CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Feb. 10, 2000
UI medical student receives Experimental Pathologist-In-Training Award
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa medical student Aaron Bossler has
received the Experimental Pathologist-In-Training Award from the American
Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP).
Bossler was one of three medical students nationwide to win the pre-doctoral
award. He will receive the award and a $500 prize in April at the ASIP national
meeting in San Diego.
Bossler's research focused on identifying the components within cells that
help to activate human papillomavirus (HPV) -16.
HPVs are small DNA tumor viruses that infect cutaneous and mucosal epithelial
cells (also called keratinocytes) of the skin and cervix. In the virus' efforts
to grow and reproduce, HPVs use the infected cells as hosts. There are many
types of HPV, and some HPVs only cause benign skin or genital warts. Other,
more aggressive HPV types, including HPV-16, alter the growth of the infected
cells. These high-risk HPVs stimulate the infected cells to grow abnormally
and uncontrollably, leading to cancer, particularly of the cervix.
HPV-16 depends on the infected cells to start its cancer-causing campaign.
Along with other UI investigators, Bossler has identified two host cell components
-- transcription factors AP-2 and TEF-1 -- that activate the expression of
viral E6 and E7 genes that then initiate HPV-16's battle plan for causing
cancer. The UI researchers found that these transcription factors also activate
the expression of other HPV genes that the virus needs to establish an infection
within the cell.
"I hope that this information will help in developing strategies to
specifically block the activation of viral gene expression and to prevent
the establishment of the viral infection," Bossler said.
Bossler, a fifth-year medical student, has just finished the requirements
for his Ph.D., and will return in March to the UI Hospitals and Clinics to
complete his M.D. training. Bossler received
his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Columbia University in New York.
For the future, Bossler is considering a residency in pathology. Bossler noted
that one of the advantages of a pathology residency is that it would allow
him to continue doing research, which is his primary interest, while maintaining
a clinical connection with patients.
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.