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University of Iowa researchers receive $5.5 million grant award
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa College of Medicine researchers
have been awarded a five-year $5.8 million grant to continue study of the
role of fat in the development and prevention of heart attack and stroke.
The grant, awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of
the National Institutes of Health, is a renewal of the program project
grant originally funded in 1992. Now, as then, the grant is designed to
help the researchers understand how fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides
contribute to atherosclerosis and the diseases that it causes, particularly
heart attack and stroke. During the first five-year period of the grant,
significant progress was made in understanding the role of fat in the development
of cardiovascular disease. The renewal will allow a continuation of those
studies, says Dr. Arthur Spector, professor and interim head of the UI
department of biochemistry and the grant's principal investigator.
The grant contains four projects designed to investigate different aspects
of how fat may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease
at the cellular and biochemical levels as well as in the functioning coronary
Spector is the leader of project 1, which is designed to understand
how polyunsaturated fats and their byproducts affect the cells of blood
Dr. F. Jeffrey Field, UI professor of internal medicine in the gastroenterology
division is project 2 leader. His group will examine how dietary fat gets
from the intestine into the bloodstream.
Project 3, led by Dr. David Chappell, UI associate professor of internal
medicine in the cardiology and endocrine divisions, will concentrate on
how lipid particles are removed from the bloodstream. Build up of fats
in the blood puts people at risk for cardiovascular disease.
The fourth project, led by Dr. Neal Weintraub, UI assistant professor
of internal medicine in the cardiology division, will test the findings
of the first three projects in the coronary artery.
Thus, the grant proposes to examine various aspects of fat contribution
to cardiovascular disease from cell biology and biochemistry to the physiology
of coronary circulation.