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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2007

Moreno Is Honored By American Association Of Orthodontists

Lina Moreno, D.D.S., an orthodontics resident at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, has been selected to receive the Milo Hellman Research Award, the highest award for research given by American Association of Orthodontists.

Moreno was chosen based on her study, "Major Locus for Cleft Lip and Palate Mapped to Chromosome 9q22-q33." This study was derived from a multi-center collaborative project that included the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, under the mentorship of Mauricio Arcos-Burgos, Ph.D.; the University of Pittsburgh, under the direction of Mary L. Marazita, Ph.D.; the University of Washington with Anne Hing, M.D., and a UI collaboration between Jeff Murray, M.D., professor of pediatrics, and Andrew Lidral, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor of orthodontics.

The purpose of Moreno's study was to screen the entire genome and locate regions of DNA that are associated with an increased risk for cleft lip and palate. Using statistical methods to pinpoint these stretches of DNA, the researchers found a region at chromosome 9q22-q33 that appears to play a major role in this birth defect. The study also suggests that a gene or genes in this region interact with other genes in throughout the genome regions to modulate the risk for cleft lip and palate.

Moreno, from Medellin, Colombia, received her D.D.S. degree from the Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud and a certificate in orthodontics from the Universidad de Antioquia, both in Medellin. She completed her doctorate in oral sciences at the UI in the summer of 2005.

Moreno also was awarded the Junior Investigator Award at the recent American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association meeting in Chicago. Her winning presentation was titled, "A Genome-Wide Scan for Genes Involved in Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip."

Lidral (photo, left), who also is a faculty member in the UI Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, served as Moreno's faculty member and co-authored Moreno's award-winning presentation.

This is the second consecutive year that an orthodontics resident from the UI has won the Milo Hellman Research Award. In 2006, Luciana Van Westen, D.D.S., received the honor. Lidral served as Van Westen's mentor, as well.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, Writer: Krystal Loewe