Professor and student selected for UI program

Barbara Christie-Pope,  professor of biology at Cornell College has been selected as one of six Fellows of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Christie-Pope, together with Cornell undergraduate Federica Otalora-Roselli, will spend two months this summer engaged in an intensive research experience in the laboratory of Robert Cornell, Ph.D., UI associate professor of anatomy and cell biology. They will be studying how an ion channel protein called TRPM7 is involved in differentiation of dopamine-producing neurons. This work is relevant to the contribution of genetics to risk for Parkinson’s disease, which is poorly understood.

The FUTURE (Fostering Undergraduate Talent – Uniting Research and Education) in Biomedicine program, now in its third year, aims to strengthen science education and research connections across the state by developing research and learning partnerships between faculty from the University of Iowa and professors and students from Iowa undergraduate colleges.

The Fellows are chosen through a competitive application process, and they receive salary and lodging. In addition, a talented undergraduate from the college professor’s home institution also is selected to participate in the research project. The student receives a stipend and lodging.

“The program is already producing tangible benefits for everyone involved,” said program director Madeline Shea, Ph.D., UI professor of biochemistry. “Two students from the class of 2009 are now at the UI – one as a graduate student and one as a medical student — and several UI faculty have ongoing collaborations, papers and grant proposals with Fellows from 2009 and 2010. In addition, the two-way exchange of ideas, expertise and perspectives has enhanced research at the UI and back in the classrooms and laboratories of the participating colleges. We are looking forward to another exciting summer of research, collaboration and partnership.”

For more information on the program, visit