CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 26, 2002
David Soll and associates receive $3.7 million grant to continue cell
University of Iowa biological sciences research team led by professor David
Soll and co-investigators Chun-Fang Wu and Jim J.-C. Lin has received a five-year,
$3.7 million grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to
continue studying how cells move, a field with implications for cancer, AIDS
and infectious disease research.
Soll, who is Carver/Emil Witschi Professor in the Biological Sciences in
the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says that renewed funding of its
"Program Project in the Developmental Biology of Cell Motility,"
which began in 1984, will permit the continuation of several components of
cell motility research. In addition to basic research at the UI, the program
supports international cell motility work in the Program Facility, the continued
development of computer-assisted motion analysis systems, assistance to scientists
and visitors, and symposia and courses for students.
"The program has continued to do what it set out to do 17 years ago,"
Soll says. "It has fostered intense interactions between a core group
of scientists interested in cell motility at the University of Iowa, evolved
as a pioneer in the development of advanced motion analysis systems that meet
the present and future needs of the program participants, and has had an impact
worldwide in fostering the use of these unique technologies for studying how
"In the past year, it has advanced its technologies to include the
3D reconstruction and motion analysis of cells moving in tissues, GFP-tagged
molecular complexes, and cells and nuclei in developing embryos. All of these
program components will be continued and expanded in the next five-year period."
During the past five years, Soll and his colleagues have continued to use
program technologies to investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate
animal cell locomotion, including nerve cell growth, the effects of HIV on
white blood cell behavior, the basis of the Schwachman-Diamond syndrome, cancer
cell metastasis and neural tissue development. New program goals include the
use of the newly developed computer system to reconstruct and motion analyze
baboon embryo development.
Soll's laboratory is composed of 32 researchers who currently hold seven
grants and contracts. Their research interests range from the effects of ultra
sound on cancer cells, infectious organisms and agricultural pests to investigating
Candida albicans, an infectious yeast responsible for a variety of pathological
conditions. During its 19-year existence, Soll's cell motility studies have
attracted about $16 million in research funding.