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Archive for the ‘Lata Symposium’ Category

2013 Biochemistry Newsletter

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The 2013 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.

Ninth Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Honors Symposium

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

A record 13 students presented at this year’s Undergraduate Honors Program. This year marks the ninth year for the Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Professor Marc Wold, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor, in congratulating these 2013 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done:

  • James Bullard
    Mentor: Pam Geyer
    Diversity in function: understanding how a polydactyl zinc-finger protein confers multiple functional outputs
  • Alexander Crider
    Mentor: Atish Dey (Chemistry)
    A novel DMSP lyase
  • Atish Dey
    Mentor: David Soll (Biology)
    Identification of genes involved in candida albicans biofilm synthesis under the control of BCR1
  • Johnathan Fagg
    Mentor: Peter Rubenstein
    Molecular effects of two Baraitser Winter causing mutations
  • Bhavatharini Kasinathan
    Mentor: Sarit Smolikove (Biology)
    The relationship between proteolysis and the akirin pathway in synaptonemal complex disassembly during C. elegans meiosis
  • Irtaza Khalid
    Mentor: David Price
    Deregulation of P-TEFb through microsatellite instability-induced mutations in LARP7 as a potential cause of cancer
  • Ryan Marling
    Mentor: Dan Weeks
    The role of cardiac NK2 genes in early heart development of Xenopus laevis
  • Allyson Mayer
    Mentor: Charles Brenner
    Computational and experimental determination of protein acetylation as a function of nutrition
  • Clayton Oakley
    Mentor: Beverly Davidson (Internal Medicine)
    The validation of several candidate genes predicted to have gained microRNA binding sites through transposable elements
  • Stephen Siemonsma
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Course-grained BD simulations of type III secretion system needle in salmonella
  • David Simoens
    Mentor: Lori Wallrath
    A drosophila model for lamin-associated heart disease
  • Kyle Strouse
    Mentor: Dan Weeks
    Expression of the MiR183 cluster: is there a differential expression of these micro-RNAs in early development?
  • Johanna Uribe
    Mentor: Kris DeMali
    Vinculin phosphorylation regulates epithelial phenotypes

The symposium also included the presentation of two new undergraduate awards, made possible by a gift from Alap Subramanian. The H.G. Wittmann Scholar Award was presented to Stephen Siemonsma (Elcock lab) and the H.G. Khorana Scholar Award was presented to Allyson Mayer (Brenner lab), recognizing their exceptional understanding of biochemistry and its value to society.

Congratulations to everyone named above and all of our 2013 graduates!

Biochem Honors students present at Lata Symposium

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Five Biochemistry Honors students presented their research this afternoon at the 7th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. The Symposium was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Lata and his first two graduate students, Drs. John Franz and Arthur Fishkin, who passed away in the last year.

Please join Undergraduate and Honors Advisor, Professor Marc Wold, in congratulating these 2011 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done.

  • Drew Jones
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the DnaK Chaperone
  • Aditi Khanna
    Mentor: Bryce Plapp
    Characterization of an Alcohol Dehydrogenase from a “Fitter” Yeast
  • Peter Kim
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Molecular Modeling of the Yeast Mitochondrial Matrix
  • Melissa Palma
    Mentor: Kris DeMali
    Examining the Effects of Vinculin Activating Peptide
  • Michael Zhang
    Mentor: Martha Monick (Internal Medicine)
    Influenza A Induces the ER Stress Response

Additional thanks go to Dr. Caitrin W. McDonough, who came back to give a talk at the Lata Symposium on The Genetics of Type 2 Diabetic End-Stage Renal Disease in Africans. Caitrin, a former student of Lori Wallrath, graduated with Honors in  Biochemistry in 2005. Having finished her PhD in Molecular Medicine and Translational Science, she is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Florida.