Breaking News

New investigator research award recipients announced
March 7, 2005

Four UI faculty members have been awarded 2004-05 College of Public Health-College of Medicine New Investigator Research Awards. The awards assist newly appointed primary or joint faculty in the UI College of Public Health or the CCOM to advance their research activities. Each recipient will receive up to $10,000 of funding for independent research projects.
The recipients are:
•Tarah T. Colaizy, "PCR Differentiation of Ureaplasma Species and Serovar in a Cohort of VLBW Infants in Whom Ureaplasma Colonization Is Associated with Chronic Lung Disease of Prematurity."
Chronic lung disease of prematurity (CLD) is a major cause of illness and death in very low birth weight (VLBW) babies. The aim of this study is to better understand the origination and development of CLD and to determine if certain subtypes of the infectious organism Ureaplasma urealyticum are associated with it. This knowledge can be used to help develop preventative strategies and treatments for CLD.
•Thomas M. Peters, "Airway and Immune Response to Inhaled Endotoxin and Diesel Exhaust Particles in Humans."
Farm workers and people in surrounding communities are frequently co-exposed to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) and endotoxin. Each contaminant alone has been shown to cause airway inflammation mediated by immune response, but endotoxin and DEP together is a potent mixture that dramatically enhances the proflammatory airway response in rodent models. This project investigates whether this synergism occurs in humans after inhalation at concentrations commonly found in the occupational environment.
•Philip M. Polgreen, "An Application of Network Theory to Optimize Influenza Vaccination Among Health Care Workers."
Health care workers are at especially high risk of contracting influenza. However, there are no data, nor is there a theoretical framework, to identify health care workers who are most likely to acquire and transmit influenza virus. This project will use social network theory to help hospital epidemiologists identify these health care workers and develop effective influenza vaccination strategies.
•Tara C. Smith, "Analysis of Hypervariable Genes in Streptococcus Agalactiae."
One way that invading bacterial pathogens escape detection by the human immune system is to have genes that mutate at a high rate and undergo "positive" or "diversifying" selection. Streptococcus agalactiae is an organism that has a hypervariable region, an area of genes that shows this diversifying selection. This study will be the first to systemically analyze a potential hypervariable region in this bacterium in order to understand the virulence of this pathogen as well as its natural history and evolution.

UI Center Awarded Carver Trust Grant To Study Cleft Lip And Palate
March 7, 2005

The UI Center for Statistical Genetics Research (CSGR) has been awarded a three-year, $471,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa to develop new statistical and computational methods to identify genes influencing cleft lip and palate.
The grant will support development of a dedicated computer cluster and specialized statistical programming techniques, which will be used to analyze the complex genetic data required to precisely locate cleft lip and palate genes on a map of the human genome.
"These investigations will provide the most complete picture to date of the genomic architecture of this devastating birth defect," said Dr. Veronica J. Vieland, director of the CSGR, professor and head of the Program in Public Health Genetics and professor in the UI Department of Psychiatry.
The CSGR is jointly supported by the UI College of Public Health and the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
Two UI researchers and collaborators on the Carver grant, Drs. Jeffrey C. Murray, professor of pediatrics and biological sciences, and Andrew Lidral, associate professor of orthodontics, are part of a multi-site data collection effort that is the largest study to date of families with cleft lip and palate. The study pools genetic data from more than 600 families from around the world. An additional collaborator, Dr. Mary Marazita, is at the University of Pittsburgh.
"One of the major challenges of the Human Genome Project is how to make sense of the massive quantities of genomic information it has generated," Murray said. "Through their new statistical approaches, Dr. Vieland and her colleagues in the CSGR are playing a major role in helping us understand and analyze this information. Ultimately, their work will help us to prevent or treat genetic disorders."

CCOM to hold DVIP fund-raiser
March 7, 2005

The College will be holding it's third annual "Press Out Domestic Violence" event on Tuesday, March 8, to support the Johnson County Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP). The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. in the MERF atrium.
UI medical students, faculty and staff will compete in a variety of weightlifting events to raise funds and awareness for youth services and programming at DVIP. Last year's competition involved more than 300 medical students, medical residents, faculty and staff and raised$3,200, enough to allow DVIP to fund its Youth Services Program for a year.
The event is sponsored by the McCowen Community of medical students and the UI Carver College of Medicine. A number of local businesses also have provided their time and services and have donated prizes to be raffled at the event.
For more information, contact Melissa Baer at 319-335-8053 or by e-mail at

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center awards seed grants
March 7, 2005

