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Archive for the ‘Arthur Spector’ Category

2016 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Friday, November 4th, 2016

2016_newslettercoverimageThe 2016 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 Bradley T. Hyman elected into the Institute of Medicine

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Bradley T. Hyman, a 1982 Biochemistry PhD with Arthur Spector and a 1983 MD from the Carver College of Medicine,  has been elected into the Institute of Medicine.  Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Hyman is the John B. Penney Jr. Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and the the Director of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is in the same IOM class as Nobelists Randy Schekman and Brian Kobilka and  joins a group of fewer than 1800 leading US medical scientists in this elite advisory organization.

Congratulations, Dr. Hyman!

Highlights from the 65th Anniversary and 4th Annual Retreat

Monday, August 26th, 2013


The 2013 Biochemistry 65th Anniversary and 4th Annual Retreat, organized by Lori Wallrath, Charles Brenner, Maria Spies, Earle Stellwagen, Mark Miller, Lacy Barton, and Maren Rogers, was held on Saturday, August 24. The scientific program at the Levitt Center for University Advancement featured talks by Charles Brenner and Catherine Musselman, Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, Dale Abel, and Director of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, Richard Smith. In addition, Gary Firestone (1980 PhD with Ed Heath), Tristram Parslow (1977 MD/PhD with Daryl Granner), Bob Deschenes (faculty from 1989-2004),  and Debbie Thurmond (1997 PhD with Alan Goodridge) gave scientific presentations.

The poster session featured 39 posters. Six total awards were given in three categories. In the undergraduate division, first place went to Dylan Thiemann (Wallrath lab), and second place to Liam Hovey (Shea lab). In the Postdoc/Research Assistant/Associate category, Jiannan Guo (Price lab) and Rebecca Fagan (Brenner lab) won first and second places, respectively . Two Lois Bigger Gehring Awards were given to support graduate student travel to research conferences. Lacy Barton (Geyer lab) and Jessica Maiers (DeMali lab) each won this award for best poster in the graduate student category.

The dinner at the Athletics Hall of Fame featured thoughts and reflections from PhD graduates of the department, including Morey Slodki (1955), Charles Fishkin (son of Arthur Fishkin, 1957), Billy Hudson (1966), Liskin Swint-Kruse (1995), and a video message from Alap Subramanian (1964). Along with former faculty members Charles Swenson, Robert Barker, Earle Stellwagen, Arthur Spector, Bryce Plapp, Robert Roskoski, Larry Solomonson, Alice Fulton, and Daryl Granner.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Distinguished Alum Bradley Hyman, MD, PhD, publishes major research paper in Neuron

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Dr. Bradley Hyman, a 1982 PhD with Arthur Specter and a 1983 MD and former CCOM Distinguished Alumnus as well as recipient of the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumnus award, has published a major paper in Neuron. Dr. Hyman is currently a the John B. Penney Jr. Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. The paper, entitled “Propagation of Tau Pathology in a Model of Early Alzheimer’s Disease,” is available online.

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!

Dr. Robert Gould on protein methyltransferase inhibition

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Robert Gould, a 1981 PhD with Arthur Spector, who is consulting with the Carver College of Medicine on medical curriculum review, took time on October 29 to visit the Department to lecture on “Protein Methyltransferase Inhibitors: A Novel Class of Potential Cancer Therapeutics.” Gould has had a widely varied career, which included a post-doctoral fellowship with Solomon Snyder, a 22 year career with Merck, serving as the director of novel therapeutics at the Broad Institute, and transitioning earlier this year to Epizyme, Inc, where he is President and CEO. Gould presented the origins of the Epizyme program on protein methyltransferases: selection of targets, screening of specificity, cycles of inhibitor discovery and characterization, and a path forward to molecularly targeted cancer clinical testing and treatment.

Susan O’Donnell wins the Clarence Berg Award

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Susan O’Donnell, who recently completed her PhD with Madeline Shea, has been named the winner of the 2010 Clarence Berg Award. This prize is given every other year to a student who demonstrates “scholarship, integrity, cooperativeness, consideration and a willingness to help others.” Dr. O’Donnell was an American Heart Association-funded graduate student who focused on the structural and thermodynamic bases for recognition of calcineurin by calmodulin domains. Previously, Susan was the winner of the 2006 Usha Balakrishnan Award for best poster presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. She also presented her work in a plenary session of the 2007 Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics and received a 2008 Biophysical Society Student Research Achievement Award as well as an inaugural Gehring Award last fall.

Dr. O’Donnell is currently a post-doctoral fellow with Robert Deschenes at University of South Florida.

Susan is the 21st winner of the Berg Award, which was established by former students of Professor Berg, an internationally known amino acid biochemist who was a member of the department for 39 years. Dr. Berg is well known as the author of the 1980 book, The University of Iowa and Biochemistry from their Beginnings.

Prior winners of the Berg Award are:

Rick McGee and Brad Hyman win Distinguished Alumni Awards

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Richard McGee, a 1975 PhD in Biochemistry with Arthur Spector, has been named a Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. McGee, formerly at Georgetown and Mayo and now the Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is nationally known for development of programs that create a pipeline of qualified underrepresented students into biomedical research.

Former CCOM Distinguished Alumnus, Bradley Hyman, a 1982 PhD with Arthur Spector and a 1983 MD, 1988 resident and 1989 fellow, returns to campus to be lauded as a University of Iowa Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Hyman, the John B. Penney, Jr. Professor of Neurology at Harvard, is an active physician scientist who directs the Alzheimer’s unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease.

Congratulations to Drs. McGee, Hyman and Spector for these honors.

Madeline Shea named J.P. Long Awardee

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Madeline Shea, professor and vice-chair of biochemistry, was named recipient of the 2009 John P. Long Teaching Award in the Basic Sciences at a February 24 Carver College of Medicine dinner at the Brown Deer Country Club. Following in the footsteps of Arthur Spector (1999) and Peter Rubenstein (2001), this was the third time a biochemist has claimed this honor in the 14 year history of the award.

Her award nomination cited teaching methods that have defined the state of the art in education, superb mentoring, development of the FUTURE program, and her leading research program in calmodulin structure-function.  True to form, Madeline flew back into town for the award dinner from the San Francisco meeting of the Biophysical Society, where her graduate student Michael Feldkamp had been given a travel award to present the structure of calmodulin bound to the calmodulin-binding domain of the voltage-dependent sodium channel, NaV1.2.

Clarence Berg’s history of Iowa Biochemistry now online

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Thanks to an agreement between Google and The University of Iowa, the late Clarence Peter Berg’s 1980 out of print monograph, The University of Iowa and Biochemistry from their Beginnings, is now available online. (more…)