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Release: Immediate

Donelson named head of department of biochemistry

IOWA CITY, Iowa ­- The University of Iowa College of Medicine has announced that

John Donelson, Ph.D., has been named head of the department of biochemistry. Donelson, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator from 1989 to 1997, will assume the post Aug. 15, replacing Arthur Spector, M.D., interim head of the department since 1994.

"We are pleased that Dr. Donelson will serve as head of the department," said Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. "He has demonstrated superb scientific and educational achievements, and I am enthusiastic regarding his ability and vision to head this important department in our college."

Kelch also praised the efforts of Spector as interim head of the department.

"I would like to thank Dr. Spector for doing an outstanding job heading the department in this time of transition," Kelch said.

Donelson, currently professor of biochemistry, is a native of Iowa and received his bachelor's degree in biophysics from Iowa State University. After teaching junior college in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa, Donelson earned his doctorate in biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and conducted post-doctoral research at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge in England.

He joined the University of Iowa biochemistry faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor and was named professor in 1980. In 1989 he became an Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Donelson's primary research interest is in the biochemistry and molecular biology of parasitic pathogens, working to understand the human immune response to parasitic infections and the regulation of the genes that protect the parasite from the human immune system.