CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-5661; fax (319) 335-9917
Release: May 28, 1999
UI researcher receives $1.3 million National Cancer
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., University
of Iowa professor and head of anatomy and cell biology, has received a $1.3
million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute.
Hendrix, the associate director of basic research and
deputy director for the UI Cancer Center, is investigating the regulation
of the uveal melanoma interconverted phenotype, which is related to eye cancer.
"Our long-range goal is to develop clinical intervention
strategies based on newly discovered biological mechanisms that are responsible
for spreading metastatic uveal melanoma, also called ocular melanoma," Hendrix
To accomplish this goal, Hendrix and her colleagues are
using a multifaceted approach to determine the biological relevance of proteins
associated with the invasive ability of these cancerous cells to spread from
the eye throughout the body. Once these proteins are characterized, researchers
can then develop protein inhibitors to try to prevent the formation and spread
of ocular melanoma.
Hendrix's co-investigators include Robert Folberg, M.D.;
Frederick C. Blodi Professor of Ophthalmology and the Visual Sciences and
pathology; Richard Seftor, Ph.D., research scientist in anatomy and cell biology;
Elisabeth Seftor, senior research specialist in anatomy and cell biology;
Andrew Maniotis, Ph.D., assistant research scientist in anatomy and cell biology;
Beverly Davidson, Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine; H. Culver
Boldt, M.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and the visual sciences;
and Robert Woolson, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine and environmental
health, and statistics and actuarial science.
"It is a privilege to work with such a talented and insightful
investigative team affiliated with the UI Cancer Center," Hendrix said.
Hendrix, who joined the
UI faculty in June 1996, received her bachelor's degree in biology/pre-med
from Shepherd College in 1974 and her doctorate in anatomy from George Washington
University in 1977. From 1980 until 1993, she was on the faculty of the University
of Arizona. She then served as a professor and director of the Pediatric Research
Institute at St. Louis University School of Medicine and Cardinal Glennon
Children's Hospital until 1996.
She was recently appointed president-elect of the
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), consisting
of approximately 65,000 scientists who work in biomedical research.