University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students continued making great strides in research, scholarship, and innovation this past year—despite the pandemic—as standout investigators, inventors, and mentors.

While the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) had to forego a public ceremony recognizing their work, Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz said it’s just as valued and essential to advance understanding in medicine, engineering, the arts, and the humanities.

“While some of the work honored by these awards began prior COVID-19, it’s incredible that these researchers and scholars have been able to continue making tremendous progress in spite of the monumental challenges of this past year,” Scholtz said. “We’re grateful for all these faculty members, staff, and students do to support the university’s mission and bring new light to ongoing challenges in the world today.”

New this year is OVPR’s Advancing Understanding in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award, which Scholtz said is in support of the UI’s strategic goals and honors scholarship around this urgent and complex topic.

“Diversity is essential to the health of the natural world that we study, and it’s just as essential to the health of the research enterprise,” he said.

In addition to a slate of awards given each year by OVPR and the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), the UI Research Foundation recognizes researchers whose intellectual property was either patented, optioned, or licensed for further commercial development and use.

Faculty Awards

Edwin “Ted” Abel, Ph.D.,  professor, Roy J. Carver Chair in Neuroscience; director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine (CCOM), and Kathleen Sluka, PT, Ph.D., professor, CCOM Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, were named Scholars of the Year. The award celebrates nationally recognized recent achievement in outstanding research, scholarly and/or creative activities by tenure- and/or research-clinical-track faculty members within the previous 24 month period.

Katharine Broton, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, and Mary Weber, Ph.D., assistant professor in the CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology, were named Early Career Scholars of the Year. The award honors assistant professors in tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track positions at the UI who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.

Stanley Perlman, MD, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology professor of pediatrics, and Mark Stinski Chair in Virology in CCOM’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology was given the Leadership in Research Award. This is a lifetime achievement award recognizing research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.

Barcey Levy, MD, Ph.D., professor of Family Medicine and Iowa Academy of Family Physicians Endowed Chair of Rural Medicine in CCOM’s Department of Family Medicine, was given the Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research award. The award recognizes an individual faculty member who has put addressing public needs and direct engagement with the public, in the service of improving quality of life through research, at the forefront of his or her academic activities.

Garrett Stewart, Ph.D., the James O. Freedman Professor of Letters in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Department of English, was given the Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award. This award honors distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts.  

Ashley Howard, Ph.D., assistant professor of African American Studies in the CLAS Department of History, was given the Faculty Communicating Ideas Award. This award recognizes excellence in communication about research and scholarship in the sciences and humanities and the study of creative, visual and performing arts to a general audience directly or via print and electronic media.                                                

Lori Adams, Ph.D., director of the Iowa Biosciences Advantage Program and associate professor of instruction in the CLAS Department of Biology, was given the inaugural Advancing Understanding in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize research, scholarship, or creative expression conducted within the past three-year period that advances our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Rainbo Hultman, Ph.D., assistant professor in CCOM’s Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Maurine Neiman, Ph.D., associate professor in the CLAS Department of Biology and Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, received the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Distinguished Mentor Awards. The award honors the work that mentors put in to make their students’ experiences successful.

Staff Awards

Teresa Garringer, Research Support Manager for the College of Education Dean's Office and Grants and Research Services Center, was given the Distinguished Research Administrator Award. The award recognizes staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the University of Iowa by exploring funding opportunities, assisting in grant proposal preparation, submission, post-award administration, and operational support. 

Scott Bounds, Ph.D., associate research scientist in CLAS’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, was named a Distinguished Research Professional. The award recognizes staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the University of Iowa by conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing results and performing operational duties associated with a laboratory or research program.

Safety Award

Christina Cifra, MD, MS, clinical associate professor in CCOM’s Department of Pediatrics, was given the Innovation in Safety Award, which celebrates exceptional and ground-breaking innovations that advance safety at the UI.       

Student Awards

Enrique (David) Degollado, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar in language education, in the College of Education Department of Teaching and Learning, and Rachael Filwett, Ph.D., postdoctoral research scholar in the CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy, were each given Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Awards. This award honors postdoctoral research scholar and fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.                                                

Three students were given Graduate Research Excellence Awards: Umar Iqbal, Ph.D. candidate in the CLAS Department of Computer Science;  Alex Lange, Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies; and Sara Reed, Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate College’s Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences program. The Graduate Research Excellence Awards honor students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field. 

