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University of Iowa News Release

May 5, 2005

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Awards Seed Grants

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has awarded a total of $58,525 in one-year seed grants to researchers for three different cancer-related studies -- on innovative biosensors, chemotherapy side effects and the use of complementary and alternative approaches to care. The investigators, faculty members in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, received the grants May 1.

Two of the awards are American Cancer Society (ACS) seed grants, which help junior faculty members and independent research scientists initiate careers in cancer research and fund studies of new ideas related to the causes, prevention and therapy of cancer. The third award is the center's 2005 Diana Benz Memorial Fund Seed Grant, which support studies related to psychosocial issues, complementary and alternative medicine, and other quality-of-life issues for cancer patients and survivors.

Ned Bowden, Ph.D., (right) UI assistant professor of chemistry, received a $20,000 ACS seed grant to lead a study on fabricating a new type of biosensor that uses silicon to track, detect and study cancer. Silicon is the most important material used in computer chips; however, it rarely has been used in biosensors.

Natalie Denburg, Ph.D., (left) UI assistant professor of neurology, received a $19,000 ACS seed grant to study the possible cognitive side effects of chemotherapy for indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the most prevalent lymphoma in people age 56 and older. Lymphomas destroy the body's immune system.


Nicole Nisly, M.D., (left) associate professor of internal medicine, received a $19,525 Diana Benz Memorial Fund seed grant. Nisly and Susan Lutgendorf, Ph.D., (right) co-principal investigator and UI associate professor of psychology, will evaluate the use of reflexology -- pressure applied to specific points on a person's foot -- for patients with head and neck cancer who are receiving post-surgery radiation therapy at the UI Radiation Oncology Center. The study will help determine if the intervention impacts pain, fatigue and quality of life.

The Diana Benz Memorial Fund honors the memory of Benz, who received care at the UI.

Denburg and Lutgendorf are research members of the Holden Center.

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. Visit the center online at

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

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 5224-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660


Denburg: available on request