University of Iowa
  • Iowa City, IA, United States

Breaking barriers in brain research

13th Nov, 2018
Every Tuesday, University of Iowa physician-scientist Kumar Narayanan steels himself as he bikes to work. It’s the most challenging day of his week—the day he sees patients from across the state who are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Narayanan has to deliver the bad news to patients and their families that they have developed the neurological disorder, one that affects both motor and cognitive skills. One that has no cure.


Posted 13th Nov, 2018
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12th Nov, 2018

Building on a century of hydroscience research

For nearly a century, University of Iowa researchers have studied the science and technology of water management. From the impact of floodwaters after heavy rainfall to the way a ship slices through the sea, researchers use field research, laboratory experimentation, and computational analysis to comprehend, master, and protect one of Earth’s most precious resources—water.
Learn more about how the University of Iowa enters a new era of activity aimed at solving Earth’s biggest environmental issues
29th Jun, 2018

Iowa dives into the future of water research

For nearly a century, University of Iowa researchers have studied the science and technology of water management. From the impact of floodwaters after heavy rainfall to the way a ship slices through the sea, researchers use field research, laboratory experimentation, and computational analysis to comprehend, master, and protect one of Earth’s most precious resources—water.
“The University of Iowa’s immense expertise in hydroscience comes as a surprise to some, but over the past century, we have emerged as a national and international leader in the field,” says Larry Weber, executive associate dean UI College of Engineering and former director of IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, a research institute that encompasses an impressive network of labs and work groups, including one of most technologically advanced wave basins in the nation.
This concentration of hydroscience research, teaching, modeling, and experimentation at the UI is difficult—if not impossible—to match anywhere in the world.
Click here to learn more about Iowa's history of leadership in hydroscience.
6th Jun, 2018

Leading writing faculty make the difference at Iowa

In 2010, Inara Verzemnieks left what she called “the best job in the world” to become a graduate student in the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program (NWP). She was an award-winning journalist of 13 years, but also living a life defined by constant deadlines and constricting word counts. She was dissatisfied and looking for the next step in her career. The UI program offered her three years to not only write a book, but the experience and training to teach at a university when she was done.
She accepted.
“I used to say that what I loved about the newsroom was that everyone had the same shared delusion: they were all so into the idea of writing and producing great work,” says Verzemnieks. “I wanted to find that again somewhere else, and I felt Iowa was going to be the place, possibly, that would reveal that to me. And it did. It changed my life.”
Read Inara's story
6th Jun, 2018

The international reach of the University of Iowa

For decades, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa has helped make Iowa City a nexus for writers of all ages, walks of life, levels of success—and countries of origin. This environment has enhanced the lives of UI students and Iowa City residents, and for the last several years the IWP has taken the richness of Iowa City’s writing culture to other countries.
“In one way or another, we’re trying to share our common love of the creative process with as many different audiences in as many different parts of the world as possible,” says Christopher Merrill, IWP director since 2000. “Literature can be a way to introduce different cultures to each other and to find connections. This is cultural diplomacy, which goes both ways. We host writers here, we bring writers there.”
Since the creation of the IWP in 1967, more than 1,400 writers from more than 140 countries have visited Iowa as part of the program. The list of influential writers who have attended the IWP is impressive. Mo Yan, who attended the IWP in 2004, was the first China-based writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012. South Korean writer Han Kang attended the IWP in 1998 and won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2016. An IWP alumnus from 1984, Sebastian Barry, recently was named the new Laureate for Irish Fiction.
Learn more about Iowa's connection to literature around the globe
6th Jun, 2018

Iowa City: Little town, big on writing

Many people are surprised to learn that Iowa City—a Midwestern town of just 75,000 residents—hosts one of the strongest writing cultures in the world and, for nearly a decade, was the only U.S. city to be internationally recognized for doing so.
Writing is so much a part of the culture of Iowa City that quotes from famous authors with ties to Iowa City are engraved in the sidewalks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The bronze relief sidewalk panels surround the downtown area and feature the words of Flannery O’Connor, Carl Klaus, Rita Dove, and Tennessee Williams, among dozens of others.
Famous writers themselves also can be found walking the streets, drawn to Iowa City to teach at the university or give a reading of their work.
Learn more about Iowa City, an international writer's haven
8th Mar, 2018

Iowa: Shaping literature's landscape for more than a century

With more than 40 Pulitzer Prize-winning alumni and faculty, the University of Iowa has long been recognized as one of the world's foremost leaders in the study of creative writing. Writers that have taught or studied at Iowa (including Flannery O'Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tennessee Williams, among many others) have had an immortal, global impact on the literary world.
But while the illustrious Iowa Writers' Workshop may be its most prominent character, the story of Iowa's impact on literature - and present-day offerings in creative writing - runs far deeper. Iowa builds on its heritage of visionary artistry, continuing to be a creative community unlike any other.
Learn more about writing at the University of Iowa
1st Mar, 2018

