CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8033; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: May 31, 2002
Roy J. Carver Research Programs of Excellence announced
The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
has announced the first five Roy J. Carver Research Programs of Excellence,
which are funded as part of a $63 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable
Trust of Muscatine. The grant, which was announced on March 6, is the largest
ever made to the UI.
Each of the five programs will receive $200,000 in annual support from the
Carver Charitable Trust for the next five years. The Carver Trust has committed
a total of $15 million to funding the Carver Research Programs of Excellence
over the next 15 years.
"Each of these programs involves pioneering research that will push
the boundaries of our knowledge of human diseases," said Robert P. Kelch,
M.D., dean of the college and UI vice president for statewide health services.
"They involve some of our most brilliant researchers and hold great promise
for advancing medicine."
Troy K. Ross, Ph.D., executive administrator of the Carver Trust, said the
programs selected are indicative of the world-class biomedical research enterprise
at the UI.
"Each of the recipients of the initial Carver Research Programs of
Excellence grants has an established track record of research excellence,"
Ross said. "We are confident that these grants will help propel their
efforts to even greater levels of success."
"These Carver grants fund some of the college's most promising areas
of inquiry," said Allyn M. Mark, M.D., the college's associate dean for
research and interim executive dean. "These research programs have a
high likelihood of making extremely important discoveries."
The recipients of the Carver Research Programs of Excellence are:
Donald D. Heistad, M.D., Zahn Professor of Cardiology (internal medicine
and pharmacology), and Curt D. Sigmund, Ph.D., professor of internal medicine
and physiology and biophysics; "Functional Genomics of Cardiovascular
Disease." The project studies genes involved in regulation of the heart
and blood vessels. Using various techniques to manipulate these genes in animals,
the researchers are studying how the genes influence the development of coronary
heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
Raymond J. Hohl, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine
and pharmacology, and David F. Wiemer, Ph.D., professor of chemistry; "Pharmacological
Study of Intermediates in Cholesterol Biosynthesis for Cancer Treatment."
This study examines interactions of precursors of cholesterol with certain
growth-promoting proteins. These interactions have been implicated in the
development of specific cancers. The researchers are investigating the possibility
that drugs having useful anticancer properties can be developed from chemically
modified cholesterol precursors.
James R. Howe V, M.D., associate professor of surgery; "Genetic
Basis of Juvenile Polyposis and Gastrointestinal Cancer." The team examines
the genetic causes of juvenile polyposis (JP) and cancers of the stomach and
intestinal tract. Individuals with JP develop polyps in the gastrointestinal
tract and are at increased risk of developing colorectal and stomach cancers.
M. Sue O'Dorisio, M.D., Ph.D., UI Foundation Distinguished Professor
of Pediatrics; "Stem Cell Biology/Cellular Mechanisms of Tumor Metastasis."
This new team of researchers investigates how human bone marrow stem cells
can be developed for treatment of genetic diseases and cancer. They also will
study the biology of malignant stem cells that are the source of metastases
in malignancies such as leukemia, melanoma and brain tumors.
Val C. Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and Howard
Hughes Medical Institute associate investigator, and Edwin M. Stone, M.D.,
Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and director of the UI Carver Laboratory
for Ophthalmic Molecular Diagnosis; "Molecular Ophthalmology/Inherited
Eye Disease." Sheffield and Stone are investigating how different genetic
defects result in blindness and vision impairment. They are also researching
new approaches to prevention and treatment of macular degeneration and glaucoma.
In addition to funding the Carver Research Programs of Excellence, the $63
million gift announced in March, which will be provided over a period of up
to 15 years, will be used as follows:
$10 million for the UI Carver College of Medicine Capital Improvement
Program. This gift was announced earlier this year and will support the construction
of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Biomedical Research Building, the groundbreaking
for which will be in the fall of 2002.
$10 million for construction, renovation and support of core research
facilities on the UI Carver College of Medicine campus. Sixty percent of these
funds will be placed in a permanent endowment and 40 percent reserved for
$8 million to support research by individual investigators within
the UI Carver College of Medicine. These funds will support the Carver Medical
Research Initiative Awards and Carver Collaborative Research Grants program,
and one to three-year Carver Grants on a per-invitation basis. These Carver
grant programs will fund highly innovative research.
$20 million to establish research-related faculty endowments associated
with specific department or division headships and professorships within the
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 www.uihealthcare.com.