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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: Immediate

Archeologist named Ida Beam visiting professor

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Stephen O'Brien, an acknowledged authority of evolutionary relationships, has been selected for the 1998 Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Iowa.

O'Brien, chief of the laboratory of genomic diversity and head of the section of genetics of the National Cancer Institute with the National Institutes of Health, will present a public lecture, "Adapting Genes and Genomes: Lessons from Big Cats," on Wednesday, April 15 in the Terrace Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. A reception in the North Room will follow the lecture. The events are free and open to the public.

O'Brien, a fellow of the Explorer's Club and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is a genome archeologist and is known for his work on the analysis of the genome studying evolutionary relationships. Among his significant contributions is his work in helping us understand how to use tools of molecular biology and genomics in exploring the relationships between past and present animal species. He has extensively studied the genomes of the giant panda, the cat family and the human.

Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of her farm, the UI established a fund to bring top scholars in a variety of disciplines to the university for lectures and discussions.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate, please contact Dr. Micheal Apicella at (319) 335-7807.