CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-5661; fax (319) 335-9917
Release: June 29, 1999
University of Iowa researcher wins National Institutes of Health grant
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sarah England, Ph.D., University of Iowa assistant
professor of physiology and biophysics, has received a five-year, $813,898
grant from the National Institutes of Health to study potassium channels during
Through her investigation, England hopes to identify mechanisms to treat
pre-term labor, a reproductive disease that affects many women.
Potassium channels are potential therapeutic targets for pre-term labor
because the channels can alter the ability of the uterus to become excited
and contract. England's investigation will focus on determining whether altering
the potassium channel expression and the channel's association with one of
its components can alter uterine excitability during pregnancy.
"The lack of understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating uterine
smooth muscle contraction has hampered progress toward an effective treatment
for pre-term labor," England said.