Dr. Sato and Dr. Pesce Featured in Patient Story

Dr. Mariko Sato (Hem/Onc) and Liuska Pesce (Endo) were featured in a touching patient story on the UI SFCH website about a child in the pediatric brain tumor clinic. The story highlights the multidisciplinary care provided here at the hospital, and includes pediatric subspecialists from other Departments as well, such as ophthalmology and radiation oncology.

Brady’s story: Finding help, balance, and hope

Calhoun and Marcellus Featured in STATNews

Amy Calhoun
Samantha Marcellus

“A decade earlier, her happy, easygoing little boy had died just after his second birthday. And now here she was, pregnant with twin boys, hoping against hope that they wouldn’t have the same mutated gene that killed their older brother. So when Alyssa Martin found out 21 weeks into her pregnancy that they, too, had inherited the faulty DNA, “it just felt like the end of the world,” she said.

This time, though, Martin knew what she was up against. While she was still pregnant, she and a team of doctors devised a plan to try to save the twins. The boys’ best hope was an experimental drug — a form of copper injected under the skin twice a day — designed to counteract the effects of that mutated gene, which wreaks such havoc on the body’s copper levels that it often kills boys before age 3. If the medication was to have a chance of working, doctors believed, it was crucial that the twins get it within weeks after birth — so time was of the essence.

But getting that drug to Charlie and Kolton Martin proved to be harder than anyone imagined.”

Read more about Dr. Amy Calhoun and Samantha Marcellus and their amazing story on the Martin twins.

New Publications from the Lab of Dr. Bassuk

Dr. Alex Bassuk, Division Director for the Division of Neurology, recently had a series of publications come out of his lab. Congratulations to Dr. Bassuk and his team on their record of scholarly activity!

Kousa YA, Zhu H, Fakhouri WD, Lei Y, Kinoshita A, Roushangar RR, Patel NK, Agopian AJ, Yang W, Leslie EJ, Busch TD, Mansour TA, Li X, Smith AL, Li EB, Sharma DB, Williams TJ, Chai Y, Amendt BA, Liao EC, Mitchell LE, Bassuk AG, Gregory S, Ashley-Koch A, Shaw GM, Finnell RH, Schutte BC. The TFAP2A-IRF6-GRHL3 genetic pathway is conserved in neurulation. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Jan 25. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz010. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30689861.

Tang PH, Velez G, Tsang SH, Bassuk AG, Mahajan VB. VCAN Canonical Splice Site Mutation is Associated With Vitreoretinal Degeneration and Disrupts an MMP Proteolytic Site. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 Jan 2;60(1):282-293. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-25624. PubMed PMID: 30657523.

Machlab DA, Velez G, Bassuk AG, Mahajan VB. ProSave: an application for restoring quantitative data to manipulated subsets of protein lists. Source Code Biol Med. 2018 Nov 12;13:3. doi: 10.1186/s13029-018-0070-0. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30459825; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6233572.

Brueggeman L, Sturgeon ML, Martin RM, Grossbach AJ, Nagahama Y, Zhang A, Howard MA III, Kawasaki H, Wu S, Cornell RA, Michaelson JJ, Bassuk AG. Drug repositioning in epilepsy reveals novel anti-seizure candidates. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. First published: 11 December 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/acn3.703.


Congratulations to Noy Vongmoukda, who works in the Insurance Pre-Authorization office, and her family on the birth of her son, Koda Sengchanh Xayasene. Koda was born January 21 at 8:13 AM, weighing 8 lbs, 10 oz.

Dr. Sarah Haskell had a baby girl! Dr. Haskell and her husband, Dennis Firchau, recently had a baby girl – Greta Ann Patricia Firchau, born 1/18/19 at 9:09 AM, weighing 6lbs, 12 oz.

Congratulations to both!!

NICU Featured in Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Article

The NICU was featured in an online article for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. The article, titled “Dysart ‘miracle’ twins, born 18 weeks premature, making history” is about a recent pair of twins in the NICU born at just 22 weeks and one day gestation, among the most premature surviving twins born at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Jon Klein, NICU Medical Director, provided quotes for the article.

Dr. Bell Named 2019 Distinguished Mentor

Dr. Ed Bell was recently named the 2019 Distinguished Mentor Awardee by the College of Medicine. Dr. Bell, Professor of Pediatrics, has an outstanding record of mentoring trainees, faculty and staff at all levels. By his own example and with his guidance and leadership, he has influenced the lives and careers of many scientists and physicians at Iowa and around the world.

The award will be officially presented at the Distinguished Mentor/Mentor Lecturer Celebration on Thursday,, October 17, 2019, at 3:00 PM in the Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110A MERF).

The Distinguished Mentor Award and Distinguished Mentor’s Lecture are made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Daryl Granner, 58BA, 62MS, 62MD, and Nancy Granner, 58BA. Dr. Granner is a distinguished alumnus and Professor Emeritus and Founding Director, F.O.E. Diabetes Research Center, in the Pappajohn Biomedical Institute.