Biology professor Jodi Enos-Berlage awarded biomedical fellowship at University of Iowa

June 19, 2009

Jodi Enos-Berlage, Luther College professor of biology, is one of a select group of college faculty members to be awarded a 2009 FUTURE in Biomedicine Faculty Fellowship at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Enos-Berlage will work June 1 through July 31 in the lab of Linda McCarter, University of Iowa associate professor of microbiology. The overall goal of the research will be to investigate how a marine bacterium and significant human pathogen, vibrio parahaemolyticus, senses and responds to its external environment. Specifically, Enos-Berlage will perform experiments to identify genes in this organism that are turned on or off in response to calcium levels.

The goal of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program, in its inaugural year, is to develop partnerships in research and education between professors at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and professors from primarily undergraduate colleges.

The program provides financial and housing support for the fellow, along with an allowance to the host laboratory to cover the costs of experimental supplies and fees related to the research project.

"This intense research experience will allow me to expand my repertoire of techniques, develop new experimental approaches, and perhaps most importantly, interact closely with University of Iowa microbiology faculty for exchange of ideas," said Enos-Berlage. "These activities will allow me to develop additional opportunities for high quality undergraduate research projects at Luther and establish new research collaborations with faculty at the University of Iowa."

The fellow is also invited to select an undergraduate from their home institution that will also be supported by the FUTURE in Biomedicine program.

Luther junior Aimee Villard, of Anchorage, Alaska, will join Enos-Berlage in the summer research project. Villard, a biology major at Luther, performed undergraduate research with Enos-Berlage at Luther during the 2009 spring semester.

"This program represents a wonderful opportunity for Luther student Aimee Villard to immerse herself in full time research and expand her future career opportunities," said Enos-Berlage.

In late July, Enos-Berlage and Villard will attend and participate in symposiums where the faculty and students involved in the program will present their research findings.

Enos-Berlage holds the bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois, the doctorate degree and postdoctoral training in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and postdoctoral training in microbiology from the University of Iowa.

Since she began her research program at Luther in 2001, Enos-Berlage has mentored more than 20 Luther undergraduate student researchers who have actively presented their results at regional and national scientific meetings and co-authored publications.

In support of her research, Enos-Berlage has received external research grants from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, American Society for Microbiology, and the Iowa College Foundation.