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Release: Aug. 7, 2002

UI researcher receives grants for study of health during pregnancy

Anuja Dokras, M.D., assistant professor in University of Iowa Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, recently received two grants totaling $540,000 to continue her work on the role and regulation of tumor suppressor genes in the human placenta.

Dokras received a $300,000 award from the National Institutes of Health and $240,000 from the Reproductive Scientist Development Program. The program is supported by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Eli Lilly and Company.

In previous research, Dokras described the differential expression of a novel tumor suppressor gene called maspin in the human placenta. The new funds will help support her current investigation of the potential role of maspin in pathological conditions such a preeclampsia, a disorder that can occur in the latter half of pregnancy. The symptoms of preeclampsia include a significant increase in blood pressure, swelling and increased protein in the urine. In severe cases, treatment may involve the induction of labor and the premature delivery of a woman's baby.

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