Link: University of Iowa

Archive for April, 2013

Former BSURFer named Goldwater Scholar

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Alex Greiner, a 2012 Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (BSURF) and a junior at Luther College, has been named a Goldwater Scholar, by the Goldwater Trust, based on academic merit. In the BSURF program last summer, Alex conducted research in the Rubenstein lab. In April he presented this research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, under the title “The Pathogenic Actin Mutation E117K Exhibits Aberrant Behavior.” Congratulations to Alex on his continued success.

Plapp editor of recent special issue

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Dr. Bryce Plapp is the Managing Guest Editor of the recently published Special Issue of Chemico-Biological Interactions, Vol 202, February 2013 with along with four associate guest editors. The 35 papers were prepared by participants of the 16th International Workshop on the Enzymology and Molecular Biology of Carbonyl Metabolism, held in Ploen, Germany, July 10-14, 2012.

Geyer lab wins two awards for Research Week posters

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Congratulations to Alexey Soshnev and Lacy Barton, of the Geyer Lab, for receiving poster awards during Health Sciences Research Week. This year’s Research Week (April 16-17), a joint venture between CCOM, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public Health, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and the VA Health System, was entitled “Molecules and Mental Illness.” Alexey won in the CCOM Postdoctoral Fellow category for his poster, entitled “Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by a drosophila insulator protein.” Lacy, a graduate student, received an award in the CCOM student category for her poster “Loss of the nuclear lamina protein Otefin causes checkpoint kinase 2-mediated death of female germline stem cells.”

Fall 2013 Incoming Graduate Class

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce that we have successfully recruited six new PhD students with excellent college preparation and research experience. Please help us welcome the August 2013 incoming class:

James Bullard – University of Iowa
Sahil Gulati – Jaypee Institute of Information
Wesley Lay – University of Illinois-Urbana
Jacob Litman – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Young Joo Sun – Yonsei University
Tyler Weaver – Florida State University

Department announces hiring of Dr. Catherine Musselman

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Catherine Musselman. Dr. Musselman was the standout in an extremely competitive structural biology faculty search run by Dr. M. Todd Washington and colleagues. She will begin as a tenure track assistant professor on July 31 and plans to focus on deciphering epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation and how misregulation of these pathways is associated with disease.

Dr. Musselman is a 2005 MS and a 2007 PhD in chemistry from the University of Michigan with Drs. Hashim Al-Hashimi and Ioan Andricioaei. As a graduate student, she used molecular dynamics simulations and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to elucidate the structural dynamics of TAR, an RNA molecule from the human AIDS virus.

In 2007, she returned to her native Colorado to perform post-doctoral research with Dr. Tatiana Kutateladze at the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. In Dr. Kutateladze’s laboratory, Dr. Musselman characterized epigenetic effector domains using NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and other biochemical and biophysical techniques. During her time as a post-doctoral fellow, she was supported by individual fellowships from the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, and the Cancer League of Colorado. Her post-doctoral work produced sixteen publications, eight as first author.

As a new faculty member at Iowa, Dr. Musselman brings sophisticated questions and techniques to the analysis of the protein and nucleic acid associations of the polycomb group 2 complex and the interactions of effector domain proteins with modified nucleosomes. She is described by faculty colleagues as a perfect match with members of the Biochemistry department because she integrates interests in gene expression, chromatin, metabolism, and the structural basis of macromolecular function. Dr. Musselman is the 9th new primary faculty member in Biochemistry since July 1, 2009.

Xu Liu receives graduate mentor award

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Xu Liu, a graduate student in the Fuentes lab, has been awarded the Sandra H. Barkan Outstanding Graduate Mentor for 2013. The award, named for the former Associate Dean of the Graduate College, recognizes graduate students who show exceptional mentorship of undergraduates and junior graduate students. Since joining the Fuentes lab, Xu has mentored three undergraduate or junior graduate students, including Ann Murray, Lisa Golden and Josue Lopez. His recent first-author paper in Structure included Ann, who characterized the binding specificity in the syndecan family of Tiam1 PDZ domain. Xu is currently preparing two manuscripts with his other mentees, Lisa and Josue, on the inhibition and structure of Tiam PDZ domains.

Previous recipients of this award include Xiao Peng, a 2011 PhD with Kris DeMali. Congratulations, Xu!