New faculty spotlight: Rebecca Oberley-Deegan, Ph.D.

August 11, 2014

Image with caption: Rebecca (Becky) Oberley-Deegan, Ph.D.

Rebecca (Becky) Oberley-Deegan, Ph.D.

  • Name: Rebecca (Becky) Oberley-Deegan, Ph.D.
  • Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
  • New title and department at UNMC: Assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research/Professional Interests:
My lab is interested in understanding the role that free radicals play in radiation-induced injury of normal tissues and tumor growth. We are also testing new radioprotectors that target free radical formation with hopes that these could be used clinically to improve the quality of lives of patients undergoing radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer.

How I fell in love with science:
I fell in love with science when I was in fifth grade. This was the first year in which we were taught science on a regular basis. We learned a variety of topics that year, but the one that fascinated me the most was the unit on the human body. It was my first glimpse into how the body worked and really made me want to know more. I think this fascination with how the human body works still drives my innate curiosity in the science I conduct to this day.


  • Post doctoral Fellowship: Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver. Mentor: James Crapo, M.D.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Mentor: Jeanne Snyder, Ph.D.
  • Ph.D.: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Mentor: Dr. Snyder.
  • BA: Biology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa


  • Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM)
  • Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines

Three things people may not know about me:

  • I played softball in college and continued to play slow pitch softball until I was six months pregnant. I have had to hang up the glove for a while, but I hope to coach my kids when they are older!
  • I love photography and had a photo selected for a local calendar when I was a graduate student at the U of Iowa.
  • "The Shawshank Redemption" is my favorite movie and whenever it is shown on TV, I must watch it!


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Marilyn Deegan
November 07, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Always so nice to know more about you!