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Release: Oct. 1, 1999

UI researcher receives NIH grant to study angiogenesis in female reproductive tract

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care physician has been awarded a Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP) fellowship to study angiogenesis -- the development of new blood vessels -- in the female reproductive tract.

Anuja Dokras, M.D., Ph.D., a UI faculty associate in obstetrics and gynecology, received a two-year grant of nearly $150,000 from the National Institute of Child and Human Development
(a branch of the National Institutes of Health) with co-funding from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. The grant was effective July 1.

"These studies will investigate how abnormalities of angiogenesis may cause pregnancy to fail to establish, recurrent pregnancy losses or abnormal uterine bleeding," said Dokras, who joined the UI faculty on Sept. 15. "The results of this research could provide new treatment options for patients with these problems."

The highly competitive Reproductive Scientist Development Program is designed to cultivate the work of physician-scientists conducting basic research. The grant will help provide salary support and cover lab expenses for Dokras. Anil K. Sood, M.D., UI assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, also received an RSDP grant effective July 1. The UI is one of four institutions nationwide receiving RSDP grants this year.

Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., UI professor and head of anatomy and cell biology and associate director of basic research and deputy director at the UI Cancer Center, will serve as mentor for Dokras in conjunction with the grant.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to develop new potential clinical strategies and treatments based on laboratory research," Hendrix said.

Dokras received her medical degree from the University of Bombay in India and her doctorate in human embryology from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Dokras completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and, most recently, a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Yale University.

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