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Archive for the ‘John Donelson’ Category

The 2000 first year graduate class: where are they now?

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

With this year’s first year graduate class now doing their third rotations, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the cohort of Biochemistry graduate students who entered a decade earlier.  The ten 2000-2001 first years published 32 papers in graduate school (3.2 per trainee) with an average time to degree of 6.4 years.  All ten conducted an academic post-doctoral fellowship. Seven are currently post-docs, while two have moved on to positions as scientists in industry and one has a faculty position.  Two are at Berkeley, two are at UCLA, two are in Eugene, and there are Iowa PhDs in New York, Missoula, St. Louis and Iowa City. Graduates, if you have updates, we’d love to hear them!

  • Zeynep Akyol was Madeline Shea’s graduate student, working on calmodulin-binding to the NMDA receptor.  She is now a post-doc with Benhur Lee at UCLA, working on viral membrane proteins.
  • Keith Bryan was Peter Rubenstein’s graduate student, working on deafness-associated actin mutations.  He is now a post-doc with Amy Lee in the Physiology Department at Iowa, working on regulation of ion channels in cochlear hair cells.
  • Anne Dickson was Marc Wold’s graduate student, working on replication protein A.  After her post-doctoral fellowship with Mary Wilson in Internal Medicine at Iowa, she took a position as a scientist with Life Technologies, Inc.
  • Debra Ferraro was Andrew Robertson’s graduate student, working on ubiquitin structure and function.  After doing a post-doc with Professor Stanley Perlman in the Microbiology Department at Iowa, she took a faculty position in Chemistry at Maryville University in St. Louis.
  • Jared Helm was John Donelson’s graduate student, working on trypanosome molecular biology.  He is now a post-doc with Professor Jesse Hay at Montana, working on alpha synuclein.
  • Sean McGuffee was Adrian Elcock’s graduate student, working on large scale cytoplasmic modeling.  He is now a post-doc at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working on structural bioinformatics.
  • Rhonda Newman was Madeline Shea’s graduate student, working on calmodulin domains in allosteric regulation of the ryanodine receptor.  After conducting an NRSA-funded post-doc at Oregon with Dr. Ken Prehoda on membrane-associated guanylate kinases, she took a position as a scientist with Life Technologies, Inc.
  • Yutian Peng was Lois Weisman’s graduate student, working on vacuolar inheritance.  She is now a post-doc with Stefan Westermann at UC Berkeley, working on chromosome segregation.
  • Ling Song was Robert Cohen’s graduate student, working on deubiquitylation.  She is now working on regulated degradation of spindle assembly factors as a post-doc with Michael Rape at UC Berkeley.
  • Geng Wong was Robert Deschenes’s graduate student, working on Ras modification.  He now has a first author Cell paper on regulated RNA import into mitochondria as a post-doc with Carla Koehler at UCLA.

Congratulations to this superb class of Iowa Biochemistry PhDs!  We look forward to providing outcomes data on Biochemistry PhDs who began graduate school in 2001 and beyond.

Prof Pedram here for homecoming

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

It’s homecoming week for the Hawkeyes and it’s homecoming for Mehrdad Pedram, a 1999 PhD with John Donelson, now Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.  Dr. Pedram has spent his career working on the mechanisms of antigenic variation and telomere position effects.  He will be lecturing in the Infectious Diseases Conference at 9 am on October 1 in the Bean Conference Room.

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:

Bridget Coughlin elevated to VP of Denver Science Museum

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Dr. Bridget Coughlin, a 1999 PhD with John Donelson and the human health curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, has been promoted to Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Programs at the museum. Her scientific career has taken her from Iowa City to Woods Hole and to a position as managing editor of PNAS. In addition to administrative responsibilities at the museum, she continues to curate exhibits and run an NIH-funded community-based participatory research laboratory on the genetics of human taste. She is also a current Livingston Fellow of the Bonfils Stanton Foundation, which supports the most outstanding leaders in the Colorado non-profit community.

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…)

2009 Publications

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The Department’s 2009 publications are now in print and mostly available online. There are papers in Nature, Cell, PNAS, EMBO J, JACS, Genetics, Methods in Enzymology, Methods, Mol Biochem Parasitol, Nucleic Acids Res, PLoS One, Human Molecular Genetics, Pediatrics, J Cell Sci, J Immunology, J Lipids Res, Clinical Cancer Res, and, of course, JBC and Biochemistry. (more…)

John Donelson elected AAAS Fellow

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

For the second year in a row, a member of the Biochemistry faculty has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Last year, Marc Wold was recognized at the Chicago meeting for his career’s dedication to the function of replication protein A. In early 2010, John Donelson will be feted in San Diego for his work on the biology of Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania, which are responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, respectively. More information is available from the UI News Services.

Annual Biochemistry Kickoff Event

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Props to Michael Feldkamp, John Prior and Xiao Peng for organizing this year’s Department of Biochemistry academic year kickoff event.  The theme was “The Best is Yet to Come.”   (more…)