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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 2, 2006

Engelhardt Named Head Of Anatomy And Cell Biology

John Engelhardt, Ph.D., has been named head of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The appointment was effective Sept. 1.

Engelhardt, who also is the Roy J. Carver Chair in Molecular Medicine, has served as interim department head since 2004. He joined the UI faculty in 1997 and is a professor of anatomy and cell biology and of internal medicine. Engelhardt also is director of the UI Center for Gene Therapy, which was established under his leadership in 1998.

"Dr. Engelhardt is an internationally recognized expert in gene therapy and an exceptional scientific leader," said Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "His scientific expertise is complemented by his commitment to education and his strength in technology transfer. We are fortunate to have someone of John's caliber and skills to lead the department and we are confident that it will continue to flourish under his direction as a place of innovation and learning."

Engelhardt's research focuses on gene therapies for inherited and environmentally induced diseases. In particular, he studies the molecular and cellular biology of the lung as it is involved in cystic fibrosis (CF) and is interested in developing treatments for CF lung disease. A second major focus of his research is understanding the molecular mechanisms of redox-mediated environmental injuries such as ischemia/reperfusion injury and sepsis and developing molecular therapies for these disorders.

Engelhardt has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters and he recently received a prestigious MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders to investigate the basic biology of lung development and lung stem cells. He also is principal investigator for the long-running NIH grant that funds the UI Gene Therapy Center. In addition, Engelhardt holds several patents for gene therapy technologies and is actively involved in collaborations with industrial partners to commercialize his laboratory's scientific discoveries. 

Prior to joining the UI, Engelhardt was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University and a doctoral degree in human genetics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He also completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917,

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: For a photograph of Engelhardt go to