Five students received ICRU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards: Joshua Doucette, a junior working in CLAS toward a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics, with a minor in computer science; Janiece Maddox, a junior working on a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics from CLAS; Anvay Pradhan, a junior working on a bachelor of science in engineering in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, with a mathematics minor;  Laura Weiler, a junior working in CLAS on a bachelor of arts degree in physics and bachelor of science degree in computer science, with a minor in philosophy; and Evita Woolsey, a junior working in CLAS on a bachelor of arts degree in Speech and Hearing Science, with an American Sign Language minor. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in scholarly investigation, artistic creation, or performance by undergraduates at the UI.

Licenses and Options

Licenses and options for calendar year 2020 are listed alphabetically by company name (linked when Websites are available), followed by a description of the invention or work, the names of the inventor(s)/creator(s) and their UI affiliation at the time the license/option was initiated. Some of those listed may no longer be with the university.

Akouos, Inc.

  • Diagnosis and treatment for hereditary hearing loss (License): Alexander Goodwin, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology;  Paul Ranum, CCOM Department of Molecular Medicine; Richard Smith, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology.
  • Therapy to prevent the progression of hereditary hearing loss (License): Richard Smith, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology; Seiji Shibata, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology.

Athena Therapeutics LLC

  • Compounds for the treatment of cancer (License): Charles Brenner, CCOM Department of Biochemistry.

CanBreed

  • CRISPR-mediated treatment for genetic diseases (License): Beverly Davidson and Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, both with the CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.
  • CRISPR-mediated treatment for inherited genetic diseases (License): Beverly Davidson and Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, both with the CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.

Ceva Sante Animale S.A.

  • Vaccines to prevent progression of visceral Leishmaniasis (License): Angela Toepp and Christine Petersen, both in the College of Public Health Department of Epidemiology.

Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. 

  • Compounds that inhibit coronaviruses, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (License): Stanley Perlman in the CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

cystetic Medicines, Inc.

  • Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis (License): Michael Welsh, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.

Editas Medicine, Inc.

  • Biomedical research tool (License): Gulab Zode and Val Sheffield, both in the CCOM Department of Pediatrics.

Excere Medical

  • Non-invasive device for predicting and screening delirium (License): Gen Shinozaki, CCOM Department of Psychiatry, and John Cromwell, CCOM Department of Surgery.

Firefly Photonics, LLC   

  • Compact laser scalpel for ablation of tumor tissue (Option): Fatima Toor, College of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Conversion of narrow band LEDs to broadband  LEDs (License): Dennis Norton, John Prineas, Russell Ricker, and Thomas Boggess, all with the CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Efficient infrared semiconductor emitters (License): Aaron Muhowski, Cassandra Bogh,  John Prineas, and Jonathon Olesberg, all with the CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Metalens to extract infrared light from LED arrays (License): Cassandra Bogh,  John Prineas, and Jonathon Olesberg, all with the CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Detection of infrared light with room temperature photodiodes (License): John Prineas, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy.

FX-Systems, LLC

  • Simulator to train and assess orthopedic surgical skills (Option): Geb Thomas and Marcus Tatum, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Geminii Inc.

  • Electromagnetic treatment of diabetes (License): Calvin Carter, CCOM Department of Pediatrics; Michael Miller, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Sunny Huang and Val Sheffield, CCOM Department of Pediatrics.

Geneo Medicine Co., Ltd.

  • RNA-based tissue engineering (Option): Aliasger Salem , College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Anh-Vu Do, College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering; Behnoush Khorsand Sourkohi, College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Liu Hong, College of Dentistry Department of Prosthodontics; Satheesh Elangovan, College of Dentistry Department of Periodontics; Sheetal Reginald D'mello, College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics.

Higher Learning Technologies (HLT)

  • Online tutorials for nursing best practices (License): Nursing Services and Patient Care.

IOThera

  • Anticancer compounds (Option): Craig Kuder, College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacology; David Wiemer, Jeffrey Neighbors, and John Kodet, CLAS Department of Chemistry; and Raymond Hohl, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.

