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Archive for October, 2011

Two Biochemistry members receive recognition for research presentations

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Xu Liu, a graduate student in the Fuentes lab, was awarded the best student/postdoc oral presentation at the Great Plains Regional Annual Symposium on Protein and Biomolecular NMR (GRASP). The title of his talk was “Specificity, structure, and dynamics of Tiam1 PDZ domain ligand-bound complexes.”

Diane Cryderman, a research associate in the Wallrath lab, was awarded a Mary Jo Small Travel Fellowship to attend the NCI Center for Excellence in Chromosome Biology meeting on the National Institutes of Health campus November 1-2, 2011. The award was given for her poster, entitled “Multiple Interactions between Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) and Nucleosomes.”

Nancy Stellwagen and Todd Washington’s editorial positions

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Congratulations are due to Nancy Stellwagen, who was recently promoted to Senior Deputy Editor of Electrophoresis, an international journal that publishes articles on analytical and preparative methods, development of theory, and innovative applications of electrophoretic methods in the study of nucleic acids, proteins, and other compounds.

Additionally, Todd Washington has accepted a position on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, effective July 2012. Washington joins Peter Rubenstein on the Board. Charles Brenner is Chair of the ASBMB Publications Committee, which publishes the JBC.

David Stump receives Internal Medicine 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Congratulations to Dr. David Stump, who received the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Department of Internal Medicine today. He gave a talk entitled “Evolution of the Biopharmaceutical: Reflections on Three Decades at the Interface of Medicine, Science and Technology.” Dr. Stump has had an illustrious career first at Vermont and then at Genentech, where he is recognized for a decade of leadership of the company’s thrombolytic drug development program, and then at Human Genome Science, where he is currently Executive Vice President for Research and Development. At HGS, he most recently guided the development of a newly approved drug for systemic lupus erythematosus.

After receiving his MD from Indiana University in 1976, Dr. Stump completed a three-year residency in internal medicine (1979), served as Chief Resident in internal medicine (1982), and completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology (1984). Biochemistry’s role in Dr. Stump’s training occurred during a research fellowship with former Department Head Ed Heath.

Dr. Stump joins the company of Dr. Daryl Granner, a 1990 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Internal Medicine, and former faculty member Internal Medicine and Biochemistry at Iowa. Granner now serves as the inaugural director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.

Biochemistry undergraduate starts group to raise money for kids with cancer

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Sophomore Biochemistry major Zac Builta was featured in The Daily Iowa today as the founding member of Peds 4 Peds, an organization he started to raise money for kids with cancer. Peds 4 Peds is hoping to raise money through moped races and other fundraising efforts. The story can be accessed here. Congratulations to Zac for the well-deserved recognition.

Department reflects on Iowa-Northwestern connections

Friday, October 14th, 2011

As the Hawkeye football team hosts the Northwestern Wildcats this weekend, the department is reminded of several friendly rivalries between the two schools. Adjunct Professor Joseph Walder was a 1975 MD and 1978 PhD from Northwestern before he joined our faculty. Richard McGee, a 1975 PhD with Arthur Spector and 2010 CCOM Distinguished Alumnus, is now a Professor in Medical Education & Faculty Development, as well as an Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment at  Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. David Engman, a 1990 MD/PhD with John Donelson and currently a Professor of Pathology and Microbiology-Immunology, directs an active research group at Northwestern and recently stepped down as director of the MSTP program after a 16 year tenure. He was past chair of the Medicine Alumni Society Board of Advisors in CCOM. The Iowa/Northwestern connections do indeed run deep. Go Hawks!

DeMali Lab members receive travel awards

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Xiaowen Sun and Jessica Maiers, graduate students in the DeMali laboratory, both received a $500 award for travel to a scientific meeting for their presentations at the 2011 Molecular and Cellular Biology Retreat. Xiaowen presented a research poster, and Jessica gave a research talk.

25 Years of Iowans at the Gibbs Conference

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Madeline Shea presented the 3rd Annual Gary K. Ackers Lecture at the 25th Annual Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics in Illinois in September. The laboratories of Ernesto Fuentes and Shahram Khademi  also participated in the meeting, along with Biochemistry alumni and members of their current laboratories, including Liskin Swint-Kruse at KUMC and Greg DeKoster at Washington University (Robertson Lab graduates), Brian Baker at Notre Dame and Jim Horn at Northern Illinois (Murphy Lab graduates) and Susan Pedigo at Ole Miss (Shea Lab graduate). In fact, current and former Iowa Biochemistry members and their trainees accounted for 12% of the attendees at this year’s conference.

The Gibbs Conference annually attracts 200 scientists with an interest in the energetics, kinetics, structure, and engineering of biological macromolecules and systems.  The conference showcases a broad spectrum of thermodynamic, structural, hydrodynamic, spectroscopic, calorimetric, and computational techniques. Since its inception in 1987, the Gibbs Conference has been attended by many students and postdoctoral fellows. This year, half of the approximately 30 talks were delivered by trainees.  Trainees also served as session moderators, including four with Iowa connections:  John Froehlig, a former Shea Lab undergraduate student now in Herschel Wade’s laboratory at Johns Hopkins; Ann Murray, in the Fuentes laboratory; Nagamani Vunnam, in the Pedigo lab at Ole Miss; and Dan Parente in the Swint-Kruse lab at KUMC.  More than 110 posters – most presented by junior scientists – were displayed during the poster session. This year the meeting added a new event – Saturday Night Thermo – for trainees only. It featured flashtalks and a Career Panel.  This was co-organized by KUMC Associate Professor Liskin Swint-Kruse and LSU Professor Vince LiCata.

There was a special issue of Biophysical Chemistry associated with this meeting, including papers from Swint-Kruse and Shea. Dr. Shea also penned a historical introductory article on 25 years of the conference.

Pufall wins V Scholar Award

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Miles Pufall, a 2011 faculty recruit to the Department of Biochemistry, has been awarded a V Scholar Award from the V Foundation for his project, “B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Studying the mechanisms behind Dexamethasone and Prednisone sensitivity in high-risk patients.”

This is a two year, $200,000 award to the most talented new cancer investigators hired by cancer research centers across the US. Proposals are reviewed and awarded by a blue ribbon Scientific Advisory Board. The V Foundation was formed by the late Jim Valvano and ESPN to find cures for cancer.

Biochemistry faculty present summer and fall talks

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Biochemistry Faculty have been traveling the world this summer and into the fall for research talks in many locales. Adrian Elcock presented at the EMBO Conference in Austria in May. Charles Brenner presented at the FASEB Summer Research Conference on NAD Metabolism and Signaling in Italy in September, at the 1st International Chemical Biology Conference in Kansas City and the Environmental Mutagen Society Conference in Montreal in October. David Price chaired a session and presented a talk at the Summer Research Conference on Transcriptional Elongation in Health and Disease, also in Lucca, Italy in September. He also gave an extended talk at the Cold Spring Harbor meeting on Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription. Dr. Price will be giving a seminar for the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University later this month.