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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 14, 2007

Campbell To Give 2007 Presidential Lecture Feb. 25

Kevin Campbell, Ph.D., the Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and head of the department, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, will present the 24th annual Presidential Lecture, "Molecular Basis of Muscular Dystrophy and Approaches to Therapy," Sunday, Feb. 25. The lecture begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Assembly Halls of the Levitt Center for University Advancement and is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Campbell, who also is director of the Sen. Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will discuss his early interest in muscle physiology and how that led him to investigate muscular dystrophy and discover the molecular basis of several forms of the disease. Campbell will also expand on how these discoveries have helped improve the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy and are laying the groundwork for therapeutic strategies to treat muscular dystrophies.

"I approach muscular dystrophy research as a basic scientist," Campbell said. "I am fascinated by the molecular architecture and machinery of muscle cells, and I am constantly surprised by the number of cellular mechanisms we have discovered that maintain muscle function. I am encouraged by these discoveries, too, because all of these mechanisms provide us with many possibilities for attacking the disease, including drugs to alleviate the devastating symptoms. With enough people working on these avenues we will eventually come up with treatments."

The Preucil School Gansdorf Quartet will provide music for the event, performing String Quartet in F major, op. 3 no. 5, attributed to Joseph Haydn. Gabriella Rizzo and Catherine Rinderknecht will play violin, Sarah Yang will play viola and Nadia Hlebowitsh will play cello.

Considered a world expert in muscular dystrophy, Campbell has authored more than 300 scientific articles and has received numerous awards and honors for his research, including a Scientific Achievement Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the ASBMB-Amgen Award, the Duchenne-Erb-Preis Award and the G. Conte Prize for Basic Research. He also is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Campbell received a doctoral degree in biophysics from the University of Rochester and a bachelor's degree in physics from Manhattan College. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research at the University of Toronto before joining the UI. In addition to his appointments in molecular physiology and biophysics, Campbell also is a professor of neurology and internal medicine.

The Presidential Lecture series provides an opportunity for distinguished faculty to present significant aspects of their work to members of the university community and to the general public. The university established this annual series to encourage intellectual communication among academic disciplines, and to provide a public forum for university scholarship, research, and creative achievement.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

PHOTO: A photo of Campbell is available from Jennifer Brown by emailing her at

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917,