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Release: June 11, 2002

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center announces ACS Seed Grant Award winners

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa today announced the researchers who will receive a total of $44,135 in seed grant awards from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The awards are made to junior faculty members and independent research scientists to initiate their careers in cancer research and to provide them with funds for the purpose of exploring new ideas related to the cause, prevention and therapy of cancer.

Daniel J. Bonthius, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor with appointments in the UI departments of pediatrics, neurology and anatomy and cell biology, will receive a seed grant for his research on strategies of using viruses to deliver cell death-inducing genes into neuroblastoma cells. Neuroblastoma is a common form of childhood cancer and causes many childhood cancer deaths.

John M. Dagle, M.D., Ph.D., UI assistant professor of pediatrics, will use his ACS seed grant to pursue his study of the role of Survivin in preventing early embryonic apoptosis. This project will identify the molecules that help determine cell fate during early vertebrate development.

Alicia M. Weissman, M.D., UI assistant professor of family medicine, will use the ACS grant to develop an interactive breast examination model that may enhance the skills of health care professionals conducting breast examinations.

A student stipend award was also made to an outstanding student to pursue a research career in cancer. Beth Kutzbach, a UI medical student, earned the award for her project called, "Identification of Factors Preventing Accrual of Patients to Lymphoma Clinical Trials in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics." Brian K. Link, M.D., UI assistant professor of internal medicine and director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Trials Core, serves as Kutzbach's mentor.

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at