Iowa Neuroscience Institute Research Suggests a Direct CO2 Brain Trigger

Breathing too much carbon dioxide can be deadly, and it can happen during sleep if a particular sleeping position causes an obstructed airway or because of a medical condition like sleep apnea. Fortunately, inhaled carbon dioxide normally triggers sensitive brain mechanisms that prevent suffocation.
Researchers have long believed that inhaled carbon dioxide activates neurons responsible for breathing and the physical effect of increased deep breathing then triggers waking from sleep (arousal).
A new study by researchers with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa challenges that idea. The UI study identifies a group of neurons responsible for arousal that are directly triggered by carbon dioxide and cause mice to wake up without any changes to breathing. The findings were published Jan. 29 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
“Carbon dioxide-induced arousal is critical to diseases like sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and is probably important in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). However, exactly how carbon dioxide triggers waking from sleep (arousal) has not been well understood,” says Gordon Buchanan, MD, PhD, senior study author and assistant professor of neurology at the UI Carver College of Medicine.
Read the full story
Learn more about the University of Iowa's Iowa Neuroscience Institute
22nd Feb, 2018

University of Iowa contributes to groundbreaking neurological research through NeuroNEXT network

Clinical trials for neurological diseases are long and arduous, taking many years and a lot of money to complete, so developing medications to treat those diseases is also long and arduous, taking many years and lots of money to complete.
Sometimes it takes so much time and money that researchers and pharmaceutical companies don’t bother because the probability of bringing an effective and profitable drug to market doesn’t outweigh the risk of losing their investment.
But a national network funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by the University of Iowa is accelerating the clinical trial process for neurological diseases with the expectation of bringing drugs to market in less time, with less money and less risk.
NeuroNEXT brings together 25 academic health care research institutions to create a consortium of researchers with a national reach, making it easier and less expensive to conduct clinical trials for diseases like autism, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. The College of Public Health’s Clinical Trials and Statistical Data Management Center (CTSDMC) is the data coordinating center for the initiative, partnering with Massachusetts General Hospital to oversee all data and statistical collection and analysis and helping researchers design their trials across the 25 academic sites.
Read the full story
Learn more about the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa
16th Feb, 2018

University of Iowa study finds that a surprise stimulus helps people stop an action

Imagine reaching to pet your cat, and it hisses at you. How does your brain take stock of the sound and communicate with your body to pull back your hand?
Neuroscientists are interested in how the brain communicates with the motor system to help your body stop an action. This communication is vital because it helps us avoid surprises and react to potentially dangerous or unforeseen circumstances.
In a new study, University of Iowa researchers studied how people stopped an action. The researchers found that when participants heard an unexpected sound, they stopped an action more often than when they heard no sound at all.
The finding offers promising insight in how an external stimulus -- an auditory, visual, or sensory cue -- could speed up the brain's communications with the motor system. That could help clinicians treat patients with motor-control disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and ADHD, as well as address the decline in motor control that accompanies aging.
Read the full story
Learn more about neuroscience at the University of Iowa and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute
24th Jan, 2018

Psychological and brain sciences to get new building at University of Iowa

Psychology has long been one of the most popular undergraduate majors at the University of Iowa, and it also boasts a sizable graduate program.
With the UI’s renewed emphasis on neuroscience—the 2016 establishment of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and the 2017 introduction of an undergraduate major in neuroscience—faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences soon will enjoy a new campus headquarters.
Learn more about the University of Iowa's commitment of resources to the study of neuroscience and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute
24th Jan, 2018

University of Iowa adds undergraduate neuroscience major

Start them while they’re young.
That’s one of the philosophies behind the University of Iowa’s new undergraduate major in neuroscience. With more people equipped at an earlier age to critically study the brain, advances in understanding the most complex human organ may come quicker.
The idea to start such a program on the UI campus was not a new one, but a $45 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust in 2016....
Learn more about studying at the University of Iowa and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute
24th Jan, 2018

A living legend in neuroscience

The University of Iowa is home to a neuroscience rock star.
Nancy Andreasen, who holds the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry, is a pioneer in neuroimaging, having used MRI technology in the 1980s to show that schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain. She is the first woman to win the American Psychiatric Association’s highest award...
Learn more about Nancy Andreasen and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute
19th Jan, 2018

Breaking barriers in brain research

Created with a $45 million gift from the Carver Charitable Trust, the University of Iowa’s Iowa Neuroscience Institute is primed to make discoveries about humans’ most complex organ – and end debilitating diseases.
“I’m confident the University of Iowa can be a game changer because we have the resources to do it and a collaborative community that is committed to it.” – Dr. Ted Abel, director, Iowa Neuroscience Institute.
Learn more about the Iowa Neuroscience Institute