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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 18, 2011

At A Glance

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center announces research seed grants

The research review committee of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has announced the recipients of the second round of the 2010 American Cancer Society seed grant awards.

The awards allow junior faculty members and independent research scientists to explore new ideas related to the cause, prevention and treatment of cancer.

The following researchers, three from the UI Carver College of Medicine and one from the UI College of Engineering, will each receive a one-year, $30,000 grant.

M. Nedim Ince, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, will investigate whether non-invasive intestinal worms (helminthes), which help regulate the human immune system, might be used to manage graft versus host disease in patients who have received a bone marrow transplant.

Xiangbing Meng, Ph.D., research assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, will continue his efforts to improve the therapeutic efficacy of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel in drug resistant endometrial and ovarian cancer cells.

James Mezhir, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, is searching for new approaches to prevent pancreatic cancer cells from spreading to the liver.

Sarah Vigmostad, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering, will study how fluid forces involved in blood circulation affect cancer cell metastasis.

Learn more about the cancer center at


Rape Victim Advocacy Program builds awareness of stalking in community

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) encourages awareness about stalking during January, National Stalking Awareness Month as well as throughout the year. This year's theme is "Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It," which challenges the nation to fight this crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year by learning more about it.
Stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking includes assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices or hidden cameras to track the victim's daily activities.
RVAP Johnson County Coordinator Karen Siler said that stalkers use behaviors that singularly would be viewed as harmless and flattering such as giving gifts or sending flowers. She added it's important to support victims of stalking by believing them and not dismissing their perception of being stalked.

Stalking is a criminal offense under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government.

For more information, visit or contact RVAP at 319-335-6001 or


UI Explorers Lecture looks at complications of a geoengineering solution to climate change

What if efforts to negotiate meaningful limits on global greenhouse gas emissions fail and global climate change seems likely to run out of control? Some scientists and policymakers are beginning to talk seriously about geoengineering options. But geoengineering – the deliberate modification of earth systems to affect weather and climate – carries hazards of its own. 

University of Iowa Professor of Law John Carlson will discuss the challenges to international law posed by geoengineering in a UI Explorers Lecture sponsored by the UI Museum of Natural History. The free public lecture will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Biosphere Discovery Hub of MacBride Hall.

Carlson's research focuses on issues of international law and governance, especially with respect to global environmental problems, including climate change.  Since 2008, he has served as senior associate to UI President Sally Mason. He is currently chair of the UI Sustainability Steering Group and has previously served as president of the Faculty Senate and as a member of the advisory board of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

For more information about the Museum of Natural History, visit, call 319-335-0606, or email

CANCELLED: Joseph Skibell reads on 'Live from Prairie Lights' Jan. 31

Joseph Skibell will read from his new novel, "The Curable Romantic," at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, in Prairie Light Books, downtown Iowa City. The free event will be streamed live and then archived on the University of Iowa's Writing University website,

The novel, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, is an epic that follows a young doctor from his meeting with Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century, through his relationship with one of Freud's patients, his marriage to a proponent of Esperanto and the terrors of 1940 Warsaw.

Skibell is the author of two previous novels, "A Blessing on the Moon," which was a Book of the Month Club selection, and "The English Disease." He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, a Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Turner Prize for First Fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in modern literature.

Learn more at


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