Cancer Biology at Iowa

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Cancer Biology at Iowa

The Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program (FRRBP) has been the longtime center for graduate studies in cancer biology at The University of Iowa. Each primary faculty member of FRRB has cancer biology as a major component of their research program. FRRBP offers the major didactic course in cancer biology (077:288 Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer) taken by graduate students and residents. In addition the program sponsors the only weekly journal club on campus devoted to cancer biology (077:547 Topics in Radiation and Cancer Biology).
The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Iowa has been honored by the National Cancer Institute by being designated a Comprehensive cancer center. The Cancer Center was founded in 1980 and serves to enhance cancer-related research, education, and cancer care. The Cancer Center provides a focal point for cancer research and education by bringing together faculty from 26 departments in six colleges and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The FRRBP Program is a key element of the Cancer Center because of both its educational mission and its research programs.

  • Larry W. Oberley, PhD, studies the role of free radicals and antioxidant enzymes in the basic biology of cancer. This work has lead to his being honored by the prestigious journal, Cancer Research, for his contributions (Cover Picture;Cover Legend). His classic paper on the role of manganese superoxide dismutase in cancer has been honored by the Institute for Scientific Information as a Citation Classic. His research program continues on this theme and is funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Frederick Domann, PhD, has two complementary areas of research: 1) the redox regulation of gene expression in cancer biology, e.g. AP-1 and AP-2; and 2) the connection between cellular redox status, epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and DNA methylation.
  • Prabhat C. Goswami, PhD, has the redox regulation of the cell cycle as the focus of his research. Two major question are: 1) do cancer cells have a loss of redox control of specific phases of the cell cycle? And 2) is the cell cycle inappropriately being controlled by the aberrant redox environment of cancer cells?
  • Douglas R. Spitz, PhD, studies the fundamental differences between normal and tumor cell oxidative metabolism and adaptation to oxidative stress. The goal is to take advantage of these differences to develop new or improved cancer therapies by enhancing tumor responses while protecting normal tissues from injury.
  • Garry R. Buettner, PhD, research ranges from the fundamental chemistry and biochemistry of free radicals and antioxidants to the role of theses species in problems related to human health, e.g. cancer, heart disease, and aging. Dr. Buettner's research program in cancer has focused on the role of free radicals and antioxidants in the fundamental biology of cancer as well as cancer treatment.