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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 19, 2008

At A Glance

UI biochemistry researcher receives American Cancer Society grant

Kris DeMali, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, has received a four-year, $720,000 American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award to study how a protein that helps hold cells together might be involved in cancer metastasis.

When protein interactions that keep neighboring cells "glued" together are disrupted, metastasizing tumor cells can escape and spread to other parts of the body.

DeMali, a member of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, studies vinculin, a protein that is involved in cell-to-cell adhesion. A better understanding of how cells stick to one another could uncover new approaches to fight cancers where cell-to-cell bonds are abnormal.


Lentz re-appointed to Henry Hamilton Chair in Hematology

Steven Lentz, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, has been re-appointed to the Henry Hamilton Chair in Hematology. The new five-year term was effective July 1.

The endowed chair honors Henry Hamilton, M.D., a professor of internal medicine whose UI connection spanned nearly 50 years as both a student and faculty member. Hamilton died in 1986. The chair was established through the UI Foundation by a bequest from the estate of John and Oral Sebelin of Davenport. John Sebelin credited Henry Hamilton with saving his life. Oral Sebelin was a UI alumna.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information on the UI Foundation visit


University of Iowa November cancer tip: Does eating sugar cause cancer?

A cancer myth is that eating sugar causes cancer cells to grow or grow faster. However, research has not shown this to be true.

The myth may have started because of a test that uses glucose (a form of sugar) to find cancer and determine its spread. During a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, a patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive-tagged glucose. The body's cells need glucose as energy and to grow. Tumor cells are typically more active than other cells and absorb more radioactive glucose. Thus, doctors use a PET scan to see a tumor or other cancer cells.

For more information about cancer, contact Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Information Service at the University of Iowa at 800-237-1225.


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