Case Researcher in RNA Biology Makes Waves by Challenging Current Thinking

Kristian E. Baker

In the January 18 issue of Molecular Cell, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher Kristian E. Baker challenges molecular biology's established body of evidence and widely-accepted model for nonsense-mediated messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) decay. With her collaborator, Ambro van Hoof of The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Baker directly tested the "faux 3' UTR" model and proved it could not explain how cells recognize and destroy deviant mRNA.

This landmark discovery will redirect mRNA research and expand opportunities for new discoveries in understanding the cells' ability to protect itself from these potential errors.

In all cells, including human, mRNA is a copy of the information carried by a gene on the DNA. Occasionally, mRNA contains errors that can make the information it carries unusable. Cells posses a remarkable mechanism to detect these aberrant mRNAs and eliminate them from the cell -- this process represents a very important quality control system for gene expression. Read more.

Part of our ongoing Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

MLK Celebration Continues with Film, Forum


Case Western Reserve University's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration week continues on Tuesday, January 22, with a film and discussion about Jewish refugee scholars and a forum on health disparities.

The Cleveland Hillel Foundation, Anti-Defamation League, Newman Catholic Campus Ministry and Jewish Student Group will sponsor a viewing of the movie "From Swastika to Jim Crow" from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. January 22 in the Spartan Room of Thwing Center. The film will be followed by a discussion of the little-known story about Jewish refugee scholars who fled Nazi Germany and arrived in the United States to find themselves excluded from mainstream American universities but welcomed at historically black colleges.

The "I Have a Dream: Health Disparities Forum" sponsored by the Daniel Hale Williams Pre-med Society takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. January 22 in the Excelsior Ballroom of Thwing Center. The forum will feature five Cleveland-area physicians with a background in health disparity research and serving minority population.

A complete schedule of MLK celebration events can be found online.

Ethnic Studies Program Hosts Author Alice Randall and Political Philosopher Preston King

Alice Randall

The Ethnic Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University will host several free, public events that explore freedom of speech issues, including a presentation from Alice Randall, author of The Wind Done Gone, a parody of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 best-selling novel, Gone with the Wind. Former self-exiled political philosopher Preston King will join the conversation to take place at 4:30 p.m., February 7 in Thwing Center Ballroom.

Preston King

King also will give the talk, "Free Speech and the Constraints of Constitutional Democracy," at 4:30 p.m., February 6, in 309 Clark Hall.

Gilbert Doho, director of the ethnic studies program at Case Western Reserve, invited the speakers to campus after hearing them read Gone with the Wind from a slave's perspective during the Charles Johnson Think Tank Conference at Fisk University. Case and Fisk have an educational partnership. Read more.

Campus News

The Commencement Speaker Selection Committee is seeking nominations from the campus community for a 2009 commencement speaker. A commencement speaker displays excellence in any valued aspect of human endeavor, including the realm of scholarship, public service and the performing arts. Additional considerations for the speaker: a high degree of name recognition among students; the ability to serve as a role model for students; a university or Cleveland connection; a broad appeal for both students and faculty; supportive of university values; a strong speaking ability; the willingness to speak without an honorarium; and availability on May 17, 2009. Submit recommendations online.

Case Daily will not publish on Monday January 21, due to the university's observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Publication will resume on January 22.

For Faculty & Staff

Special announcement to all participants in Retirement Plan B: Federal tax law requires notification regarding the determination letter application that is being submitted to the Internal Revenue Service to confirm the continued tax-qualified status of the July 1, 2007 amendment and restatement of the university's Retirement Plan B. The notice is being provided through electronic means. A paper copy of the notice may be printed; please note all participants have the right to request, at no charge, a written paper notice. Contact the Benefits Administration Office at 368-6781 or via e-mail to request a copy of the notice or with any questions.

Traveline Travel Services, the university's preferred travel vendor, has rolled out "Travelport," an online booking tool that may be used to make Internet travel reservations. Reservations must be made using Business Travel Account, a central university credit card to which travel may be charged. Web training is available on January 24. Register online.

For Students

The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women and the Career Center are co-sponsoring a new internship program, the Amelia Earhart Internship for Women Students in the Sciences and Engineering. Students interested in completing a summer internship in a science or engineering field in Cleveland are eligible to participate. Application deadline is February 29. Details about the scholarship are available online.



The Department of Mathematics Colloquium and the Seminars Math Club present Frank Morgan Atwell, a mathematics professor from Williams College, on the topic of "Soap Bubbles and Mathematics," from 12:30-1:30 p.m., January 25 in the Schmitt Lecture Hall. Soap bubbles continue to fascinate and confound mathematicians. In addition to a report on recent results -- including research by undergraduates -- there will be a guessing contest, demonstrations and prizes.

Jonathan Guryan, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago and an expert on race and discrimination in both school and the labor market will be presenting a work entitled "Prejudice and The Economics of Discrimination," from 3-4:30 p.m., January 21 at the Peter B Lewis Building, Room 202. Sponsored by the Department of Economics.

Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

Et al

The Boston Globe named "Pollock Matters" at the McMullen Museum at Boston College one of the best exhibitions of 2007. Ellen Landau, the university's Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, was the curator. Related article.

Brian Grimberg, the Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease Fellow in the Center for Global Health and Diseases, recently received the Young Investigator Award from the Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Association. His work on the analysis of the effects of anti-malaria drugs using flow cytometry was presented in Windsor, Canada last fall.


In its "Ten Bands to Watch in 2008," article, the Free Times highlights the band Lunavelis, which includes Case Western Reserve students Kyle Napierkowski, a third-year finance major, and Ben Kubit, a first-year student who studies cognitive sciences.

January 18, 2008

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Case in the News

Editorial: Cleveland Mayor Jackson must support a regional land bank

The Plain Dealer, January 18, 2008
An editorial encouraging the city of Cleveland to put foreclosed homes in a regional landbank cites research from Case Western Reserve University's Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.

What I really meant to say was...

U.S. News & World Report, January 17, 2008
Alexander Lamis, an associate professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University, comments for an article that looks back on a blunder former U.S. President Gerald Ford made in his 1976 bid for a second term.

Layers help define style, keep to budget -- fashion flash

The Plain Dealer, January 18, 2008
Kelly Duncan, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and self-proclaimed "Queen of Layering," shares fashion tips and advice.

Indians prospect gets back in swing

Akron Beacon Journal, January 18, 2008
Shin-Soo Choo, a top Cleveland Indians prospect, and other players are attending the Indians Winter Development Program, being held at Case Western Reserve University's Veale Center.

Higher Ed News

Good year for college endowments

Inside Higher Ed, January 18, 2008
In the 2007 fiscal year, the average college endowment increased by 16.9 percent, according to new data from Commonfund, which invests money for colleges and other groups.

Universities unveil distance-learning program in nuclear engineering

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 18, 2008
To help meet a growing demand for nuclear engineers, a group of universities has teamed up to sponsor online courses and swap information about the students taking them.

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