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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cole Kitzman Recieves Ishan Jain Travel Award

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Cole Kitzman, a Biochemistry and Pre-Medicine major in Dr. Pamela Geyer’s lab, has received the Ishan Jain Travel award. This award is presented to an undergraduate student performing research within the Cell and Developmental Biology Program at the University of Iowa. Cole used these funds to travel to the 60th Annual Drosophila Research Conference March 27-31 in Dallas, TX and present a poster entitled, “Modeling a premature aging syndrome caused by a mutant form of Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor (BAF) in Drosophila”

Congrats Cole!

Dr. John Dagle Named Recipient of the Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Dr. John Dagle (Pediatrics-Neonatology and secondary faculty in Biochemistry) was selected as the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Tow award recognizes those who demonstrate both clinical excellence and compassion in delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues.

Congratulations Dr. Dagle!

Ashley Segura-Roman – Callen Prize Winner

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Congratulations to Ashley Segura-Roman (Brandon Davies lab) for being named the recipient of the Joseph E. and Ursil I. Callen Prize for an outstanding senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the academic year 2019-2020. The award is given to a University of Iowa senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who shows a high academic record and evidence of school and/or civic leadership in high school and/or college.

Congrats, Ashley!

Juanita Limas Featured on UNC Webpage

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Juanita Limas, University of Iowa Biochemistry Undergraduate alumni, is currently featured on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) homepage. The article entitled, “Inspiring the Next Generation-Women in STEM” describes the research that women are doing at UNC and how they are inspiring the next generation of researchers. Juanita is featured in an associated video and she specifically thanks her University of Iowa TRiO counselor, Nancy Humbles, for supporting her goal of being a scientist.

Juanita graduated from the University of Iowa Biochemistry undergraduate program in 1999 and performed research in the laboratory of Dr. Lori Wallrath. At the University of North Carolina, she is researching cell cycle control in cancer in the laboratory of Dr. Jean Cook. She was also recently awarded a prestigious HHMI Gilliam Fellowship.

Congrats Juanita!

Congrats Fall 2018 Biochemistry PhD Graduates

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Wesley Lay, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Adrian Elcock, received a PhD on December 14, 2018. His thesis was entitled, “Optimizing Computer Simulation Models for Carbohydrates and Proteins at the Atomistic and Coarse-Grained Level”.

Arpit Sharma, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Eric Taylor, received a PhD on December 14, 2018. His thesis was entitled, “Loss of the Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier Drives Cori Cycling and Whole-body Leanness”.  Arpit is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard School of Public Health.

Kyle Powers, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Todd Washington, received a PhD on December 14, 2018. His thesis was entitled, “Structure and Function of the Disordered Tails in Translesion Synthesis DNA Polymerases”. Kyle is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in Dr. Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel’s lab at the University of Bristol.

Congrats Wesley, Arpit, and Kyle!

Dr. Pamela Geyer Elected to the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Dr. Pamela Geyer (Professor, Biochemistry, Obstetrics and Gynecology) was elected to the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of American (GSA). Founded in 1931, the GSA is a professional scientific society for scientific researchers and educators in the field of genetics. Dr. Geyer is excited to join this board at this time of rapid paced discoveries in genetics. She brings to the board her long-standing commitment to training and will continue advancing initiatives to ensure a vibrant, inclusive and diverse network of engaged geneticists. Dr. Geyer is a strong supporter of model organisms and their utility in providing platforms for scientific advances, and looks forward to advocating for these communities. She will serve on the board until 2021.

Congrats Dr. Geyer!

Dr. Madeline Shea Elected as AAAS Fellow

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Dr. Madeline Shea has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Shea was elected for her “distinguished contributions to the field of biochemistry and biophysics, particularly in the role of calmodulin in signal transduction, and for the establishment of innovative educational programs.” Among current Biochemistry primary faculty, Dr. Shea joins Drs. Pamela Geyer, Marc Wold, Charles Brenner, David Price, and Peter Rubinstein.

416 fellows have been elected this year and Dr. Shea is one of two scientists from the University of Iowa.

Congratulations Dr. Shea!

For the full press release please visit Iowa Now.

2018 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Monday, November 5th, 2018

The 2018 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.

Congrats Summer 2018 Biochemistry PhD Graduates

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Quinn Li, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Ashley Spies, received a PhD on August 3, 2018, entitled, “Elucidating enzyme catalyic power and protein-ligand dynamics of human glucokinase: The role of modern allostery”. Quinn plans to travel after her PhD.

Mark Miller, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Adrian Elcock, received a PhD on August 3, 2018, entitled, “Use of osmotic coefficient measurements to validate and to correct the interaction thermodynamics of amino acids in molecular dynamics simulations”. Mark will be teaching Chemistry and Physics at Iowa Mennonite School in the fall.

Emily Malcolm Cushing, a Biochemistry PhD student mentor by Dr. Brandon Davies, received a PhD on August 3, 2018, entitled, “Regulation of plasma triglycerides by ANGPTL4 and GPIHBP1”. Emily is currently working as a post doc in Dr. Brandon Davies’ lab.

Brittany Ripley Receives AHA Predoctoral Fellowship.

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Brittany Ripley, Biochemistry graduate student in Dr. M. Todd Washington’s lab, has received an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. Brittany’s proposal entitled, “RAD6-18, the master regulator of translesion synthesis” will be funded at the maximum amount for two full years. Brittany’s project is described below.

“My research focuses on how cells cope with DNA damage during cell division. Specifically I study how cells regulate the replication of damaged DNA via the ubiquitin conjugating and ligase enzymes, Rad6 and Rad18. To understand regulation, I am determining the network of interactions Rad6 and Rad18 make with two vital polymerases in the DNA damage bypass pathway, translesion synthesis, and how these interactions affect translesion synthesis.”