THREE CLAS FACULTY WIN OVPR EARLY CAREER SCHOLAR AWARDS An Early Career Scholar program was recently launched as part of the Seeding Excellence Initiative by the OVPR’s Research Development Office (RDO). Following a competitive evaluation process, ten assistant professors — including three CLAS faculty — received awards of up to $30,000 to help them develop competitive proposals to secure an externally funded award. The awarded funds can be used by the scholar for equipment, supplies, travel, and student support; awardees will also receive individual grantsmanship consulting and additional funds to visit program officers at appropriate funding agencies.

The CLAS Early Career Scholars are: Tara Bynum (English and African American Studies)

Erin Talbert (Health and Human Physiology)

“TGF-β-dependent activation of MEK signaling causes cancer cachexia”

“Six degrees of Phillis Wheatley”

The loss of skeletal muscle in cancer patients, called cancer cachexia, is a significant healthcare problem with few treatment options. Up to 50% of all cancer patients are affected by cancer cachexia and that muscle wasting, not tumor burden, is the cause of death for at least 25% of all cancer patients. Talbert hypothesizes that an unexplored potential cause–activity of the cellular TGF-β signaling pathway–results in dysfunctional muscle repair processes and thus muscle wasting.

Wheatley is the first black person to publish a book of poetry in colonial America, an accomplishment that has been considered miraculous given the society of that time. Bynum’s work, however, argues that Phillis Wheatley was a member of a community with an abundance of both care and creativity. Her proposed work challenges our understanding of what black colonial and creative life abundantly possessed and provides a new and different story of the nation’s founding.

Sara Mitchell

Dorit Kliemann (Psychological and

receives Board of Regents Faculty Excellence award

Brain Sciences)

“Causal networks of the social brain”

Interacting with others lies at the core of human behavior and individual well-being. Socio-cognitive abilities are often impaired in psychiatric disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using a combination of neuroimaging methods, Kliemann will investigate how the human brain processes the cognitive information needed to guide social behavior. She will study this in control subjects, in patients

Sara Mitchell, the F. Wendell Miller Professor in the

Department of Political Science, is one of six University of Iowa faculty members honored by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for their exceptional contributions and sustained record

with brain lesions, and in subjects with ASD.

of excellence. excellence

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