First LPI Pilot Project Funded

As announced in the previous Newsletter; LPI has implemented a program to fund innovative pilot projects related to the Institute's mission. After an external peer review of several applications in July, OSU Professor Philip Whanger's project to evaluate the anticancer effect of selenium-enriched ramps (also known as wild leeks) was selected for funding for one year.

This study represents a collaboration between Dr. Whanger and colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the State University of New York at Albany, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Selenium-enriched ramps or regular ramps will be given to rats, which will be treated with a carcinogen to induce tumors whose incidence will be measured. Other experiments will determine whether excessive amounts of selenium accumulate in tissues and will characterize the selenium compounds present in the enriched ramps. The results will contribute to our understanding of the anticancer role of selenium and its metabolism (see Phil Whanger's article in this issue).

Ramps, or wild leeks

New Allergy Project

Dr. Anthony Vella, an OSU/LPI affiliate investigator and an assistant professor in OSU's department of microbiology, has initiated a project in allergy and autoimmunity, thanks to support from LPI. The project is designed to elucidate some aspects of the molecular mechanism of the immune response to environmental allergens.

His research will focus on a particularly pivotal molecule, interleukin-4 (IL-4), involved in the immune response and how it may be influenced by micronutrients and other natural substances. Another objective of this project is to illuminate the role of IL-4 in chronic autoimmune disorders, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Last updated November, 1997

Tony Vella, Ph.D.

Honoring a Scientific Giant with Research Toward Longer, Better Lives

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