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Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Dr. Bryan Allen appointed to be leader of the cancer center’s Experimental Therapeutics program

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Bryan Allen, a MD, PhD graduate from Dr. Daniel Weeks lab, was appointed to be leader of the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Experimental Therapeutics (ET) Program. Allen is an associate professor and associate chair of translational research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Allen is featured in noon news here.

“Supporting the careers of these successful faculty members and providing them with an opportunity to serve in leadership roles will ensure even greater success for Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Weiner says. “All of them have demonstrated their dedication to keeping Holden at the forefront of patient care and a leader in the search for new ways to prevent and cure cancer.” -George Weiner, MD, director of the cancer center

Congratulations Dr. Allen!

Lacy Barton Featured in Damon Runyon Video

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Lacy Barton, a 2014 PhD graduate from the Geyer Lab, has been recently featured in a video produced by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.  This video highlights women in science and Lacy’s current research. Lacy is currently a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Skirball Institute at the New York University School of Medicine.

Alumna Dr. Liskin Swint-Kruse named Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at KUMC

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Biochemistry Alumna Dr. Liskin Swint-Kruse, (1995 PhD with Dr. Andrew Robertson), has been named Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) where she has been serving as Interim Chair since last fall. Executive Vice Chancellor at KUMC , Dr. Robert D. Simari, wrote “Over the past eight months, her leadership in both the department and the school of medicine has been commendable.  In addition to her many leadership roles, Dr. Swint-Kruse remains actively engaged in teaching in the ACE curriculum.  She maintains a successful and well-funded research program focusing on ways to improve genomics-based diagnoses for personalized medicine.” Congratulations, Dr. Swint-Kruse!

Alumna Dr. Rainbo Hultman will join INI and the Dept of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics in January 2019

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Biochemistry Alumna, Dr. Rainbo Hultman (2002 BS with Dr. Madeline Shea), will begin her independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics  and the Iowa Neurosciences Institute and at the University of Iowa in January 2019.

After completing her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 2002, Dr. Hultman did her graduate training at Duke University where she received her PhD in Biochemistry in 2011. From 2011-2012, she was a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Herb Covington in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke. Since 2012 she has been a postdoctoral associate in the Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroengineering with Dr. Kafui Dzirasa. Dr. Hultman’s graduate and postdoctoral studies have been extremely productive, resulting in numerous publications in highly recognized journals. Since 2002, she has published nine peer-reviewed papers (four are first author) in top journals such as Neuron, Nature Communications, Molecular Cell Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neuroscience. Her most recent first author paper was published in March in Cell.

A major focus of Dr. Hultman’s research has been focused on understanding, at the molecular and cellular level, how neural oscillations across brain regions contribute to complex emotional states related to stress susceptibility. In particular, she identified that activity within the prefrontal cortex–amygdala circuit (PFC reactivity 2-7 Hz) provides a measure prior to stress exposure that correlates with resilient behavior after undergoing chronic social defeat stress. This discovery demonstrated that there are measurable neural circuit properties unique to a pre-stress vulnerable brain. She has also used designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) to identify ways in which the specific timing relationships of LFP oscillations between the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and ventral tegmental area coordinate dynamically post-stress to result in the stress-susceptible phenotype. Through this study, she was able to exactly recapitulate endogenous resilient neural circuit activity in the susceptible animals. As a faculty member, Dr. Hultman plans to develop a research program aimed at identifying molecular drivers of specific depression-related neural circuit activities with the goal of paving a way for precision medicine for depressive disorders. This project has great potential to generate highly significant publications and, importantly, to translate into the development of effective pharmacological treatments for depressive disorders.

Alumna Dr. Liskin Swint-Kruse named Interim Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at KUMC

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Biochemistry Alumna, (1995 PhD with Dr. Andrew Robertson), has been named  the Interim Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). Dr. Swint-Kruse was recruited to the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2004 after completing postdoctoral fellowships at Rice University and the University of Houston.  Since arriving at KUMC, she has developed a successful and well-funded research program that focuses on ways to improve genomics-based diagnoses for personalized medicine.   These studies of protein structure-function also have applications in protein engineering for biotechnology and in transcriptional control of metabolism in pathogenic bacteria. On a national level, Dr. Swint-Kruse has been very active in committees of the Biophysical Society and is also Secretary of the Gibbs Society of Biological Thermodynamics.

Biochemistry Alum, Tristram Parslow, receives CCOM Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Tristram Parslow, 1983 MD/PhD with Dr. Daryl Granner, was recently awarded a Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award for Acheivement. Dr. Parslow has excelled in every aspect of his career—as a researcher, teacher, and department leader. His early work at the University of Iowa on immunoglobulin gene expression addressed issues that stumped Nobel laureates and National Academy of Sciences members. While on the pathology department faculty at the University of California, San Francisco at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Parslow engaged in a series of studies of the molecular virology of HIV and other RNA viruses, including influenza. In the 14 years since Dr. Parslow joined Emory University as chair of the Department of Pathology, their annual National Institutes of Health funding has grown from $12 million to $34 million. He continues to lead and mentor others in the field, both at Emory and as president of the Association of Pathology Chairs.

Michael Schnieders receives 2018 Scholar Advocate Award

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Dr. Michael Schnieders is the recipient of the 2018 Scholar Advocate Award. The University of Iowa Honors Program created this recognition in 2015 to acknowledge the critical role faculty and professional staff play in the cultivation and preparation of competitive applicants for national scholarships and fellowships. Dr. Schnieders is a a lively advocate whose personal experience with honors education and the fellowships process fuels an authentic and intentional investment in developing scholars at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Schnieders will be recognized with a monetary award and engraved memento at the Honors Recognition Ceremony held in April.

2017 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The 2017 Biochemistry @ Iowa newsletter is hot off the presses and available for download. Alumni and friends should receive a hard copy in the mail this week. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information to While you are at it, feel free to send us your news and updates! Previous newsletters are also available online.

Biochemistry Alumnus Billy Hudson receives the Protein Society’s 2017 Carl Brändén Award

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Dr. Billy G. Hudson, a 1966 PhD with Drs. Rex Montgomery and Robert Barker, is the recipient of the Protein Society’s 2017 Carl Brändén Award which honors an outstanding protein scientist who has also made exceptional contributions in the areas of education and/or service to the field. Dr. Hudson is currently the Elliot V. Newman Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, & Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, as well as, the Director of the Center for Matrix Biology at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Hudson has worked tirelessly to develop the Aspirnaut K-20 STEM Pipeline for Diversity Program that provides internships to an untapped pool of talented high-school students to encourage them to work in the STEM fields and go on to college. Dr. Hudson’s outstanding research accomplishments include seminal discoveries about the structure and chemistry of collagen IV scaffolds in extracellular basement membranes and have led to a potential treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

Biochemistry Alumna Dr. Bridget Coughlin named CEO of the Shedd Aquarium

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

CoughlinBiochemistry  Alumna, Bridget Coughlin, a 1999 PhD with John Donelson, was recently named CEO of the Shedd Aquarium. She’ll be the fourth president in the Shedd’s history and the second female head of a Museum Campus institution when she takes over in mid-April. Dr. Coughlin, was previously the vice president of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator at the Denver Science Museum. Read the full Chicago Tribune article here.