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Archive for the ‘FUTURE in Biomedicine’ Category

2017 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The 2017 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.

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.

7th Annual FUTURE in Biomedicine Program

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015


The FUTURE in Biomedicine program, founded in 2009 by Madeline Shea, is developing a statewide network of scientist-educators and a pipeline of prospective students for our graduate and clinical program. The 7th annual program brought 25 faculty Fellows and students from primarily undergraduate institutions in Iowa to conduct research and pursue collaborations with UI faculty through summer laboratory work and weekly professional development activities. The Fellows also received support to use our state-of-the-art research core facilities such as those in genomics, crystallography and NMR.

Honts_Drake_SheaLab_2015Of the 13 Faculty Fellows, four worked with host professors in Biochemistry. Dr. Gary Coombs from Waldorf College worked on the role of lamins in regulating muscle function and metabolism with Professor Lori Wallrath. Dr. Heriberto Hernandez from Grinnell College worked on the role of thermodynamics in the formulation of pharmaceuticals with Assistant Professor Mike Schnieders. Dr. Hernandez was supported by the Ruth Ann Henriksen Fellowship that honors Dr. Henriksen, a Ph.D. graduate of our department who pursued her academic career at East Carolina University. Two Fellows from Drake University – Adina Kilpatrick in Physics and Jerry Honts in Biology – pursued a joint collaboration on Tetrahymena calcium-binding proteins with Professor Madeline Shea.

Hernandez_Grinnell_Schnieders_2015Two additional Faculty Fellows are Biochemistry Alumni – Dr. Ugur Akgun, now on the Physics faculty at Coe College had been a postdoctoral fellow with Shahram Khademi, and Dr. Heidi Sleister in Biology at Drake University was a former BSURF student.

Coombs_Waldorf_Wallrath_2015In addition, Ms. Dulce Chavez from St. Mary-of-the-Woods was the first recipient of the Gioannini Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship honoring our former colleague Dr. Theresa L. Gioannini, who held a joint appointment in Biochemistry. Mr. Adam Page, of Kirkwood Community College, conducted research with Professor E. Dale Abel, a joint appointee in Biochemistry, and Adam’s participation in the activities of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program were arranged by Ms. Juanita Limas, the faculty Director of the LSAMP program at Kirkwood who earned her B.S. in Biochemistry doing research with Professor Lori Wallrath.

2015_0720_3DPrinting_Pufall_Honts_008Members of the Department of Biochemistry featured prominently in the weekly activities of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program. These included a session when Professor Dan Weeks described preparation for our Ph.D. programs, a workshop on “3-D Printing in Research and Education” presented jointly by UI Biochemistry Assistant Professor Miles Pufall and Jerry Honts of Drake University, and a Career Panel on making the transition from postdoctoral fellow to teaching faculty, including two Biochemistry postdocs – Dr. Lynne Dieckman formerly in the Musselman laboratory and Dr. Casey Andrews in the Elcock laboratory. In the prior academic year, Dr. Andrews had a mentored semester-long teaching experience at Loras College with 2014 FUTURE Fellow Adam Moser.

Kilpatrick_Drake_Shea_2015The research being conducted in partnerships developed through the FUTURE in Biomedicine program is being published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national conferences. This reciprocal network is encouraging excellent candidates to apply to our training opportunities and openings for research assistants and postbac internships. The FUTURE program is committed to advancing closer ties with our alumni in the years ahead.

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.

Shea presents FUTURE in Biomedicine Program to Board of Regents

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

FUTURE_SheaLab_10_croppedAt the June meeting of the Board of Regents, Professor of Biochemistry Madeline Shea presented an overview of the FUTURE in Biomedicine Program, a novel STEM initiative now beginning its sixth year in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. FUTURE stands for Fostering Undergraduate Talent – Uniting Research and Education. A major goal of FUTURE is to develop a statewide network of scientist-educators conducting collaborative research and sharing best practices for teaching undergraduates about the breadth of new discoveries in biomedicine.

During the summer portion of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program, professors from primarily undergraduate institutions bring a student or two, and work in a host laboratory in Iowa City to make use of state-of-the-art instruments, research facilities, and faculty expertise. They also participate in weekly events to learn about the resources and training programs offered by the Carver College of Medicine and the Graduate College.