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC) at the UI has awarded a total of $30,000 in HCCC Seed Grants for Translational Project Development and Clinical Trials to UI CCOM researchers. Awards of $10,000 each will support three teams of investigators. These grants are designed to help researchers take discoveries from the research laboratories of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and use them to develop new approaches to cancer prevention and treatment. Dr. Kenneth Dornfeld, assistant professor of radiation oncology, will lead a team that will study radiation-induced tissue death, which can occur when insufficient oxygen reaches tissues in the body. Co-investigators Drs. Douglas Trask, assistant professor of otolaryngology, and Frederick Domann Jr., associate professor of radiation oncology, will explore a novel approach to enhancing the sensitivity of a variety of cancers to radioactive iodine, which mostly is used to treat thyroid cancer. Trask is also a staff physician with the Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System. Dr. Carol E.H. Scott-Conner, professor of surgery, will assess how prior pregnancy impacts the behavior of breast cancer.

UI CCOM hosts music fest this week
February 14, 2005

The UI Carver College of Medicine Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum, the College's Writing Program and the Medical Student Humanities Interest Group will host a music festival Feb. 15-18 on the health sciences campus.

All performances will take place each day from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF).

Following is the festival schedule:

Tuesday, Feb. 15

•Stringendo medicosum, a string ensemble comprised of UI medical and physician assistant students. They will perform an original arrangement of the Guns N' Roses hit, "Sweet Child O' Mine," composed by second-year medical student Ben Hippen.

•Major Grooves, a medical student a cappella group whose performance will include a special presentation honoring "The Vagina Monologues" performances Feb. 18 and 19 at MERF.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

•Dr. Bahri Karacay and Turkana, performing Turkish folk music. Karacay, an assistant research scientist in the UI Department of Pediatrics, will provide vocals and play the saz, a long-necked, Turkish lute. Other band members are guitarist Drs. Paul McCray, professor of pediatrics; bassist Risto Rautiainen, assistant professor (clinical) of occupational and environmental health; and guitarist and drummer John Bayless, associate professor (clinical) of psychiatry.

Thursday, Feb. 17

•President David Skorton and Company, performing jazz. Skorton will play the saxophone and flute. Other band members from the UI School of Music are vibes player Dan Moore, associate professor of percussion; bassist Israel Neuman, graduate teaching assistant; and drummer James Dreier, adjunct assistant professor of jazz studies.

Friday, Feb. 18

•The Beggarmen, performing Irish folk. The band features Tara Dutcher on violin; Brad Poulsen on mandolin and whistle; Dr. Jose Manaligod, associate professor of otolaryngology, on accordion; and Dr. Dan Weeks, professor of biochemistry, on guitar.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Margaret LeMay at 319-335-8051 or by e-mail at margaret-lemay@

NIH grant to help head and neck cancer patients
February 14, 2005

UI Carver College of Medicine researchers recently received a $967,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the long-term quality of life among patients receiving treatment for head and neck cancer.
The grant is a culmination of a longstanding program in the UI Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to track outcomes among such patients.
This research and the treatment of head and neck cancer patients at the UI is facilitated by a multidisciplinary approach involving specialists in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, psychology, nuclear medicine and speech pathology.
"This grant represents the result of building a very strong multidisciplinary clinical and research program involving a number of departments," said Dr. Gerry Funk, the principal investigator for the study and a professor of otolaryngology. "This is clinical research that is designed to evaluate the long-term impact of both surgical and non-surgical treatments for head and neck cancers."
The treatment of head and neck cancers involving the upper aerodigestive tract has traditionally been surgical. Over the past 10 years, there have been tremendous advances made in the use of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy for selected cancers. Unfortunately, the long-term quality of life impact that these surgical and non-surgical approaches have on quality of life has not been studied in detail.

Easton named CCOM webmaster
January 18, 2005

The UI Carver College of Medicine has appointed Bill Easton as webmaster for its administration pages. Currently, staff at the Virtual Hospital manage the College’s Web site. Easton, who also serves as director of Creative Media Group, will oversee website management transition from the Virtual Hospital group to the CCOM Office of Communications and Advancement. This transition involves only the central administration pages and not departmental web pages. Easton joined the UI in 2001 and served as instructional designer for the National Laboratory for the Study of Rural Telemedicine Grant, working for Susan Zollo in Continuing Medical Education and Dr. Mike Kienzle. Easton joined Creative Media Group in January 2002.

Foundation names Andrizzi to development position
January 18, 2005

The UI Foundation has announced that Flynn Andrizzi will join the staff as assistant vice president for health sciences center development. In this position, Andrizzi will supervise a staff of development officers in their fund-raising efforts for the UI Carver College of Medicine, the UI College of Public Health and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Andrizzi, who begins his duties on Feb. 28, replaces Carl Bendorf, who resigned in June 2004 after 14 years with the UI Foundation. Andrizzi comes to the UI from Thomas Jefferson University, where he served as vice president for institutional advancement and leader of the medical development program since 2002.
Prior to that position, he served in top fund-raising positions at the University of Utah, including executive director of institutional advancement for the John A. Moran Eye Center, and director of major gifts and gift planning for the university’s health sciences center.
Andrizzi holds a bachelor’s degree in communication, a master’s degree in public administration, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy, all from the University of Utah. Natives of Salt Lake City, Utah, Andrizzi and his wife, Allison, have three young children.

