.

The dinner at the Athletics Hall of Fame featured thoughts and reflections from PhD graduates of the department, including Morey Slodki (1955), Charles Fishkin (son of Arthur Fishkin, 1957), Billy Hudson (1966), Liskin Swint-Kruse (1995), and a video message from Alap Subramanian (1964). Along with former faculty members Charles Swenson, Robert Barker, Earle Stellwagen, Arthur Spector, Bryce Plapp, Robert Roskoski, Larry Solomonson, Alice Fulton, and Daryl Granner.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Iowa alum Billy Hudson profiled in ASBMB Today

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

The December 2011 issue of ASBMB Today featured an article about the work of Dr. Billy G. Hudson, a 1966 PhD with Rex Montgomery and Robert Barker. Hudson is currently the Elliot V. Newman Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, and the Director of the Center for Matrix Biology at Vanderbilt. Hudson studied carbohydrate biochemistry with Drs. Montgomery and Barker, and went on to a prominent career researching kidney disease. Hudson is credited with discovery and characterization of the key molecules that mediate filtration by the kidney. His work is not only fundamental but also translational. A compound discovered in Hudson’s lab, which protects against diabetic kidney disease, is now in clinical trials.

Billy Hudson’s work has had profound broader impacts. Inspired by his own rural upbringing, Hudson developed the Aspirnaut Initiative to support the efforts of rural students in pursuing careers in math and science. Founded at Vanderbilt, the initiative is a three-part program aimed at involving more students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Dr. Hudson, already awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Carver College of Medicine, will be the guest of honor at Dr. Montgomery’s annual faculty dinner in January.

Susan O’Donnell wins the Clarence Berg Award

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Susan O’Donnell, who recently completed her PhD with Madeline Shea, has been named the winner of the 2010 Clarence Berg Award. This prize is given every other year to a student who demonstrates “scholarship, integrity, cooperativeness, consideration and a willingness to help others.” Dr. O’Donnell was an American Heart Association-funded graduate student who focused on the structural and thermodynamic bases for recognition of calcineurin by calmodulin domains. Previously, Susan was the winner of the 2006 Usha Balakrishnan Award for best poster presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. She also presented her work in a plenary session of the 2007 Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics and received a 2008 Biophysical Society Student Research Achievement Award as well as an inaugural Gehring Award last fall.

Dr. O’Donnell is currently a post-doctoral fellow with Robert Deschenes at University of South Florida.

Susan is the 21st winner of the Berg Award, which was established by former students of Professor Berg, an internationally known amino acid biochemist who was a member of the department for 39 years. Dr. Berg is well known as the author of the 1980 book, The University of Iowa and Biochemistry from their Beginnings.

Prior winners of the Berg Award are:

Clarence Berg’s history of Iowa Biochemistry now online

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Thanks to an agreement between Google and The University of Iowa, the late Clarence Peter Berg’s 1980 out of print monograph, The University of Iowa and Biochemistry from their Beginnings, is now available online. (more…)