FOREST CITY - After spending two months at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Waldorf College biology professor Gary Coombs, and senior Cody Barnes, gave final presentations last week as part of the FUTURE program.

Coombs was one of six faculty fellows selected for the program from Iowa colleges. Upon his selection, he discussed the project with his students and chose Barnes to accompany him.

The FUTURE program, which stands for Fostering Undergraduate Talent - Uniting Research and Education, started May 31. Barnes was one of the 174 poster presenters this week. Coombs spoke on his research.

Barnes, of class 2012, majoring in wellness, studied expression of NIAM (Nuclear Interactor of ARF and MDM2) in tumor biopsies from patients with glioma (a type of brain tumor), and helped identify mice with a nonfunctional NIAM gene for studies of NIAM's role in health and disease.

Coombs, in a separate research project, used mass spectrometry to identify other proteins that interact with NIAM.

Now in its third year, the FUTURE program aims to bridge the gap between large research universities in the Iowa area and small liberal arts colleges.

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