Malum, Inc.

  • System  for the autonomous identification of physical abuse (License): Daniel Clay, College of Education; Jasbir Arora, College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Karim Abdel-Malek, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering; Kevin Kregel, CLAS Department of Health and Human Physiology; Kimberly Farrell, College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design; Landon Evans, CLAS Department of Health and Human Physiology; Rajan Bhatt, College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design; Robert Wallace, College of Public Health Department of Epidemiology.
  • System for identifying a potential shooter (License): Abdel-Malek, Farrell, Bhatt and Seungyeob Baek, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • System for injury prediction (License): Ashley Hoffman, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering; Jack Rummells, College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design; Arora; Abdel-Malek; Kregel; Farrell; Kyle Peterson, College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design; Evans, Bhatt, and Baek.

Nuclease Probe Technologies, Inc.

  • Rapid and sensitive detection of bacterial infections (License): Alexander Horswill, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and Frank Hernandez, James McNamara, Karen Clark and Katie Flenker, all with the CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.
  • Rapid and sensitive detection of coliform E. coli infections (License): Horswill, and Elizabeth Kenkel, Elliot Burghardt, Hernandez, McNamara, Clark and Flenker, all with the CCOM Department of Internal Medicine.
  • Rapid and sensitive detection of microbes through nuclease detection (License): McNamara.

Rockwell Collins, Inc.

  • Cognitive assessment tool (License): Thomas Schnell, College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design.

Taconic Biosciences (Farms) Inc.

  • Mouse model for researching Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus infections (License): Paul McCray, CCOM Department of Pediatrics, and Stanley Perlman, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Tevard Biosciences, Inc.

  • tRNA for the treatment of genetic disorders (Option): Chris Ahern and John Lueck, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

The Jackson Laboratory

  • Mouse model for researching antiviral therapies for MERS (License): Paul McCray, CCOM Department of Pediatrics, and Stanley Perlman, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
  • Mouse model for researching antiviral therapies to coronaviruses and COVID-19 (License): Curt Sigmund, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine, McCray and Perlman.
  • Mouse model for researching cardiac hypetrophy and cardiomyopathy (License): Jim Lin, CLAS Department of Biology.
  • Mouse model for researching renal function, neuroinflammation, and vesicular trafficking (License): Jeffrey Pessin, CCOM Department of Physiology and Biophysics.
  • Mouse model for researching Tcell development and tumorigenesis (License): Hai-Hui Xue, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
  • Mouse model for researching tumorigenesis, lymphoid cells, and the Wnt signalling pathway (License): Hai-Hui Xue, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

VIDA Diagnostics, Inc.

  • Algorithm for evaluating lung airway pathways (Option): Eric Hoffman, CCOM Department of Radiology; and Punam Saha and Syed Ahmed Nadeem, both with the College of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Imaging methods to evaluate lung function (Option): Changhyun Lee, CCOM Department of Radiology; Eric Hoffman, CCOM Department of Radiology; Joseph Reinhardt, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering; Syed Mohammad Amin Motahari Bidgoli, CCOM Department of Radiology.

ViewPoint Molecular Targeting, LLC

  • Cancer treatments (License): Andrean Burnett, CCOM Department of Pathology; and Michael Schultz and Somya Kapoor, both with the CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology.
  • Combination therapies for cancer (License): Dongyoul Lee, College of Public Health Department of Occupational and Environmental Health; Frances Johnson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Mengshi Li, Graduate College’s Human Toxicology program; Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of Radiology; Molly Martin, College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; and Somya Kapoor, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology.
  • Compounds for treating tumors (License): Dijie Liu, CCOM Department of Pediatrics; Dongyoul Lee, CCOM Department of Radiology; Edwin Sagastume, Office of the Vice President for Research; Mengshi Li, CCOM Department of Radiology; and Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of Radiology.
  • Improved radionucleotide diagnosis and therapy for cancer (License): Edwin Sagastume, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering; Fred Pigge, CLAS Department of Chemistry;  Mengshi Li, Graduate College’s Human Toxicology program; Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of Radiology; Moustafa Tarek Ahmed Ibrahim Gabr, CLAS Department of Chemistry.

