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Archive for the ‘Gene Lata’ 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.

Ninth Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Honors Symposium

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

A record 13 students presented at this year’s Undergraduate Honors Program. This year marks the ninth year for the Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Professor Marc Wold, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor, in congratulating these 2013 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done:

  • James Bullard
    Mentor: Pam Geyer
    Diversity in function: understanding how a polydactyl zinc-finger protein confers multiple functional outputs
  • Alexander Crider
    Mentor: Atish Dey (Chemistry)
    A novel DMSP lyase
  • Atish Dey
    Mentor: David Soll (Biology)
    Identification of genes involved in candida albicans biofilm synthesis under the control of BCR1
  • Johnathan Fagg
    Mentor: Peter Rubenstein
    Molecular effects of two Baraitser Winter causing mutations
  • Bhavatharini Kasinathan
    Mentor: Sarit Smolikove (Biology)
    The relationship between proteolysis and the akirin pathway in synaptonemal complex disassembly during C. elegans meiosis
  • Irtaza Khalid
    Mentor: David Price
    Deregulation of P-TEFb through microsatellite instability-induced mutations in LARP7 as a potential cause of cancer
  • Ryan Marling
    Mentor: Dan Weeks
    The role of cardiac NK2 genes in early heart development of Xenopus laevis
  • Allyson Mayer
    Mentor: Charles Brenner
    Computational and experimental determination of protein acetylation as a function of nutrition
  • Clayton Oakley
    Mentor: Beverly Davidson (Internal Medicine)
    The validation of several candidate genes predicted to have gained microRNA binding sites through transposable elements
  • Stephen Siemonsma
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Course-grained BD simulations of type III secretion system needle in salmonella
  • David Simoens
    Mentor: Lori Wallrath
    A drosophila model for lamin-associated heart disease
  • Kyle Strouse
    Mentor: Dan Weeks
    Expression of the MiR183 cluster: is there a differential expression of these micro-RNAs in early development?
  • Johanna Uribe
    Mentor: Kris DeMali
    Vinculin phosphorylation regulates epithelial phenotypes

The symposium also included the presentation of two new undergraduate awards, made possible by a gift from Alap Subramanian. The H.G. Wittmann Scholar Award was presented to Stephen Siemonsma (Elcock lab) and the H.G. Khorana Scholar Award was presented to Allyson Mayer (Brenner lab), recognizing their exceptional understanding of biochemistry and its value to society.

Congratulations to everyone named above and all of our 2013 graduates!

Biochemistry Honors students present at Lata Symposium

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Seven Biochemistry Honors students presented their research yesterday afternoon at the 8th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Undergraduate and Honors Advisor, Professor Marc Wold, in congratulating these 2011 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done.

  • Ashley Angell
    Mentor: Kris DeMali
    Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Vinculin Regulates Cell-Matrix Adhesion
  • Chelsea Khaw
    Mentor: Kris DeMali
    The Role of the Β3 Integrin in Melanoma Resistance to Chemotherapy
  • James Min
    Mentor: Joseph Zabner (Pulmonary)
    Organ-specific Expression of a Transgenic Human Lactonase in Drosophila melanogaster
  • Emma Nash
    Mentor: Martha Monick (Internal Medicine)
    Smoking Alters Dicer Expression in Human Alveoler Macrophages
  • Luke Prest
    Mentor: Dan Weeks
    Separating Functional Domains of Cardiac Transcription Factors by Construction of Chimeric Proteins
  • Hyun Soo Ryu
    Mentor: Shahram Khademi
    Mechanisms of Urea Conduction in Urea Channel
  • Austin Stark
    Mentor: Adrian Elcock
    Molecular Simulations of Weak Protein-protein Interactions

Biochemistry alumna Susan Wente honored, publishes career review in MBoC

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Susan Wente, a 1984 BS with Alice Fulton, and currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences, and Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University, was recently awarded the 2011 Women in Cell Biology Senior Award. On the occasion of her receiving this award, Wente published an article in Molecular Biology of the Cell entitled “Spatial and temporal impacts on a career in science,” which reviews her career and thanks her many mentors.

Dr. Wente began by recalling Dr. Gene Lata, who launched the undergraduate Biochemistry major and served as Susan’s undergraduate advisor. Dr. Lata guided Susan to Dr. Jeffrey Field’s laboratory (Internal Medicine) and later to an honors thesis with Dr. Fulton. Dr. Wente credits Peter Rubenstein with an introduction that led to her appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. During her time in St. Louis, Susan recalls meeting John York, a 1986 BS with Arthur Arnone, and the “spatial and temporal connections” they shared through Iowa Biochemistry.

Susan’s article can be accessed online.

Department mourns passing of John M. Franz

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

We have received the sad news that John M. Franz, a 1955 PhD with Gene Lata, passed away on March 8, 2011 in Columbia, MO. He was 83.

Dr. Franz served in the US Army in Italy after World War II.  He graduated in 1950 from the University of Illinois, where his TA was Dr. Gene Lata. He then came to the University of Iowa with Dr. Lata to do his graduate work. Dr. Franz was Lata’s first PhD student.

Dr. Franz was a close friend of Dr. Arthur Fishkin, Dr. Lata’s second PhD student, who passed away last May. They last saw each other at Dr. Lata’s retirement party.

After completing his thesis on the effect of hormones on stress on certain coenzyme dependent reactions, Dr. Franz joined the Biochemistry Department faculty at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he conducted research on the hormonal control of metabolism. In addition, teaching was his passion. He remained on the faculty there his entire career, retiring in 1993.

Dr. Franz is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Janice Howard; one sister, Mary Lotts; children Kristine Dashiell, Jack Franz, Kathleen Quinn and Janice Rike; and six grandchildren. Dr. Franz’s obituary has been published in the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The 7th Annual Gene F. Lata Biochemistry Undergraduate Honors Symposium will be held tomorrow, April 20, in memory of Dr. Lata and his first two PhD students, Drs. Arthur Fishkin and John Franz.

Department mourns passing of Arthur Fishkin

Monday, July 12th, 2010

We have received the sad news that Arthur Fishkin, a 1957 PhD with Gene Lata, passed away on May 27, his 80th birthday. Fishkin came to Iowa from Indiana to pursue a PhD in zoology and had his interest in biochemistry sparked by Henry Bull’s course in physical biochemistry. After completing his thesis on hormonal influences on the acetylation of sulfanilamide, Dr. Fishkin held posts at the Southwest Research Foundation in San Antonio, the LSU School of Medicine and New Mexico State University before joining the Biochemistry Department at Creighton University in 1968, where he remained active for nearly 40 years. Dr. Fishkin was well known for his work on N-acetylneuramidate lyase and glycoproteins in connective tissues. Fishkin also sent a student, G. Stanley Cox, to Iowa to conduct PhD research with Thomas Conway. Dr. Fishkin is survived by his wife, Jane, four sons, and five grandchildren. Dr. Fishkin’s family reports that Arthur’s years at Iowa were formative. He regarded it as a collegial place with high academic standards, which influenced his approach to teaching and research for 50 years.  Dr. Fishkin’s obituary has been published in the Chemical and Engineering News, the magazine of the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Creighton University Magazine.

Biochem Honors students present at Lata Symposium

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Eleven Biochemistry Honors students presented their research this afternoon at the 6th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Research Symposium. Please join Undergraduate Advisor, Professor Alice Fulton, Honors Advisor Professor Bryce Plapp, and myself in congratulating these 2010 graduates and their research mentors for a job well done. (more…)