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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 8, 2011

At A Glance

Aspirin use linked to reduced aneurysm rupture risk

A new study led by the University of Iowa and the Mayo Clinic suggests that regular use of aspirin may reduce the risk for rupture of intracranial aneurysms.

If confirmed with future research, new avenues for the treatment of unruptured brain aneurysms could be opened, according to James Torner, Ph.D., head of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health.

The preliminary findings, recently published in the clinical neurology journal Stroke, showed that participants who took aspirin at least three times a week had a significantly lower risk of hemorrhage compared to those who used aspirin less often or never. The study supports the theory that chronic inflammation contributes to the risk for rupture of intracranial aneurysms.

In addition to Torner, the UI research team included neurosurgeons David Hasan, M.D., and Kelly Mahaney, M.D., and Ana Capuano of the College of Public Health.

The study participants were from the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms, a study for which Torner serves as Chief Neurosurgical Investigator.


Biology professor receives two research grants for cell development studies

Bryan Phillips, assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Biology, has received two research grants totaling $863,275 for cell and developmental biology studies.

A four-year, $713,275 grant from the American Cancer Society will enable him to study the processes by which cells acquire their fate that directs proper form and function. The pathway under investigation, the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, regulates normal cell fate specification, but is often also disrupted in human cancers.

A two-year, $150,000 grant from the March of Dimes will support research aimed at identifying the mechanisms by which Wnt signaling proteins are regulated, both by functional modification and via redistribution to various subcellular locations. During animal development, Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates gene expression in many tissues, directing dorsal axis specification, mesoderm induction and central nervous system patterning. Correspondingly, mutations in this pathway have been linked to a host of developmental defects.

His specialized research areas involve the processes by which cells communicate with one another during development. The results of his studies using model systems such as nematodes and human cells will open doors to new avenues of human disease treatment.

Learn more about Phillips' research at:


UI writers capture more than a quarter of 2012 NEA literature grants

University of Iowa writers account for more than a quarter of the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) 40 creative writing fellowships in prose for 2012.

The Iowa Writers' Workshop is represented by faculty member Ben Percy, current student Jennifer Percy, and alumni Sean Bernard, Amber Dermont, Jennifer Haigh, Stephanie Soileau, Sarah A. Strickley, and Gregory  Spatz.

The winners also include Eula Biss, an alumna of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program; and Tayari Jones, who has a doctorate from the English Department.

Each of the fellowships provides a grant of $25,000. Learn more about the NEA literature fellowships at


Old Capitol Museum opens toy exhibit at annual 'Holiday Tubas' performance

The University of Iowa Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, under the direction of Santa Claus (who will bear a striking resemblance to John Manning, associate professor in the UI School of Music), will team up with Toys for Tots and the Old Capitol Museum in the annual "Holiday Tubas" performance at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, on the steps of Old Capitol.

The musical performance takes place in conjunction with the opening of Old Capitol's exhibit "Toys of the Twentieth Century," which will be housed in the Pentacrest Museums Gallery for the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences and will remain on display through the end of the holiday season.

The music will be the usual mix of seasonal favorites followed by a cider and cookies reception. In addition to enjoying the unique sound of the tuba ensemble, audience members can contribute toys that will be distributed to children in need. Toys for Tots will accept all new, unwrapped toys appropriate for children up to 15 years of age.

The Old Capitol Museum will be open during regular hours during the holiday season, but will be closed from Dec. 23-26 and Jan. 1-13. For more information, visit The UI School of Music is a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


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