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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 13, 2009

At A Glance

UI researchers receive American Cancer Society seed grants

Four University of Iowa researchers have each received a one-year, $30,000 American Cancer Society seed grant through Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI.

David Roman, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry in the UI College of Pharmacy, seeks to identify chemicals that might prevent the protein RGS17 from contributing to the spread of lung and prostate cancer.

Three researchers in the UI Carver College of Medicine also received funding.

Aaron Bossler, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, will study the role of a regulatory protein, tyrosine phosphatase, in cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

M. Nedim Ince, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, will investigate whether helminthes -- parasitic organisms that do not cause illness in humans -- can be used to prevent graft-versus-host disease, a frequent complication of bone marrow transplantation.

Nelson Yee, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, will study whether manipulating certain protein channels could form the basis for improved treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Learn more about the cancer center at


UI engineering students receive both ASA national aerospace scholarships

Each year, the Aerospace States Association (ASA) presents only two scholarships nationwide to students who are furthering their studies in the fields of aviation and aerospace. This year, undergraduate students in the University of Iowa College of Engineering won both of them.

Darin Hoover of Rockford, Ill., and Dustin Tardiff of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the scholarships in an Oct. 9 presentation made by Lt. Governor Patty Judge on behalf of the ASA and the National Lt. Governors Association in Iowa City. Joining in the ceremony were representatives of Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, which sponsors the ASA scholarships.

The ASA is a bipartisan organization of lieutenant governors and state-appointed delegates that promotes a state-based perspective on federal aerospace policy development and supports state aerospace initiatives to enhance student/teacher education outreach and economic development opportunities.


University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals approved to make drug product

University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to manufacture a specially prepared sterile prescription drug product for a commercial client.

The drug product contains a new chemical entity and is a sterile solution that is aseptically filled into a vial. The aseptic process eliminates microorganisms from the onset of production instead of eliminating them at the end of production. The aseptic process follows even more stringent FDA guidelines than the latter method.

For contractual reasons, UI Pharmaceuticals cannot name the company or drug product.

In late August, the FDA inspected UI Pharmaceuticals facilities and procedures and also reviewed the company's manufacturing and testing procedures for the product. In September, the FDA recommended approval to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research for UI Pharmaceuticals to manufacture the product. Subsequent FDA approval the company received means the company can sell the drug for approved indications and UI Pharmaceuticals can manufacture and test the product for the company.

UI Pharmaceuticals, directed by Mickey Wells, Ph.D., is the largest and most experienced university-affiliated, FDA-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the United States. Learn more at


Novelist Jamie Ford's Oct. 14 reading will be streamed by Writing University

Chinese-American writer Jamie Ford will read from "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," his debut novel, in a free event at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The event will be streamed live and archived on the Writing University Web site:

Alternating between the 1940s and the 1980s, the novel examines the tribulations of Asian peoples in the Seattle area during the time of the Japanese internment in World War II, and their resonance decades later.

Ford, an award-winning, short-story writer, is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated in 1865 from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco, where he adopted the Western name "Ford," thus confusing countless generations. For more information and links to reviews, visit


UI Hospitals and Clinics hosts 'Handwashing Day' Oct. 15

The public is welcome to attend "Global Handwashing Day" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Fountain Entrance Lobby of UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Hand washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory infections and to help prevent the spread of diseases such as influenza.

People can learn proper hand hygiene techniques and have their hands tested to see how clean they really are (or are not). Experts will answer questions from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prize drawings and free giveaways (while supplies last) will be offered.

Handwashing tips include:
--Use soap; water alone is not sufficient.
--Scrub all hand surfaces, including palms, back of hand,
between fingers and under fingernails, for at least 20 seconds, then rinse well with running water.
--Always wash your hands after using the toilet, cleaning a child or before handling food.
--Teach children proper hand hygiene to set up lifelong habits.

Learn more at


Gilsdorf examines fantasy-game geeks in Oct. 16 Prairie Lights reading

Ethan Gilsdof will visit the world of fantasy-game geeks when he reads from "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms" in a free event at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, in Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The event will be streamed live and archived on the Writing University website:

Tens of millions of people around the globe turn away from the "real" world to inhabit others. Movie fan-freaks design costumes and collect "Lord of the Rings" action figures. Some attend comic book conventions and Renaissance fairs, others play live-action role-playing games. The online game "World of Warcraft" alone has lured 12 million users worldwide. Even "Dungeon's & Dragons" and other old-school, "pencil-and-paper" role-playing games are still wildly popular.

Gilsdorf asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood. A journalist and former "Dungeons & Dragons" obsessive, Gilsdorf explores the imaginative alternate realities populated by fantasy gamers from Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar.

