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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 5, 2009

At A Glance

American Heart Association honors UI's Sigmund

Curt D. Sigmund, Ph.D., University of Iowa professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, received the 2009 Novartis Award for Hypertension Research. The American Heart Association's Council for High Blood Pressure Research sponsors the award.

The award is the highest honor in hypertension research given annually by the association and Novartis. It recognizes outstanding researchers whose investigations have improved treatment and increased understanding of high blood pressure.

Sigmund received the award for his pioneering research using genetically manipulated mice to understand the role of the renin-angiotensin system in hypertension and the involvement of the protein PPAR gamma, a target of anti-diabetes medications, in blood vessel function.

Sigmund, who holds the Roy J. Carver Chair in Hypertension Research, directs the Center on Functional Genomics of Hypertension in the UI Cardiovascular Research Center.


UI College of Dentistry staff, students provide free care to Iowans

A total of 162 faculty, staff and students from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry were among the more than 1,200 dental professionals, dental assistants, dental hygienists and others who volunteered to treat patients free of charge at the Iowa Mission of Mercy event held Sept. 25-26, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.

More than $750,000 of free dental care was provided to more than 1,500 Iowans during the two-day event.

Iowa Mission of Mercy, which is organized by the Iowa Dental Foundation, is a two-day free dental clinic for children and adults who need dental services. Event sponsors included Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Iowa Speedway, Principal Financial Group Foundation, Professional Solutions Insurance Co., Patterson Dental, Iowa Dental Supply and Henry Schein. Next year's event will be held in Cedar Rapids.


Museum of Natural History to screen 'Lost Nation-The Ioway' Oct. 11 and 15

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will present a screening of the documentary "Lost Nation-The Ioway" at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 in Macbride Auditorium. The showings are free and open to the public and are part of the monthly "Movies @ MNH" series.

The 56-minute film explores the dramatic true journey of two Iowa brothers who traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1824 to meet with the Superintendent of Indian Affairs. They both signed a treaty that ceded a large portion of their tribal land for Euro-American settlement.

The documentary features commentary from an array of scholars, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and Ioway elders and incorporates footage of historic sites, photographs and documents from museums across the country, and music, legends, dances, powwows and reenactments.

The film is being shown as part of Iowa Archaeology Month activities. The Thursday evening showing is in conjunction with the Midwest Archaeological Conference hosted by the Office of the State Archaeologist.

For more information on this and other Museum of Natural History programs, visit or call 319-335-0606.


Ejeta to discuss building partnerships to enhance global development Oct. 13

Gebisa Ejeta, the winner of the 2009 World Food Prize, will discuss "Building Partnerships to Enhance Global Development" at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Room 1117 of the University Capitol Centre in the Old Capitol Town Center. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights' (UICHR) Careers for Change Lecture Series.

Ejeta is an agronomy professor at Purdue University in Indiana who will receive the $250,000 World Food Prize in a ceremony Oct. 15 in Des Moines at the Iowa State Capitol. He will be honored for his monumental contributions in the production of sorghum, one of the world's five principal cereal grains, which have dramatically enhanced the food supply of hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ejeta is also being recognized for his "persistent efforts to foster economic development and the empowerment of subsistence farmers through the creation of agricultural enterprises in rural Africa." For more information on Ejeta and the World Food Prize, visit

For more information on UICHR, visit or call Joan Kjaer at 319-335-2026.


'Taping the World' lecture series features Lucas Hilderbrand talk Oct. 15

Lucas Hilderbrand, assistant professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine, will present a lecture titled "Joanie and Jackie and Everyone They Know: Video Chainletters as Feminist Community Network" as part of the International Programs series "Taping the World: The Global Legacy of a Neglected Technology." The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in Room 102 of the English-Philosophy Building (EPB).

Hilderbrand is an assistant professor of visual studies and an affiliated faculty member of women's studies in the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. His special areas of research interest are histories of technology, copyright, documentary, queer cultures and media, obscenity and video art.

This series is a major project initiative of International Programs, funded by the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization. John Durham Peters, chair of the UI Communications Studies Department, and Kembrew McLeod, associate professor in communication studies, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, are co-directors of the project, which investigates the cultural, historical, aesthetic and political imprint of tape recording as the single most important medium of sound recording in the last century.

For more information, contact Joan Kjaer at 319-335-2026.


Professor will discuss 'why social scientists write badly' Oct. 15

Michael Billig, professor of social sciences at Loughborough University, will deliver the 2009 Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Lecture in Communication Studies at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in Shambaugh Auditorium in the University of Iowa Main Library. He will speak on "Why Social Scientists Love to Write Badly."

The Becker lectureship was established in 2001 in honor of Sam Becker, professor emeritus of communication studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is awarded annually to a renowned individual who has made important contributions to the advancement of communication research.

Billig's work investigating the influence of ideology on everyday patterns of thinking in such diverse areas of inquiry as nationalism, psychoanalysis, prejudice and humor has been key to the discursive turn in the social sciences. It has made an impact on several fields, including psychology, sociology, political science and communication studies.


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