Dr. El-Shanti Chosen as a Selected Research Speaker

Dr. Hatem El-Shanti was chosen as one of four selected researchers, chosen by Dean Jackson, to present on his research efforts at the upcoming event Spotlight on Current and Future Research. This event will feature 4 presenters giving a short-talk seminar about their research and how it’s breaking new ground in their field.

The event is Monday, December 2, from 4:00-5:00 PM in 1459 PBDB.

Highlighting the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group

Front, left to right: Julie Coffey, Marissa Goetz, Katie Larson Ode, Michael Tansey. Back, left to right: Rachel Bisbee, Joanna Cabbage, Eva Tsalikian.

For more than 20 years the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group at the University of Iowa has studied pediatric Type 1 diabetes, and more recently Type 2 diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes with clinical studies and trials.

Pivotal studies on continuous glucose monitoring, on prevention of diabetes in relatives of type 1 diabetes patients, on immune modulation of new onset Type 1 diabetes have been performed as part of consortiums funded federally or from foundations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Helmsley Foundation. In addition, the group has been part of a five clinical center NIH funded consortium studying hypoglycemia prevention in Type 1 diabetes and most recently performed neuroanatomical and neurocognitive studies evaluating the effect of hyper and hypoglycemia on the developing brain of young children with Type 1 diabetes. Findings have been original and unprecedented in literature. See here and here.

Clinical trials conducted by the group in adolescents with Type 2 diabetes have led to identifying appropriate pharmacologic approaches for this recently common adolescent disease.

In recent years, Dr. Katie Larson-Ode has joined the group and her studies have identified abnormal glucose metabolism in young children with Cystic Fibrosis. This finding has led to multiple clinical studies with impactful outcomes and funding by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for a multicenter consortium to conduct pivotal studies in these young children. Dr. Larson Ode and the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group are one of the clinical centers and the coordinating center for the consortium.

If you think you may have a patient that qualifies to participate in a study, or if you just want to find out more, feel free to contact Joanne Cabbage or email the group at pediatric-diabetes-research@uiowa.edu

  • Investigators: Eva Tsalikian, Michael Tansey, Katie Larson Ode
  • Research Coordinator: Julie Coffey, ARNP
  • Research Assistants: Joanne Cabbage, Rachel Bisbee, Marissa Goetz

Dr. McElroy’s Lab Publishes in Pediatric Research

Dr. Steve McElroy (Neonatology) and his lab team published a new article in Pediatric Research titled “A direct comparison of mouse and human intestinal development using epithelial gene expression patterns“. Current neonatology fellow, Dr. Amy Stanford, was also an author on the paper.

  • Background: Preterm infants are susceptible to unique pathology due to their immaturity. Mouse models are commonly used to study immature intestinal disease, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Current NEC models are performed at a variety of ages, but data directly comparing intestinal developmental stage equivalency between mice and humans are lacking.
  • Methods: Small intestines were harvested from C57BL/6 mice at 3–4 days intervals from birth to P28 (n = 8 at each age). Preterm human small intestine samples representing 17–23 weeks of completed gestation were obtained from the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Tissue Bank, and at term gestation during reanastamoses after resection for NEC (n = 4–7 at each age). Quantification of intestinal epithelial cell types and messenger RNA for marker genes were evaluated on both species.
  • Results: Overall, murine and human developmental trends over time are markedly similar. Murine intestine prior to P10 is most similar to human fetal intestine prior to viability. Murine intestine at P14 is most similar to human intestine at 22–23 weeks completed gestation, and P28 murine intestine is most similar to human term intestine.
  • Conclusion: Use of C57BL/6J mice to model the human immature intestine is reasonable, but the age of mouse chosen is a critical factor in model development.

Write Winning Grant Proposals: 2019 Seminar- Friday, Oct. 25th.

The Research Development Office in the Office of the Vice President for Research, in collaboration with the Carver College of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Development, would like to make you aware that Dr. John Robertson from Grant Writer’s Seminars and Workshops (GWSW) will conduct the Write Winning Grant Proposals seminar on Friday, October 25, 2019. The seminar is appropriate for faculty members, postdoctoral researchers and administrative staff who have had some exposure to writing grant applications, either through training / mentoring or personal experience. Please share this information with faculty and staff you think would benefit from this training. Additional details are below.

  • TITLE: Write Winning Grant Proposals
  • DATE: Friday, October 25, 2019
  • TIME: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Check in opens at 7:45 AM)
  • PLACE: The Hilton Garden Inn, Iowa City (328 S. Clinton Street)
  • COST: $150/person (includes supplemental materials and lunch)
  • REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, October 4, 2019 (close of business)

See this page for further details and to register.

Grant Opportunity from Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can submit two applications to the Curing Kids Cancer Grant mechanism. If you are interested in applying, please respond by Noon on Monday, July 1 with information on your proposed project, as per the terms of the grant.   –Tami Thompson (tami-thompson@uiowa.edu)

Internal Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center deadline Noon, Monday, July 1, 2019

Curing Kids Cancer – limited to two applications per institution.

Sponsor Deadline Sept 9, 2019.

Donna Friel

Angi Roemerman


Dr. Widness Publishes on Erythropoietin in Premature Infants

Congratulations to Dr. Jack Widness (professor emeritus, Neonatology) and his research team on their recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

D’Cunha R, Widness JA, Yan X, Schmidt RL, Veng-Pedersen P, An G. A Mechanism-Based Population Pharmacokinetics Model of Erythropoietin in Premature Infants and Healthy Adults Following Multiple Intravenous Doses. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2019, 59(6) 835–846.

Abstract: The objective of the current study was to develop a population pharmacokinetics (PK) model for erythropoietin (Epo) in premature infants and healthy adults to characterize the variation in PK, and to study the differences in Epo PK in these 2 populations. Thirteen very low-birth-weight premature infants (<1500 g at birth), and 10 healthy adults received up to 4 intravenous doses of Epo that ranged from 10 to 500 U/kg. The final model had a target-mediated saturable, nonlinear, elimination pathway that incorporated the mechanism of Epo binding to its receptors along with a parallel linear, central elimination pathway. Epo clearance was found to be significantly higher in preterm infants compared to adults. Epo clearance via the nonlinear pathway was found to be much higher in infants; they had an Epo receptor capacity of 133 pM vs 86.6 pM in adults, which is most likely due to the higher erythroid progenitor cell mass per kilogram of body weight in infants. The parallel linear elimination was found to be more dominant in adults, reaching 91% of the total clearance with a 500-U/kg dose compared to just 6.1% of the total clearance following the same dose in preterm infants. Thus, this mechanism-based population PK model revealed that receptor-based nonlinear elimination is the dominant Epo elimination pathway in premature infants, and parallel linear elimination is dominant in adults.