FUTURE in Biomedicine

  • Better Futures for Iowans Program

    Through the FUTURE in Biomedicine℠ program, the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is committed to:

    • Fostering closer research collaborations between its faculty and those of primarily undergraduate institutions throughout the state of Iowa.
    • Mentoring talented undergraduates who will be our next generation of physicians and biomedical scientists.
    • Promoting opportunities to translate biomedical discoveries and methods into educational materials used in Iowa's college classrooms.
    • Making its research facilities available to a statewide network of scientist-educators.

    Consistent with these commitments, the goal of the Better Futures for Iowans program was to make state-of-the-art core reseach facilities at the University of Iowa available to academic classes and research projects conducted primarily by undergraduates at 2-year and 4-year institutions in Iowa.

    Faculty throughout the state were eligible to apply for small grants to support laboratory-intensive projects involving undergraduate students in "hands-on" inquiry.  Students took responsibility for the preparation of samples and analysis of data obtained.  All participants were invited to present a poster about their work at the FUTURE in Biomedicine℠ Research Symposium.  This activity, which was supported primarily by the Office of the Provost, extended University resources to Iowans and addressed an important goal of the University Strategic Plan - to provide better futures for Iowans.

     

    2014 Grant Recipients

    DRAKE
    UNIVERSITY
    Maria Bohorquez, PhD
    Windsor Professor in Science and Chemistry Department Chair
    and
    Jerry Honts, PhD
    Associate Professor of Biology  
    Fluorescence and Electron Microscopy of Protein Components of a Membrane-Associated Contractile Fabric from the Ciliated Protozoan Tetrahymena  
    Debora Christensen, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Biology
    Determination of EDCs in Drinking Water
    Adina Kilpatrick, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Physics
    Structural Studies of the Tetrahymena Calcium-Binding Protein Tcb2
    Abebe Mengesha, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics  
    Lipid Crystallization and Effect of Moisture on Crystalline Arrangement of Monoglycerides in Smart Drug Delivery Systems
    DORDT
    COLLEGE
    Jeffrey Ploegstra, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Biology  
    The Evolution of Glyphosate Resistance in Soil Bacteria from Northwest Iowa  
    GRINNELL
    COLLEGE  
    Clark Lindgren, PhD
    Professor of Biology  
    The Role of Glial Cells in Neurotransmitter Release at the Vertebrate Neuromuscular Junction  
    MOUNT MERCY  
    UNIVERSITY
     
    Joseph Nguyen, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Optimizing Preparation Conditions for Live Samples for Transmission Electron Microscopy

    Drake University - Maria Bohorquez, PhD and Jerry Honts, PhD

    Coming soon.

    Maria Bohorquez, PhD and Jerry Honts, PhD
    BFFI Awardees

     

    Drake University - Debora Christensen, PhD

    Coming soon.

    Debora Christensen, PhD
    BFFI Awardee

     

    Drake University - Adina Kilpatrick, PhD

    Coming soon.

    Adina Kilpatrick, PhD
    BFFI Awardee

     

    Drake University - Abebe Mengesha, PhD

    "The phase behavior of amphiphilic lipids and surfactants at various relative humidity levels and water content is of great interest for many technical and pharmaceutical applications. Lipid matrices containing mixtures of glyceryl monooleate (GMO) and glyceryl monostearate (GMS) have been evaluated for their potential application as magnetically induced thermo-responsive local drug delivery systems. However, the presence of excess moisture or hydrophilic additives such as ethanol is reported to influence the phase behavior of monoglycerides. Aims: The aims of this study are to investigate the thermal properties of GMO and GMS, determine the phase behavior of various monoglycerides blends, and investigate the effect of moisture on the crystallization of GMO:GMS matrices at 25, 37, and 42 degrees Celsius. Methods: Various compositions of GMO:GMS matrices will be prepared by a fusion method and characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microcopy (SEM). We will determine the phase behavior of the monoglyceride blends and study the crystallization behaviors such as melting point, glass transition and heat of energy. Those properties are directly influenced by polymorphism and influenced by several external factors such as temperature, rate of crystallization and impurities. Expected outcomes: The DSC and SEM results will provide the best composition of GMO:GMS matrix for the monoglycerides-based thermal responsive drug delivery systems and evaluate the effect of moisture on the crystalline arrangement of the system."

    Abebe Mengesha, PhD
    BFFI Awardee

     

    Dordt College - Jeffrey Ploegstra, PhD

    Coming soon.

    Jeffrey Ploegstra, PhD
    BFFI Awardee

     

    Grinnell College - Clark Lindgren, PhD

    "I am working with a student, Allie Byrne, on a research project to determine whether perisynaptic Schwann cells (PSCs), the glial cells at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), modulate neurotransmitter release. Although there is growing consensus that glial cells play an essential role in synaptic plasticity in the CNS, it is not yet clear whether PSCs play an analogous role at the NMJ. Previous work has shown that synaptic activity increases calcium levels in the PSCs in a frequency dependent manner. This calcium increase depends on the binding of acetylcholine (ACh) or ATP to receptors on the PSCs, suggesting that a feedback mechanism exists by which ACh and/or ATP released from motor terminals activates PSCs. The activated PSCs may then signal back to the nerve terminal, reducing the subsequent release of neurotransmitter. To test this idea Allie and I are measuring high frequency synaptic depression in muscles in which the PSCs have been immunologically ablated. In parallel with these experiments, we are attempting to confirm that the ablation has abolished calcium signals in the PSCs. Surprisingly, we still observe “PSC-like” calcium signals in muscles with ablated PSCs. Since the calcium indicator we are using, Fluo-4 AM, loads into both the PSCs and the nerve terminal, these anomalous calcium signals may be originating in the nerve terminals. Unfortunately, our spinning disk confocal microscope lacks sufficient sensitivity and resolution to distinguish fluorescence originating from PSCs vs. nerve terminals. We propose using a confocal microscope at the University of Iowa to resolve Fluo-4 signals originating from these two components and determine the extent to which calcium signals have been lost or altered at NMJs with ablated PSCs."

    Clark Lindgren, PhD
    BFFI Awardee

     

    Mount Mercy University - Joseph Nguyen, PhD

    Coming soon.

    Joseph Nguyen, PhD
    BFFI Awardee