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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 31, 2006

Knudson To Lead UI Medical Scientist Training Program

C. Michael Knudson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been named director of the college's Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Knudson replaces Pamela Geyer, Ph.D., UI professor of biochemistry, who has led the program since 1999. She served as MSTP co-director from 1997-1999.

Knudson is a graduate of the MSTP at the UI, having earned his medical degree and doctorate in 1992. He completed a residency in pathology at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis in 1998 before returning to the UI as a faculty member. Knudson's research is focused on the regulation of programmed cell death by a family of proteins called Bc1-2. Knudson and his colleagues study the biochemical basis for Bc1-2 activity to better understand its role in human development and disease.

The MSTP provides a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree that integrates graduate research training with studies in clinical medicine. MSTP students spend their first two years enrolled in basic science and introductory clinical courses of the Carver College of Medicine curriculum. This provides students a broad exposure to the research and clinical concepts that form the foundation for a career as a physician-scientist.

During their third year of study, MSTP trainees select a research project based in a graduate department or interdisciplinary program. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, students engage in academic and research experiences that promote scientific approaches to human disease. Upon completion of a Ph.D. dissertation, trainees return to the medical curriculum to complete clinical clerkship requirements.

Geyer will step down as director of the MSTP after serving for nine years in her leadership roles. During her tenure, Geyer was instrumental in expanding the program and building connections to research activities throughout the Carver College of Medicine. Through her efforts, the MSTP has extensively partnered with the Medical Student Research Council and the Physician Scientist Training Program, resulting in a strong training program that has enriched the research environment. Geyer also helped establish the Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research Program, a highly successful program that gives undergraduates opportunities working in laboratories and exposure to clinical medicine and biomedical research. Geyer has been active on the national level, serving on committees dedicated to physician scientist training, including the National Institutes of Health review panel for MSTPs, the review panel for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for medical fellows, and as a member of the National Association of M.D./Ph.D. programs.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu.