WRITER: TAMMARA MEESTER
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSON
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax(319) 335-8034
Release: July 13, 2000
Two UI medical students awarded Bristol-Myers fellowships
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Earl B. Maes and Susan Nicholas, fourth-year medical students
at the University of Iowa, have been chosen to receive 2000 Bristol-Myers
Squibb Academic Medicine fellowships.
Only 35 students were chosen nationally to receive the $6,000 award, given
to minority medical students who show potential for careers in research and
academic medicine. Award recipients participate in research projects under
the direction of a faculty mentor at their learning institution.
Maes will study contraction of the gall bladder in response to gallstones.
His mentor for the project is Joseph Cullen, M.D., UI associate professor
Maes was surprised that he won a fellowship, saying that those who receive
the award generally attend schools considered elite for research,
such as John Hopkins, Harvard or Yale.
"This shows that Iowa can compete at that level," Maes said.
Nicholas, of Morgantown, W.Va., will work with Henry Paulson, M.D., assistant
professor of neurology, on a long-term study of ways to block the build-up
of toxic substances in the brain and restore normal brain function.
"The key to this is finding out about the suppressors," Paulson
explained. "If we can learn how to block toxicity, it can lead to treatments."
Success could lead to an understanding and ultimately treatment of neurodegenerative
diseases such as Huntingtons, Alzheimers or Parkinsons diseases.
Nicholas believes the topic of the research project played an important part
in helping her win the fellowship.
"It has the potential to impact a large number of people, particularly
as our population ages," Nicholas said.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.