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University of Iowa News Release


June 20, 2007

UI Biomedical Researcher Named A 2007 Pew Scholar

Peter Mohler, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been selected as a 2007 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Mohler is one of just 20 scientists nationwide to receive the prestigious four-year, $240,000 award from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of California, San Francisco.

The Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences program, launched in 1985, provides funding to early- to mid-career investigators who show outstanding promise in the basic and clinical sciences. The grants are specifically designed to be flexible in terms of how the money is used, allowing the recipients to take calculated risks, expand their research, and follow unanticipated leads.

"I am extremely honored to receive this award from the Pew Charitable Trusts," Mohler said. "This award will provide our laboratory the resources to pursue exciting new scientific directions."

Mohler's laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of excitable cells, including heart muscle cells. Specifically, he is investigating ankyrins -- a family of proteins crucial to the healthy function of excitable cells.

In 2003, Mohler and colleagues found that ankyrin-B is critical for proper cardiac function and that one form of inherited arrhythmia is caused by dysfunction in ankyrin-B in heart muscle cells. Mohler will use his new funding from the Pew Trusts to expand his research program to focus on other excitable cells including pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and neurons.

Mohler joined the UI faculty in 2006. He received a doctorate in physiology from the University of North Carolina in 2000, training with Sharon L. Milgram, Ph.D. He then trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center in the laboratory of Vann Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., from 2000 to 2004. Prior to his move to Iowa, Mohler was an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Mohler is the second UI researcher to be named a Pew Scholar since the award began. Jim Lin, Ph.D. professor of biological Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received the award in 1985.

NOTE TO EDITORS: This release is adapted in part from a release issued by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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

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

PHOTO: A web-quality photo of Mohler is available at For a high-resolution photo, contact Jennifer Brown at