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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 17, 2010

Six UI professors win 2010 Regents Awards for Faculty Excellence

Six University of Iowa faculty members have won the 2010 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. Given by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the award honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education. Each honoree will receive $1,000. This year's UI recipients are professors Thomas Boggess, Michael Duffel, Sarah England, Witold Krajewski, Lauren Rabinovitz and Satish Rao.

Thomas Boggess, Ph.D., professor of physics in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), is a leading solid-state physicist whose research focuses on the use of short pulses of laser light to measure ultrafast electronic phenomena in novel semiconductors. He develops advanced optoelectronic and spintronic devices. His research has resulted in more than 100 journal publications and two patents. He is working with the U.S. Army on a multimillion-dollar program to develop infrared light-emitting diode arrays that will enable the generation of dynamic thermal images on a chip. Boggess holds a joint appointment with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering.

Michael Duffel, Ph.D., associate dean for research and graduate programs in the UI College of Pharmacy and professor in the Division of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, received his Ph.D. in chemistry (biochemistry) from the University of Texas at Austin and completed postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. Since coming to the University of Iowa as an assistant professor in 1981, he has demonstrated excellence in teaching at all levels and has established an internationally known program of research in the study of enzymes in drug metabolism. His research on the specificities, catalytic mechanisms, and regulation of sulfotransferases has significantly increased our understanding of the roles that these metabolic enzymes play in toxic responses to drugs, carcinogens, and environmental chemicals.

Sarah England, Ph.D., is a professor in molecular physiology and biophysics at the UI Carver College of Medicine. Her long-term research interest is in identifying the ionic mechanisms that regulate the transition from uterine quiescence to contraction during pregnancy in order to provide a biological basis for therapies designed to modulate uterine contractility and prevent preterm labor. In addition to her teaching and research duties, England is co-director of the Iowa Biosciences Advantage Program, a bioscience research program preparing underrepresented minority students for entry into doctoral research programs. England holds secondary appointments in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

Witold Krajewski, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, holds the Rose & Joseph Summers Chair in Water Resources Engineering and is a faculty research engineer at the College of Engineering's internationally known IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering research institute. He is a world leader in rainfall monitoring and forecasting using radar and satellite remote sensing. And his research in hydrometeorology, remote sensing, and water resources engineering has resulted in more than 150 journal publications. As the director of the new Iowa Flood Center, he is helping Iowans at risk for flooding to better understand how different hydrologic processes taking place in the landscape may lead to floods. The center’s floodplain mapping work, conducted in coordination with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the National Weather Service and other agencies, will help Iowans to identify their flood risks.

Lauren Rabinovitz, Ph.D., is a professor of American studies and of cinema and comparative literature in CLAS, and she directs the Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts. Her books include a social history of women, "For the Love of Pleasure: Women, Movies, and Culture in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago" and a critical study of feminist filmmakers, "Points of Resistance: Women, Power, and Politics in the New York Avant-Garde Cinema, 1943-1971.” A pioneer in recognizing the scholarly and pedagogical possibilities of digital technology, her interactive projects are "Yesteryear's Wonderlands," on early 20th century amusement parks, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Educational Development Grant, and the co-authored “The Rebecca Project,” one of the first CDs to use new media as a tool of film analysis for Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 movie “Rebecca.” Her latest book, “Electric Dreamland: Amusement Parks, Movies, and American Modernity,” will be published by Columbia University Press in 2011, and her current research and teaching focuses on how American food history offers a unique perspective on modernization, mechanization and American self-identities. In 2007, she was named a Collegiate Fellow in CLAS.

Satish Rao, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of internal medicine in the UI Carver College of Medicine and Director Neurogastroenterology & GI Motility. He serves as a researcher, superb educator and distinguished clinician. Rao’s research and clinical interests focus on the mechanistic understanding and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, fecal incontinence and visceral pain, particularly esophageal chest pain. His lab is examining brain-gut interactions in IBS and interstitial cystitis and treatment of fructose intolerance. He has pioneered several new techniques for evaluation and treatment of esophageal and colorectal disorders including cortical and transcranial evoked potentials, sensory adaptation training and biofeedback therapy for dyssynergic defecation.

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