CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Nov. 4 , 1999
UI researchers receive $6 million NIH grant renewal
for genetic research
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care
researchers, along with colleagues in the UI College of Engineering, have
received a three-year, nearly $6 million grant renewal to continue their work
identifying and locating genes on the rat genome.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, along
with the National Eye Institute, renewed the grant, effective Oct. 1. In 1997
the UI team received initial funding through a two-year, $4.7 million grant
to identify and map a large subset of genes in the rat genome. The findings
are expected to help scientists understand the human genome and aid in identifying
genes involved in human diseases.
Continuing as UI co-principal investigators are Val
C. Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and a Howard Hughes Medical
Institute associate investigator; M. Bento Soares, Ph.D., associate professor
of pediatrics, and physiology and biophysics; and Thomas L. Casavant, Ph.D.,
professor of electrical and computer engineering in the UI College of Engineering.
The team has reached its initial goal of identifying
more than 25,000 genes and localizing more than 8,000 genes to specific regions
of the rat genome. The team will identify a total of 60,000 genes and, in
collaboration with investigators at the Medical College of Wisconsin, place
nearly 30,000 genes on the rat genomic map. The project includes a web site
that provides timely updates on findings.
The study uses technologies that facilitate gene
discovery and computational methods provided respectively by Soares
and Casavants labs. Casavant is director of the UI Coordinated Laboratory
for Computational Genomics, which can be visited online at http://genome.uiowa.edu/.
The UI rat genome project is made possible, in part,
by the Interdepartmental Research Program in Human Molecular Genetics, which
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.