MLK Week events under way
January 18, 2005

Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Week at the UI continues with events scheduled through Feb. 1. The UI Office of the Associate Provost for Health Sciences at the University of Iowa, in cooperation with the UI health sciences colleges and UI Hospitals and Clinics, coordinated these events.
Wednesday, Jan. 19 •Film, "Horse Song," the story of a Navajo man who learns he has diabetes; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Zopf Auditorium B in the Pharmacy Building.
•"A Patient's Experience of High Blood Pressure, Kidney Failure and Transplant," poet Sekou Sundiata followed by a panel discussion; 3 to 4 p.m., 8th floor solarium in the John Colloton Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
•"Cross Cultural Body Language and its Impact on Health Care," Dr. Venugopal S. Reddiar, staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System and a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine; 3 to 4:30 p.m., East Room (room 8008 Roy Carver Pavilion) at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Registration is required. UI Hospitals and Clinics staff may register online at; faculty and students may register by calling April Latta at 319-356-2830.
Thursday, Jan. 20 •"A Patient's Journey Through Hypertension, Kidney Failure and Transplant," poet Sekou Sundiata; two performances, from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. in the MERF atrium, and 4 to 5 p.m. in the Ziffren Conference Room (room 1502 John Colloton Pavilion) at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
•Film, "The Edge of America: Struggling for Health and Justice," a documentary exploring how rural communities struggle with poverty, discrimination, lack of access to health care and other social inequalities; 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Zopf Auditorium B in the Pharmacy Building.
•"Cross Cultural Disparities: Prescriptions for Wellness," Dr. Dorothy Simpson-Taylor, director of UI Diversity Resources; 3 to 4:30 p.m., East Room (room 8008 Roy Carver Pavilion) at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Registration is required. UI Hospitals and Clinics staff may register online at; faculty and students may register by calling April Latta at 319-356-2830.
Friday, Jan. 21 •"Access to Dental Care for Iowa's Children," Michael Kanellis, D.D.S., associate professor and chair of pediatric dentistry in the UI College of Dentistry; noon to 1 p.m., the Filling Station in the Dental Science Building.
•"Health Care Concerns in the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Community," a panel discussion focusing on the needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals; 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Zopf Auditorium B in the Pharmacy Building.
•"blessing the boats," Sekou Sundiata's solo performance about the experience of uncontrolled high blood pressure, kidney failure and kidney transplant; 8 p.m., Hancher Auditorium (for ticket information, call 319-335-1160).
Saturday, Jan. 22 •"blessing the boats," Sekou Sundiata's solo performance about the experience of uncontrolled high blood pressure, kidney failure and kidney transplant; 8 p.m., Hancher Auditorium (for ticket information, call 319-335-1160).
Tuesday, Jan. 25 •"White Privilege 101," a video and discussion, with desserts; 3 to 4 p.m., room 20 in the Nursing Building.
Wednesday, Jan. 26 •"Linking Cultural Competence, Health Disparity and Research," Dr. Melanie Dreher, dean, Dr. Toni Tripp-Reimer, Ph.D., professor, and Tess Judge-Ellis, assistant professor (clinical), all from the UI College of Nursing; noon to 1:30 p.m., Heritage Room (room 133) in the Nursing Building.
Thursday, Jan. 27 •"White Privilege 101," a video and discussion, with desserts; noon to 1 p.m., room 20 in the Nursing Building.
Tuesday, Feb. 1 •Visiting lecture and reception, Robert L. Smith, director of College Access Programs at the University of Northern Iowa; noon to 1 p.m., location to be announced (visit for updates).
For more information on the events on the health sciences campus, contact Mary Mathew Wilson at 319-335-7589. For information on other Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Week events sponsored by the UI Office of Student Life, visit their Web site at

UIHC receives JCAHO accreditation
January 18, 2005

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has fully accredited the UI Hospitals and Clinics, following a survey by the organization in December.
In an e-mail message sent to faculty and staff, UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky said she “could not be more pleased and would like once again to express my appreciation to all the faculty and staff members who helped us achieve this very significant milestone.”
Next, the hospital must wait for a final report from the JCAHO, and then submit an “Evidence of Standards Compliance” document to demonstrate that all non-compliance issues have been corrected and monitored.

UI Health Care Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa