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University of Iowa News Release


April 9, 2010

At A Glance

NIH grant to fund UI research on primate and human evolution

Yi Xing, Ph.D., University of Iowa computational biologist, has received a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead a study on the evolution of RNA processing in primates and humans. The grant was effective April 1.

Many human diseases are caused by errors that occur during an essential step of RNA processing called pre-mRNA splicing. Xing's project will use genomic technologies to survey the evolution of splicing, with the goal of revealing how splicing patterns change as a result of genome sequence evolution. The team hopes the findings will provide insight into how splicing is regulated and how genetic variations disrupt splicing in human diseases.

Xing, assistant professor of internal medicine and biomedical engineering, is also the recent recipient of a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation.


Hirsch will read from 'The Living Fire' April 20

Edward Hirsch will read from his new book, "The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City. The free "Live from Prairie Lights" event will be streamed live and archived on the Writing University Web site,

Hirsch is the author of seven previous collections of poetry and four prose books, among them "How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry," a national best seller.

He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and a MacArthur Fellowship and he publishes regularly in a wide variety of magazines and journals.

A longtime teacher at Wayne State University and in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, Hirsch is now president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

He is an alumnus of Grinnell College and earned his doctorate in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania.


Free head and neck cancer screening offered

Specialists from the University of Iowa Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery will offer free screenings for head and neck cancer from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, April 23, at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Risk factors for head and neck cancer include smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol consumption and a previous diagnosis of cancer in the head and neck region. Symptoms of head and neck cancer include persistent sores in the mouth or throat, difficulty in swallowing, a change in the voice and a growth or swelling in the neck.

The free screening is part of the Yul Brynner Foundation Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Appointments are required. Call 319-356-1744 for an appointment or for more information.


'Grant Wood's World' symposium will be held April 24

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History will present a free symposium, "Grant Wood's World," 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 24, in Room 140 of Schaeffer Hall on the UI campus.

For a full schedule of events -- featuring guests from Case Western Reserve University, Wheaton College, Portland State University and the Smithsonian Institution -- visit

Wood's stylized "regionalist" imagery of Iowa land and people is instantly recognizable throughout the world and his "American Gothic" is one of the most parodied images in the history of art -- a work that has achieved the iconic status of the "Mona Lisa." One of his images was selected for the Iowa State Quarter.

He was born in Anamosa, Iowa and graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School. After studying in Europe he founded the Stone City Art Colony during the Depression and joined the faculty of the UI in 1934, he remained on the faculty until his death in 1942.


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

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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.