CONTACT: PATRICIA CAIN
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
W. M. Keck Foundation gives $1 million for biological research at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa--A $1 million grant by the W. M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles
to the University of Iowa Foundation will provide funding to continue the
development of equipment that allows UI researchers to visually enter and
analyze moving cells. The funding will help UI researchers remain worldwide
leaders in this promising area, which has important applications for cancer
and AIDS research.
The Keck grant will enable scientists to expand the UI's dynamic image analysis
system, which was developed by researchers in the UI department of biological
sciences, led by David R. Soll, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust/Emil Witschi
Professor of Biological Sciences. The analysis system produces computer-enhanced
images of living, moving cells in three dimensions. The grant will also help
train scientists from all over the world to use and apply the dynamic imaging
"This grant will allow Dr. Soll and his team to maintain their impressive
momentum," UI President Mary Sue Coleman said. "Their work has exciting
implications for biomedical research and is greatly expanding our knowledge
of HIV, AIDS, and related conditions. We are extremely grateful to the Keck
Foundation for its generosity and foresight in funding this important work
at the University of Iowa."
The grant proposal for Soll's laboratory was the UI's first request to the
Keck Foundation. "Having a first-time grant funded at the $1 million
level is a great tribute to the quality of research at the UI," said
Patricia Cain, the UI Foundation's director of corporate and foundation relations.
In recognition of the gift, the UI laboratory will be named the W. M. Keck
Dynamic Image Analysis Facility.
Soll's researchers developed the first automated two-dimensional dynamic
morphology analysis system by 1987 and have made continual improvements to
the system. "This is a unique opportunity to build the next generation
machine," Soll said. "Compared to cell motility research being done
elsewhere, we're at the cutting edge with our technology."
The W. M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations,
was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil
Company. The foundation's national grant-making is focused primarily on the
areas of higher education, medical research, science, and engineering. The
foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that provides
support in the areas of civic and community services, health care, precollegiate
education, and the arts, as well as a program for liberal arts colleges. Since
its inception, the Keck Foundation has made grants of approximately $550 million;
its current assets exceed $1 billion.
The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for
gifts to all areas of the University. Foundation staff work with organizations,
alumni, and friends to provide support for a variety of UI programs.