Patents

Patents for calendar year 2020 are listed alphabetically and include the names of all UI patent holders and a link to the patent description. UI affiliations are based on the dates when the patents were originally filed; some patent holders may no longer be with the university. 

Alexander Horswill, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology: Botanical Extracts and Compounds from Castanea Plants and Methods of Use.

John Prineas, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Jonathon Olesberg, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Aaron Muhowski, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Cassandra Bogh, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy: Cascaded Superlattice System.                 

Ziying Yan, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; John Engelhardt, COM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology: Chimeric Adeno-associated Virus/Bocavirus Parvovirus Vector.

Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of  Radiation Oncology; Somya Kapoor, CCOM Department of  Radiation Oncology; and Andrean Burnett, CCOM Department of Pathology: Compositions and Methods for Treating Cancer.

Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine, and Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Compositions and Methods of Use of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Nucleotide Repeat Disorders.

Benjamin Krog, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering; Michael Henry, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; and Sarah Vigmostad, College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering: Fluid Handling Systems for Application of Fluid Sheer Stress to a Fluid Sample.

Rocky Barney, CLAS Department of Chemistry, and David Wiemer, CLAS Department of Chemistry: Fluorescent Prodrugs.

Matthew Howard, CCOM Department of Neurosurgery: High Frequency Stimulation of the Spinal Cord from Inside the Dura.

Kevin Legge, CCOM Department of Pathology; Thomas Waldschmidt, CCOM Department of Pathology: Influenza Nanovaccine.

James Barnes and Michael Henry, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics: Method of Purifying Tumor Cells Using Shear Stress.

Michael Welsh, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Steven Kunkel, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Christopher Adams, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Methods for Inhibiting Muscle Atrophy.

Satheesh Elangovan, College of Dentistry Department of Periodontics; Liu Hong, College of Dentistry Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research; Gustavo Avila Ortiz, College of Dentistry Department of Periodontics; Aliasger Salem, College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Brad Amendt, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology;  Thad Sharp, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology: Methods to Prevent or Treat Periodontitis or Peri-Implantitis.

Thad Sharp, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Liu Hong, College of Dentistry’s Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research; Aliasger Salem, College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Brad Amendt, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology: MicroRNA-200 Based Approaches for Modulating Bone Formation Inhibition and Bone Regeneration.

Kevin Urak, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Paloma Giangrande, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; and Francis Miller, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Nucleic Acid Aptamers to Treat Histone-induced Disease States.

Sean Kim, UI Research Foundation; Elliot Burghardt, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine;

Alexander Horswill, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Frank Hernandez, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Karen Clark, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine;

James McNamara, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; and Katie Flenker, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Oligonucleotide-based Probes and Methods for Detection of Microbes.

James McNamara, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Alexander Horswill CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Frank Hernandez, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; and Katie Flenker. CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Oligonucleotide-based Probes for Detection of Bacterial Nucleases.

Xuan Song, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering; Li He, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering: Support-free Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics.

Ryan Flynn, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology; Hongtao Ding, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering; Junyi Xia, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology; Timothy Waldron, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology;  Bryan Allen, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology; Yusung Kim, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology; and Brennen Wears, College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering: System and Method for an Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Device.

Michael Abramoff, CCOM Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Xiaodong Wu, College of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: System and Method for N-dimensional Image Segmentation Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

Randy Kardon, CCOM Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences: System for Traumatic Brain Injury Detection Using Oculomotor Tests.

Christopher Adams, Michael Welsh and Michael Dyle, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine: Tomatidine, Analogs Thereof, Compositions Comprising Same, and Uses for Same.

Evgeny Arshava, CCOM Department of Surgery: Transhiatal Mediastinal Retractor.

David Cwiertny, College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering College of Engineering; Jason Haase, College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering College of Engineering: Water Treatment Systems and Methods.

The Office of the Vice President for Research provides researchers and scholars with resources, guidance, and inspiration to secure funding, collaborate, innovate, and forge frontiers of discovery that benefit everyone. More at http://research.uiowa.edu, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover

Contacts: 

Stephen Pradarelli, Office of the Vice President for Research, 3193841282