UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB NRI Scientists Receive National Health Grant

August 31, 1999

UCSB researchers conducting cancer and other biomedical research have received a $347,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a new transmission electron microscope.

The scientists are part of the university's Neuroscience Research Institute, where researchers from different scientific disciplines come together to delve into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the nervous system. A team led by Mary Ann Jordan, adjunct professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, will use the transmission electron microscope in its study of several new cancer drugs used in chemotherapy. Unlike the conventional light microscope, the electron microscope uses a beam of electrons to illuminate a sample. Because the wavelength of electrons is so much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, much smaller objects can be seen with a transmission electron microscope.

Currently, the team is examining the cancer chemotherapeutic agent taxol and how it works. They also are studying several important new and promising anti-cancer drugs including cryptophycin 52, curacin A, and cemadotin.Jordan and her colleagues will share the microscope with several teams of biomedical researchers studying Alzheimer's disease and diseases of the retina.

The National Institutes of Health is one of the world's foremost biomedical research centers and the federal focal point for biomedical research in the United States.

Its mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. It conducts research in its own laboratories; supports the research of non-federal scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals and research institutions in the country and abroad; helps train research investigators and fosters communication of biomedical information.

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