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Release: April 17, 2001

UI receives grant from the American Cancer Society

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa researcher has received an $875,000 grant to fund cell cycle research, which may aid in understanding cancer development.

Rebecca Hartley, Ph.D., UI assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology, will study the regulation of cell division during early embryogenesis. Both embryonic cells and cancer cells divide rapidly and without the controls normally found in adult cells. While cancer cells lose the normal adult controls, embryonic cells gain them.

In order to understand how the adult controls are inserted into the cell division cycle, Hartley will study frog embryos in order to find a way to stop uncontrolled cancer cell division.

"If we can understand cancer at its starting point, we may be able to stop it before it begins, or reverse the process," Hartley said.

Since the embryonic cell cycle is regulated similarly in frogs and humans, the research results may one day be applied directly to humans, Hartley said. Frog embryos are easier to study than mammals because they are large and divide quickly.

The American Cancer Society was established in 1913 as a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. It is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. To date, the society has provided more than $2.2 billion in cancer research. The UI has received more than $6.9 million in grants from the American Cancer Society since
July 1, 1987.

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.