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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 28, 2009

At A Glance

UI accepts applications for Quad-City-based MSW program

The University of Iowa part-time masters degree program in social work (MSW) will begin accepting applications for its next group of Quad-City area students Sept. 1. The distance education program enables graduate students to complete their degree within three years while continuing to work full-time.

Informational meetings for prospective students are being held monthly until the application deadline on Feb. 1. Meetings are set for 5 to 6 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: Sept. 15, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, and Jan. 5. They will take place in Sorenson Hall at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

The Quad-City program accepts up to 40 new students every three years, and the next cohort begins classes in May 2010. For more information, contact Mary Newcomb at 309-794-7619 or visit

The UI School of Social Work is also hosting an alumni reunion for more than 400 graduates of its Quad Cities MSW Program on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Augustana College. The Quad Cities part-time MSW program was established more than 40 years ago, when part-time distance education programs were rare. For details on the reunion, visit


UI Health Care gets 'A' grade for conflict of interest policy

University of Iowa Health Care has received an "A" grade on the American Medical Student Association PharmFree Scorecard 2009, which rates conflict of interest policies at academic medical centers nationwide.

The scorecard, which was developed in collaboration with the Prescription Project, an industry watchdog group working to eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine, specifically examines each school's policy in 11 areas. Currently, UI Health Care is one of only 10 institutions to receive the highest grade.

The UI Health Care policy, which went into effect July 1, establishes guidelines and disclosure requirements for interactions between the health care industry and all faculty, staff and students affiliated with UI Health Care.

For more information on the PharmFree Scorecard, visit To learn about UI Health Care's Conflict of Interest Policy, visit


UI receives grants related to serious disease during pregnancy

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Iowa two grants for studies related to pregnancy. Both investigations will be led by Stephen Hunter, M.D., Ph.D, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and a physician with UI Women's Health.

A three-year, $539,279 grant will fund efforts to develop a non-dietary treatment for maternal phenylketonuria (PKU) syndrome. Elevated phenylalanine in women with PKU can lead to serious mental and physical defects in a developing fetus. The condition is currently treated though diet, but foul taste, expense and restrictiveness make it difficult to tolerate.

A two-year, $150,000 grant, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will support development of a group B streptococcus vaccine. Strep B infection in a pregnant woman puts both the mother and developing fetus at risk of complications, including possible fetal death.


IWP writers from Switzerland and Uzbekistan read Sept. 11

Two immigrant writers participating in the 2009 International Writing Program at the University of Iowa -- poet, journalist and playwright Dragica Rajcic from Switzerland and children's fiction writer Kathy White from New Zealand -- will read from their work in a free event at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, in the Shambaugh House at 430 N. Clinton St. on the UI campus.

Rajcic was born in Yugoslavia but immigrated to Switzerland in 1978. After returning to Croatia in 1988, she fled back to Switzerland in 1991. She is the founder of Glas Kastela, a newspaper in Croatia, and she has published five books of poems and two plays.

White was born in Liverpool and immigrated to New Zealand in 1971. Her books include "Alex and Josie," "Problem Cat, "The South Pacific," "A Hairy Tale" and "Muffin Magic," as well as six non-fiction books. Her work has appeared in the New Zealand School Journal and Connected Journal, the School Magazine in Australia and Comet, Explore and Challenge. She has worked as a children's librarian and children's services coordinator, a writing workshop tutor, a book sales rep and is book reviewer.


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