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Release: Dec. 17, 1999

UI researcher receives American Heart Association grant

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Robin Davisson, Ph.D., University of Iowa assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology, has received a National American Heart Association Career Investigator Award.

Davisson will receive $260,000 over the next four years to help fund a project titled "Selective Gene Deletion along the Hypothalamo-hypophyseal Axis: A Tool for Studying Neural Control of Blood Pressure."

Through the study using animal models, Davisson wants to develop new methods for selectively knocking out genes in discrete regions of the brain while leaving the genes undisturbed in the rest of the body.

"This is a very powerful tool for understanding precisely how certain genes determine how the brain functions normally," Davisson said. "Because we are interested in how the brain is involved in causing blood pressure to change, we are focusing on genes and brain areas that are critical for this important basic function."

Davisson noted that these new knockout techniques could be widely applicable when studying many brain functions and therefore many diseases that are caused by brain dysfunction.

Davisson is one of 75 individuals throughout the country to receive the National American Heart Association Career Investigator Award. More than 300 people competed for the awards.

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