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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 4, 2011

At A Glance

UI receives $1.4 million grant to study sudden death in epilepsy

George Richerson, M.D., Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa, recently received a $1.4 million research grant to investigate the causes, predictors, and methods of preventing sudden unexpected deaths in epilepsy (SUDEP).

SUDEP is the leading cause of death in both children and adults with seizure disorders. An estimated 50,000 Americans die every year from prolonged seizures and other seizure-related causes. SUDEP accounts for up to 17 percent of those deaths.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is funding a national research consortium to identify warning signs that will enable physicians to detect and ultimately prevent SUDEP. Richerson will collaborate with experts at four other U.S. medical centers, including Baylor College of Medicine, the University of California, University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.

The research at the UI will include studies in mice to determine how seizures affect breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital bodily functions, and the role that the brain chemical serotonin plays in preventing cardiovascular and respiratory failure after a seizure. Richerson will also study people diagnosed with epilepsy in collaboration with a team led by Matthew Howard, M.D., professor and head of neurosurgery.


Football fans reminded to recycle as part of EPA's game day challenge

Fans of the University of Iowa football team planning to attend Saturday's football game against Michigan at historic Kinnick Stadium are reminded to recycle bottles, cans, and other items during their pre-game tailgating activities.

The UI is taking part in the Environmental Protection Agency's Game Day Challenge, a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games.

The EPA challenges schools to design and implement a waste reduction plan for one 2011 regular season home football game and measure the results. The UI Athletics Department and the Office of Sustainability will track and report waste reduction and disposal data from the Nov. 5 game and report the results to the EPA, which will then rank the UI among more than 80 colleges and universities participating in the game day challenge at the end of season.

Several recycling containers are in Kinnick Stadium for fans to deposit recyclable cans, bottles, and other items. Athletics staff will also do their part by recycling cardboard and other materials collected throughout the stadium. Extra bags will be available to collect trash and recyclables in the Kinnick parking areas.

For more information on the game day challenge, visit


UI Mock Trial team takes first place, brings home 11 awards

The University of Iowa Mock Trial (UIMT) program sent teams to compete in Cleveland, Ohio, and Maryville, Mo. Oct. 28-30. The program's four teams were split between two invitational tournaments and returned with 11 awards, including a first place finish.

Team 1426, captained by senior Will Mattessich, took first place at the Case Western Reserve University Invitational. Team 1426 was also awarded the Spirit of AMTA Award, an honor given to the team that exemplifies the most civility throughout the tournament. Sophomore Abby Simbro received an Outstanding Witness Award and senior Chris Elsenbast, captain of team 1424, received an Outstanding Attorney Award.

Team 1361, captained by senior Melissa Osman, took sixth place at the Northwest Missouri State University Invitational. Osman was the recipient of an Outstanding Attorney Award and freshman Rachel Ascoli received an Outstanding Witness Award. Junior Katy Kinney and sophomore Edward Rodriguez, on team 1360, received Outstanding Attorney Awards. Seniors Stefani Ganzer and Simone Frierson, also from team 1360, received Outstanding Witness Awards.

The UIMT program is currently ranked 18th in the nation. For more information visit


Piano Sundays Nov. 6 concert to showcase UI students
The Old Capitol Museum at the University of Iowa will present the third concert of the season in its Piano Sundays series Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the building's Senate Chambers. The event will feature four UI students and is free and open to the public.

The performers are students of UI School of Music Professors Ksenia Nosikova and Uriel Tsachor. Younjung Cha, Max Tsai, Ching-Wei Cho, and Michelle Butler will performs works by Bach, Schumann, Ginastera and others.
Piano Sundays is supported by West Music of Coralville.  For more information on the Old Capitol Museum, visit or call 319-335-0548.


UI Theatre holds Nov. 12-17 auditions for spring 2012 productions

The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will hold open auditions for more than 70 roles in seven spring productions Nov. 12-17. General auditions will be held noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, and 6-10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. Callbacks will be 6-11 p.m. Nov. 14-17.

Auditions for UI Theatre productions are open to everyone. For academic considerations, priority is given to theater majors first, and then all other students of the UI, but members of the community are also strongly encouraged to audition. Numerous non-majors and actors from the community are cast each season.

"Nontraditional" casting is the norm for all directors in all productions, except those in which race, gender, disability or age is the explicit issue. Casting is "nontraditional" when all roles in a script are open to casting without bias in terms of race, gender, disability or age, so long as the actor can fulfill the artistic requirements of the role.

For additional information, visit or email


Pianist/poet Buchanan performs as a guest of the UI Center for New Music

Pianist Oni Buchanan, who is a poetry alumna from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a free concert titled "The Body Electric" at 7:30 Thursday, Nov. 17, in the University Capitol Center Recital Hall. A guest of the UI Center for New Music, Buchanan will perform 21st-century works that place the piano in a variety of electric contexts.

Included are works that amplify the instrument and combine it with pre-recorded material, video projections, and a boombox.

Buchanan's concert programming is often interdisciplinary in nature, directly engaging the intimate connections between the arts, and frequently including adventurous contemporary works alongside established repertoire, bringing works from disparate centuries into conversation. Her musical studies included three years in the UI School of Music while she was pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in poetry.

Her poetry has been a National Poetry Series winner, captured the Massachusetts Book Award and was included in the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series. Her work has been included in many journals and several anthologies, including "The Best American Poetry 2004."


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.