The FUTURE in Biomedicine Fellows serve on two public panels during the summer to share information about their home colleges with UI admissions directors, and to provide career advice to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows considering a career in academia. Professor Shea, the founding director of the program, shared with the regents news about how the summer collaborations have evolved into long-term research and learning partnerships that strengthen undergraduate science education across the entire state.

Since it began in 2009, the FUTURE program has hosted 25 professors from 17 schools. There have been at least seven co-authored research papers and 35 presentations at scientific conferences, as well as three successful grant applications with three more currently in preparation. The FUTURE Faculty enrich teaching and research on their own campuses with insights gained from their experiences in Iowa City, and facilitate connections that help their students pursue opportunities in graduate and medical education or work as research assistants at the University of Iowa.

This year, the FUTURE program has participants from Coe College in Cedar Rapids; Loras College in Dubuque; Drake University in Des Moines; Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo; Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids; and Wartburg College in Waverly.

To learn more about this year’s participants and the program, visit A map of participating institutions across the state is here

Shea and FUTURE program featured in Biophysical Society Newsletter

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Madeline Shea was featured in the Biophysical Society October 2013 Newsletter. As the “Biophysicist in Profile,” Shea discussed her passion for biophysics from her undergraduate studies at CalTech to the present. In addition, the article discusses how Dr. Shea founded the University of Iowa’s Fostering Undergraduate Talent—Uniting Research and Education in Biomedicine program. The group sponsors faculty members from primarily undergraduate institutions to bring a student and work in a lab at the Carver College of Medicine over the summer. Adrian Elcock was quoted, “She has also been an outstanding leader in developing ties with other educational institutions in Iowa. In doing so, she has positively impacted the scientific careers of students and faculty well beyond the boundaries of our university.” Mazel tov, Madeline!

Madeline Shea awarded for service

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Dr. Madeline Shea received the 2012 College of Medicine Faculty Service Award at a special event at Brown Deer Golf Club. Dr. Shea was lauded for the development of the FUTURE program which has brought 17 faculty and instructors, 5 fellows and 18 undergraduate students from 16 different institutions to engage and collaborate in research over the past 4 years.  Participants’ research interests ranged from anatomy and cell biology to radiology.  Dr. Shea is an internationally known pioneer of statistical thermodynamic models of complex biological systems.  She has been the advisor for 11 PhD and MS students, served on committees for 59 graduate students and has mentored a remarkable 42 undergraduate students in her lab.

FUTURE in Biomedicine featured in YouTube video

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The Department recently discovered a video on YouTube of a news segment from 2010, describing the FUTURE in Biomedicine program. The video features Dr. Kris DeMali, who hosted Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek and his student Molly Wemli from Wartburg College, who conducted research on structural determinants of Rho protein activation. The FUTURE program, run by Dr. Madeline Shea, is gearing up for it’s fourth year.

Fuentes receives a supplement to his NSF CAREER Award

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Congratulations to Dr. Ernesto Fuentes,who recently received a supplement to his NSF CAREER Award. The supplement supports the sabbatical of Dr. David Speckhard, a chemistry professor at Loras College, to use NMR and X-ray crystallography to dissect the molecular origins of specificity in Tiam 1-family domains.

Madeline Shea wins Michael J. Brody Service Award

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Congratulations to Madeline Shea who was recently selected, along with UI Professors David Drake and Tonya Peeples, as a recipient of the 2011 Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in service. Named for the late Michael J. Brody, this award is given annually to outstanding faculty members to recognize their service to the University and State communities.

Dr. Shea has been a faculty member since 1989. She is internationally known as a pioneer in statistical thermodynamic models of complex biological systems.

In addition to classroom teaching of undergraduate, graduate and medical students, Professor Shea has been the PhD and MS advisor for 11 students, served on the thesis committees of 45 graduate students, and mentored a remarkable 38 undergraduate students in her laboratory.

Professor Shea is the developer and director of the Carver College of Medicine FUTURE Program.  FUTURE supports faculty members and undergraduates from Iowa undergraduate institutions to spend the summer working in collaboration with UI faculty members. Click here for the UI News Service press release.