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University of Iowa News Release


May 5, 2009

Brenner named head of biochemistry at UI Carver College of Medicine

Charles Brenner, Ph.D., has been named head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The appointment will be effective July 1.

Brenner currently is professor of genetics and of biochemistry at Dartmouth Medical School, scientific director of the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and associate director for basic sciences at Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H. Brenner will replace Madeline Shea, Ph.D., who has been interim department head since July 2008, when former head John Donelson stepped down from the position. Shea and Donelson will continue as professors of biochemistry.

"We are excited that Dr. Brenner has accepted the position of department head, and we thank Dr. Shea for her excellent leadership over this past year," said Paul Rothman, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "Dr. Brenner is an exceptional scientist who deeply appreciates the critical role of basic research as a foundation for discovery. He has the vision, expertise and leadership to help us grow our basic research strengths and build bridges to translate research into cures for disease."

Brenner's research laboratory focuses on the function of genes that are inactivated in cancer development, and metabolic pathways that respond to changes in glucose intake and regulate cellular aging. Brenner's team uses interdisciplinary approaches, including protein structural analysis, enzymology, human genomics and yeast genetics to study biochemical pathways. The group applies knowledge from the yeast system to expand understanding of human gene function in health and disease.

"I am humbled at the prospect of leading the Department of Biochemistry at the UI. The faculty have a wonderful track record of achievement in biophysics and regulation of gene expression, and they also have an uncommon commitment to teaching and service," Brenner said. "I am looking forward to expanding strengths in biochemistry and helping further integrate biochemistry into the organization's research mission to dissect disease mechanisms and the remarkable processes that maintain health."

Brenner earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Wesleyan University and a doctorate in cancer biology in the biochemistry department of Stanford University School of Medicine. Following his doctoral work, Brenner was a Fellow of the Leukemia Society of America at Brandeis University.

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

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