Link: University of Iowa

Archive for October, 2016

Undergraduate in Maria Spies lab turns internship into job offer at Clorox

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Andrea Diaz, an undergraduate studying in Maria Spies’ laboratory, was offered a full-time position with Clorox Co. as a scientist in the company’s research and development department after interning with the company this past summer. Andrea credits her campus involvement and work experience with giving her the opportunities and skills she needed to make the most of her internship at Clorox. Read more about Andrea’s experience and opportunity in the IowaNow feature. Congratulations, Andrea!

Tingting Duan won second place in the Art in Science Competition at the Iowa Microscopy Society

Thursday, October 20th, 2016


Tingting Duan, a Biochemistry PhD student mentored by Dr. Pamela Geyer, was awarded second place in the Art in Science Competition by voters attending the Iowa Microscopy Society Fall Symposium. Her image of a tetis carpet “[drew] out beauty on an extremely small scale.” The goal of the Iowa Art in Science Contest is to recognize the combination of outstanding scientific discovery and artistic appeal inherent to microscopy research.

Brenner lab’s clinical trial on the effects of NR in humans shows the compound safely increases levels of important cell metabolite

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Brenner_Charles_2015_reducedIn a study published on October 10 in Nature Communications, Dr. Charles Brenner, Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry, in collaboration with visiting Levitt Professor, Dr. Marie Migaud, shows nicotinamide riboside (NR) increases levels of a cell metabolite that is critical for cellular energy production and protection against stress and DNA damage in humans. This was the first controlled clinical trial of the effects of NR in humans. “This trial shows that oral NR safely boosts human NAD+ metabolism,” Brenner says. “We are excited because everything we are learning from animal systems indicates that the effectiveness of NR depends on preserving and/or boosting NAD+ and related compounds in the face of metabolic stresses. Because the levels of supplementation in mice that produce beneficial effects are achievable in people, it appears that health benefits of NR will be translatable to humans safely.” This study was also featured on IowaNow.

Davies and Taylor awarded FOEDRC Pilot & Feasibility Grants

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Drs. Brandon Davies and Eric Taylor have been awarded FOEDRC Pilot & Feasiblity Grants of $50,000 to support their research proposal, with the possibility for a second year of funding, for a total of $100,000 over a two-year period.

Dr. Davies’s proposal entitled “Skeletal Muscle Programming of Capillary Endothelial Cells,” aims to to identify how skeletal muscle cells program adjacent endothelial cells to deliver triglyceride-derived fatty acids to muscle.

Dr. Taylor’s proposal entitled “A novel regulator of glutamine-driven gluconeogenesis,” aims to determine the biochemical activity of a recently discovered  poorly annotated protein that is important for using the amino acid glutamine for gluconeogenesis, the mechanisms underlying its role in glutamine-driven gluconeogenesis, and how its function contributes to hyperglycemia during type-2 diabetes.