Learn more at


Free health events in Hills Oct. 17 and Iowa City Oct. 21

NOTE: This corrects the date of the Iowa City event, which was originally publicized as Oct. 14.

The public may attend two free health fairs and a diabetes screening offered Oct. 17 and 21 by University of Iowa College of Pharmacy students as part of American Pharmacists Month.

--A health fair and diabetes screening will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 17, at St. Joseph's Church, located at 209 Brady St. in Hills.

--A health fair will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Hartig Drug Store located at 701 Mormon Trek Boulevard in Iowa City.

To learn more about the events, contact Barbara Kelley at 319-335-7301 or

Learn more about American Pharmacy Month at


Expert to discuss National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Oct. 22

John Mazzeo, associate vice president for statistics and psychometrics with ETS, is the University of Iowa College of Education's William E. Coffman lecturer for 2009. He will discuss "The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program -- What It Is, Where It Came From, and What It Tells Us About Student Achievement in the United States" at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Jones Commons in the Lindquist Center on the UI campus. The Iowa Measurement Research Foundation (IMRF) is presenting the lecture.

Mazzeo will provide a description of the current structure of NAEP -- how it came to be, how it is governed and how it is implemented. Then, relevant NAEP results are discussed as they pertain to three questions of interest in the No Child Left Behind era:
--What has been the progress of America's elementary school students in reading/mathematics over the past two decades?
--What progress has been made in closing the achievement gaps that exist between our nation's majority and minority students?
--How comparable are the different performance standards established by each of the states on their respective state accountability tests?

For more information, contact Robert Forsyth at 319-354-5412, or


IWP panel considers 'Why I Write What I Write & How I Write It' Oct. 23

A panel of University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) participants will discuss "Why I Write What I Write & How I Write It" at noon Friday, Oct. 23, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

The panelists will be Irish poet Siobhan Ni Shithigh, Korean novelist and essayist Kim Soom, Austrian fiction writer and filmmaker Andreas Weber, Burmese poet and fiction writer Min Htet Maung and novelist Osman Conteh from Sierra Leone.

Ni Shithigh, who writes in Irish, is also a painter whose works have been exhibited in Europe and the United States.

Kim has published three novels and two short-story collections, including a novel selected as the 2007 Best Novel of the Year, and she works as a reviewer for newspapers and literary journals.

Maung has published more than 300 poems and 50 short stories, he translates current American writing, and he is the editor of Junior Magazine.

Weber is a versatile writer and editor with short-story collections, a novel, films and a play to his credit.

Conteh is the author of four books, and is a winner of the Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa.

Biographies of all the IWP writers are accessible at


Two experts to discuss the future of campus art museums Oct. 24

Two experts will discuss the future of university art museums during a Saturday, Oct. 24, presentation at the Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus. The 10 a.m. event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the UI Museum of Art as part of an effort to envision the future of the UIMA following the flood of 2008, which ravaged the museum's former building.

Tom Shapiro of Chicago, founder of the consulting group Cultural Strategy Partners, will discuss various operating models and objectives for university museums, including concerns such as audience, authority, and collaboration practices.

Laurel Bradley, director of Exhibitions and Curator of the College Art Collection at Carleton College, will discuss her article, "Curricular Connections: The College/University Art Museum as Site for Teaching and Learning," published in August 2009 by the College Art Association. The article highlights the opportunities and challenges of being both "an active site for teaching and learning" as well as a "community museum on a college campus."

On Oct. 23, Bradley and Shapiro will also speak to the Envisioning Committee appointed by UI President Sally Mason to develop comprehensive recommendations on the UIMA's future.

For more information:


UI students to clean Iowa River banks for Make A Difference Day Oct. 24

University of Iowa students will clean the banks of the Iowa River at Terrell Mill Park for Make A Difference Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

Students who wish to participate must wear sturdy shoes or boots and wear long pants or jeans. Students will clean both of the river's banks as it winds through the park -- across from Mayflower Residence Hall on Dubuque Street -- and near the Beckwith Boathouse.

For more information, contact the UI Civic Engagement Program at or call 319-335-1023.


University Theatres Gallery series presents 'America! (Our Better History)'

The University Theatres Gallery series will present "America (Our Better History)," by undergraduate playwright Justin Dewey at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 29-31, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

"America!" is set on election night 2008. The stakes are higher than ever for the promise of a better future, and six friends find themselves facing our nation's most recent and historic election, excited for the change to come.

The production, directed by graduate playwright Tony Meneses, views this historic event through the perspective of six gay men, trying to survive the bureaucracy of straight politics as they grapple with the most universal of human issues: love, loss, friendship, war, political unrest and the integrity of promise.

Admission will be $5 at the door. Admission for UI students is free with a valid UI ID.


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

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

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.