2022 Year in Review

As 2022 comes to an end, the Iowa State University News Service team is looking back and sharing some of its favorite and more popular stories of the year. Click on each headline to read the full story.


Nanovaccine researchers

Researchers test hybrid, soft/hard nanocarriers to deliver drugs to the brain

Nanovaccine Institute researchers are working to develop nanocarriers that deliver drugs across the blood brain barrier. Successful nanocarriers could lead to treatments for brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, ischemic stroke, epilepsy and seizures.

Alex Braidwood

Designer turns sound into graphics in partnership with Maestro guitar pedals

Decades after Gibson Guitar's famous pedal brand Maestro went dormant, an Iowa State University designer has expanded his research – creating visuals out of sound – in a partnership with the brand as they launch a new family of guitar pedals.

Bison Bridge Project

Students provide landscape expertise in proposed Mississippi River bridge project

Iowa State University landscape architecture students are involved in what could one day be the longest wildlife bridge in the world: a proposed multi-use bison crossing and public viewing area over the Mississippi River.

Parkinson's and singing

Unraveling the connections between singing and Parkinson's disease

Researchers are studying the underlying mechanisms by which singing can improve breathing and swallowing for people with Parkinson’s disease. They'll also track changes to brain activity to better understand how the social benefits of singing can slow the disease’s progression.

Refugee research

Researchers helping Ukrainian refugees find housing, integrate into the Midwest

Iowa State researchers will study which factors determine successful integration of Ukrainian refugees into Midwestern communities. Their work, supported by the National Science Foundation's Civic Innovation Challenge, will focus on improving housing conditions for the refugees.

Robert Overstreet

Targeting serial returners to stem a growing problem for retailers

Growth in returns poses financial and logistical challenges for retailers. A new study finds a policy change that targets customers who are “serial returners” rather than the entire customer base may prevent backlash and protect a retailer’s bottom line.

John Deere welders

Apprentices hone their writing, speaking skills through ISU-John Deere partnership

Through a partnership with John Deere, faculty in ISU’s English Department are helping high school apprentices sharpen their writing and speaking skills through a four-week communications training in Davenport, Waterloo and East Moline, Illinois.

Leaf angle robot

Researchers studying leaf angle aim to improve yields, inspire young scientists

To better understand the underlying structure of corn leaf angle, an interdisciplinary research team is working to identify the genes using a robot developed at Iowa State to capture 3D images of corn in the field as well as transcriptomic- and CRISPR-based tools. 

Trauma-informed design

Iowa State researcher leads emerging field of trauma-informed environmental design

An Iowa State researcher is an innovator in an emerging field: trauma-informed environmental design, in which designers work to understand how their clients' life experiences affect how they experience various environments today in order to better serve them in the design process.

Beer brewing class

A new class on the science of brewing beer on tap at Iowa State (video)

Robert Brown has been brewing beer in his basement for over a decade before he started teaching a course on the science of brewing beer. And with the help of an ISU alum the class meets in a state-of-the-art facility for students to learn the process and history of making beer.

Artificial light

Study shows how artificial light affects seasonal rhythms of plants in U.S. cities

Allergy-suffering city dwellers, take note. A new study shows how artificial light in U.S. cities lengthens pollen season and impacts other seasonal processes in plants. The work demonstrates how urbanization affects the natural world, resulting in noticeable changes for humans.

COVID in pigs

The cellular response that protects pigs from COVID-19

Studies have noted that pigs exposed to the coronavirus don’t show clinical signs of disease nor do they transmit the virus to other animals. Scientists have uncovered important clues as to why pigs don’t get sick, which could lead to better treatments for COVID-19 in humans.

Nerve repair

ISU lab aims to repair severed nerves, foster undergraduate research

Undergraduate students at ISU are part of a research team testing different structures that could be used to help patients recover from traumatic nerve injuries. The devices they're investigating could serve as a bridge to guide regenerating nerve fibers. 

Schulte Moore grant

$80 million grant aims to make regenerative farming practice a moneymaker for farmers

An Iowa State research team is part of an $80 million federal grant to show how generating renewable natural gas from cover crops and prairie grass could motivate farmers to use conservation practices that sequester carbon dioxide and improve water quality.