Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


April 17, 2009

At A Glance

UI surgeons first in Iowa to use new-generation operating rooms

Surgeons at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics began treating patients this week in new operating rooms that are unique in Iowa and create a new standard of care for highly complex surgical cases.

Javier Campos, M.D., executive medical director of the operating rooms, said the rooms are the first in Iowa to incorporate single and biplane X-ray imaging for minimally invasive heart surgeries and interventional neuroradiology, endovascular or neurosurgery cases.

Matthew Howard, M.D., professor and head of neurosurgery, said the new operating rooms offer the unique ability to perform both open and endovascular procedures during the same case. Howard said the advanced facility also means more Iowans can now receive this complex care closer to home, especially those diagnosed with aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations in the brain.

UI engineer says technology can enhance, not just diminish, driving attention

In an essay on technology and driving that appears in the Perspectives section of the April 17 issue of the journal Science, John D. Lee, UI College of Engineering professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, writes that technology can be a boon or a bane to drivers, depending upon how it is used.

Cell phone usage is one example of technology that can distract drivers, says Lee, an expert on driver distraction and research using driving simulators. But research suggests that electronic warning systems can alert drivers to direct their attention away from distractions and back to the roadway if they have been looking away from the road for too long a period of time. Also, a recent UI-led study that videotaped teenaged drivers behind the wheel found a dramatic and lasting -- even six weeks later -- decrease in risky driving behavior after the teens were shown videos of their at-risk driving.

UI's Hageman receives vision research award

Gregory Hageman, Ph.D., University of Iowa professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was one of six researchers nationwide selected by the Alcon Research Institute to receive a $200,000 award for outstanding vision research.

Hageman, who also is an Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professor, was honored for advancing the study of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 60 and older in developed countries. The award will help fund additional research, and Hageman will present his findings at the institute's symposium in 2011.

For more information about the Alcon Research Institute visit

Atchison recognized for work on health care access

Christopher Atchison, associate dean for public health practice in the University of Iowa College of Public Health and director of the University Hygienic Laboratory, was selected to receive the "Underserved Champion of the Year Award" from the Iowa/Nebraska Primary Care Association.

The award, recognizing Atchison's dedication to ensuring access to quality, affordable health care, was presented during the association's annual meeting held April 15 in Omaha.

Established in 1988, the association is comprised of community health centers and other safety net providers in Iowa and Nebraska. The group supports and develops primary health care for underserved populations in the two states.

Abboud to receive Cannon award, deliver lecture

Francois Abboud, M.D., professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2009 Walter B. Cannon Memorial Award.

The award honors Cannon, a renowned Harvard University physiologist of the early 20th century, and is presented by the American Physiological Society to an outstanding physiological scientist.

As award recipient, Abboud will deliver a lecture on "Search for Autonomic Balance: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" at the society's 2009 Experimental Biology meeting April 18 in New Orleans. Autonomic balance, a concept Cannon developed, relates to nervous system function that controls involuntary actions.

Abboud also holds the Edith King Pearson Chair in Cardiovascular Research and directs the UI Cardiovascular Research Center.

'Fossil Guy' talk April 25 at Museum of Natural History

"Fossil Guy" Don Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member, will present a free, public talk titled "The World of the Giant Ground Sloth" at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25 in Macbride Auditorium. The program is the second in the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's spring 2009 "Fossil Guy" series, designed to teach children about dinosaurs and other ancient animals with the help of Johnson's extensive personal fossil collection, one of the largest in Iowa.

For the April 25 "Fossil Guy" talk, Johnson will discuss the many creatures that lived during the Ice Age and what might have caused their extinction. A special focus will be on the Tarkio Valley Sloth Project, an excavation of mineralized bones of giant ground sloths in southwestern Iowa by crews from the Museum of Natural History. Those in attendance can examine fossils of many Ice Age creatures, as well as replica skulls of the saber-toothed cat smilodon and a wolf.

Each "Fossil Guy" program consists of a 30-minute talk followed by a question-and-answer session.

For more information on the "Fossil Guy" and other Museum of Natural History programs visit or call 319-335-0606.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

For arts information and calendar items visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.