National Science Foundation Awards Williams College $240,000 For Biochemical Research

September 24, 1997

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.-- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of $240,000 to Deborah L. Weiss, assistant professor of chemistry at Williams College, in support of research in the field of biochemistry.

Weiss' research explores the question of how cells are able to precisely control the levels of gene expression required for cell differentiation, proliferation, and ultimately the fate of the cells.

Her work focuses on the biochemical mechanisms that control the inducible expression of the Interleukin-4 (Il-4) gene. Il-4 is a small protein produced by the body that has extremely diverse effects on different target cells. It is involved in blood cell growth and differentiation, tumor surveillance, and local protective inflammatory responses. When the controlled production of Il-4 goes array, the effects upon the body are extremely detrimental.

An understanding of the regulation of the Il-4 gene could lead to the development of therapeutic strategies to combat these effects by interfering with or augmenting its production.

Weiss's work has been published in the Journal of Immunology and Molecular Cell Biology. She was awarded in 1990 a National Research Service Award and in 1993 a Medical Research Foundation of Oregon Grant, both in support of research in delineating the regulatory mechanisms of Il-4 production.

Before joining the Williams faculty in 1996, she taught at Lewis and Clark College. She also was at Oregon Health Sciences University, where she completed post-doctoral work and was an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology/ oncology.

She received her B.S. in chemistry in 1979 and her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1986 from Purdue University.

END





Williams College is consistently ranked one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges. Founded in 1793, it is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college of 2,000 students is located in Williamstown, which has been called the best college town in America. You can visit the college in cyberspace at http://www.williams.edu

Jo Procter, News Director
Williams College
Box 676
Williamstown, Mass. 01267
Direct phone: 413-597-4279
FAX: 413-597-4158
e-mail: Jo.Procter@williams.edu



Williams College

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