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Release: March 29, 2000

UI Cancer Center researchers receive American Cancer Society research grants

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa Cancer Center researchers have each received a $375,000 research grant from the American Cancer Society. Mark A. Stamnes, Ph.D., UI assistant professor of physiology and biophysics in the College of Medicine, and Zhendong Jin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy, join four other UI colleagues who have active American Cancer Society grants.

The American Cancer Society research program uses a nationwide peer review process. Each grant is reviewed and ranked for merit by 12 to 25 senior scientists who are experts in the field of the proposed research. Only about 8 to 10 percent of all grant applications submitted receive funding. Stamnes' and Jin's grants are effective Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2002.

Stamnes will study how cells transport cellular components. To grow, cells must add material to their surface using transport vesicles, which move cell components from place to place and to the cell surface. In cancerous cells, growth is not regulated. A better understanding of the transport process could help lead to ways to diagnose and treat cancer.

Jin's research is based on Superstolide A and B, newly isolated natural compounds that show highly potent anticancer activities. However, the scarcity of these compounds has hampered research. Jin proposes to create synthetic Superstolide A and B and make them available for further research. He will also try to synthesize compounds that mimic Superstolide A and B to improve on their natural anticancer properties and increase understanding of how they function.

The other UI researchers who have active American Cancer Society funding include David M. Lubaroff, Ph.D., professor of urology; Dawn Quelle, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology; Lori L. Wallrath, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry; and Richard D. Williams, M.D., professor and head of urology. In addition, Richard J. Roller, Ph.D. assistant professor of microbiology, received an American Cancer Society grant effective Jan. 1997 to Dec. 2000.

The UI Cancer Center in Iowa City is dedicated to cancer research, clinical care, education, detection and prevention. The center advances cancer research and education through the collaborative efforts of researchers and physicians from 26 departments in six UI colleges and the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Using knowledge gained through this research, UI physicians and other health care professionals work together in the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center to provide the most advanced cancer care available in a manner that recognizes each patient as an individual. The UI Cancer Center receives funding from other major organizations, in addition to the American Cancer Society, as well as from UI alumni, friends, businesses and foundations.

Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has funded more than $2.2 billion in cancer research. American Cancer Society funding has led to many of the important breakthroughs that have advanced early detection, prevention and treatment techniques and strategies. In addition, the American Cancer Society has supported 30 researchers who eventually became Nobel Prize recipients.

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.