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Release: Immediate

UI researcher wins grant from the National Cancer Institute

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Frederick Quelle, Ph.D., University of Iowa assistant professor of pharmacology, has received a five-year National Cancer Institute grant of more than $950,000.

Quelle's project, entitled "Cytokine Signaling Pathways Regulating a G1 Checkpoint," started in December and will last through 2003. His work focuses on how and why some damaged cells bypass safety checkpoints meant to prevent tumors from developing.

"When cells suffer DNA damage, they should stop growing and repair the DNA damage," Quelle explained. "However, sometimes these checkpoints fail when blood cells are exposed to hormones called cytokines. Damaged cells that do not stop growing may eventually become cancerous."

Quelle said he hopes to identify the mechanism that enables the damaged cells to skip over the checkpoints. A UI faculty member since 1997, Quelle has always been interested in cytokines and how they control cell growth. Cytokines are proteins that control the growth and function of blood and immune cells.