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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 28, 2004

UI Physician Receives Maternal-Fetal Medicine Award

A University of Iowa staff physician in obstetrics and gynecology has been selected to receive a three-year, $300,000 research scholarship award from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation.

Janet Andrews, M.D., who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine with the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics, will use the funds to study how cytomegalovirus (CMV) affects mechanisms within the placenta, which is the interface between the mother and fetus.

Andrews will receive the award in February 2005 at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Reno, Nev. The funding will begin July 1, 2005.

CMV is the virus most frequently transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy and affects approximately one percent of all births. The virus is the one of the leading causes of sensorineural hearing loss in the United States.

CMV-associated disease rarely occurs in healthy individuals but typically is found in people whose immune system is compromised. Those at highest risk for CMV-associated disease include transplant patients on immunosuppressive medications, individuals with AIDS and fetuses of pregnant women who become infected with CMV for the first time during pregnancy.

"We currently have a limited understanding of how CMV is transmitted across the placenta to the fetus," Andrews said.

Andrews is an investigator in the laboratory of her mentor, Jeffrey Meier, M.D., UI associate professor of internal medicine. Meier is also a staff physician and researcher with the Department of Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 5224-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660 becky-soglin@uiowa.edu

PHOTO: Electronic copy of image of Dr. J. Andrews available on request by contacting becky-soglin@uiowa.edu.