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Release: Jan. 4, 2002

Photo: David Soll

UI establishes new student fellowships in biology

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa biologist David R. Soll has announced the establishment of two new one-year fellowships of $25,000 each for department of biological sciences graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Soll, who directs the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank (DSHB), operated under the auspices of the Institute of Child Health & Human Development in the National Institutes of Health, says that the DSHB fellowships will provide tuition and a full stipend for two students while helping the bank to accomplish its work.

"Each Fellow will be obligated to produce a minimum of one monoclonal antibody, which will then be distributed by the DSHB. The students will be considered DSHB employees as they develop antibodies that are not only useful for ongoing research in the laboratory of the students' advisors and an integral part of the students' work, but also of interest to a significant number of biologists," Soll says. He adds that the fellowships are a way the DSHB can pay back the department of biological sciences and College of Liberal Arts for the support they have provided over the years.

Since 1986 the bank has served as a shopping center for researchers around the world, allowing the UI to market antibodies at about one-tenth their commercial cost to scientists and play an important role in the international development of biological research. Hybridomas, the stock and trade of the bank, are cells that produce antibodies that bind to specific molecules, making them useful to scientists for a variety of studies. Today the DSHB is the largest facility of its kind in the world for supplying researchers with monoclonal antibodies necessary for the study of embryos, cancer, neurobiology, white blood cells and many human diseases.

"Internationally, the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank is one of the best-known University of Iowa facilities, in terms of the more than 10,000 scientists worldwide who use it," Soll says. "This is truly a non-profit, benevolent bank."

The deadline for fellowship candidates to submit a one-page proposal and one-page curriculum vitae is Feb. 1. An advisory committee composed of Jack Lilien, department of biological sciences professor and chair, and professors Gary Gussin and John Menninger will review all applications. Continuation of the fellowships in subsequent years will be based upon available funding. Additional information can be obtained by contacting David Soll at david-soll@uiowa.edu or at 319-335-1117.