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University of Iowa News Release

April 7, 2004

Student Receives Research Award From Biophysical Society

Zeynep Akyol, a fourth-year graduate student in the University of Iowa Department of Biochemistry, was selected as a recipient of the 2004 Student Research Achievement Award from the Biophysical Society.

Her poster, "Calmodulin Recognition of the NMDA (Glutamate) Receptor," was selected as the winner in the biological fluorescence subgroup of the competition. Overall, 16 students received awards.

Akyol's award recognizes her achievements in researching the role of the protein calmodulin during stroke and trauma. Akyol hopes increased understanding of calmodulin's role will provide insight into how proteins interact and how brain cells can be preserved during the experience of trauma such as stroke.

Akyol works in the lab of Madeline Shea, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry. Her project is a collaboration with Johannes Hell, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology.

This is the second year in a row in which a student from Shea's lab was given an award in the Biophysical Society's student poster competition. Rhonda Newman received an award in the molecular biophysics subgroup in 2003.

The awards were given as part of the society's 48th annual meeting held in Baltimore, Md. last February. Some 101 students competed for the 16 $100 awards.

The Biophysical Society is a professional organization with nearly 7,000 members in the United States and more than 45 countries. The society encourages the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics through its journal, Biophysical Journal, and its annual meeting, discussion workshops, subgroups, newsletter and outreach program conducted by society committees.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,; Writer: Tiffany Bronk