UAA biology professor receives $2.8 million NIH grant

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

UAA biology professor receives $2.8 million NIH grant

Dr. Frank von Hippel, biology professor at UAA, won a $2.8 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the effects of perchlorate on humans by analyzing three-spined stickleback fish. It is an award with four co-PIs, including UAA biology professor Loren Buck, and Bill Cresko and John Postlethwait at the University of Oregon.

Perchlorate is a persistent, water-soluble contaminant that is pervasive in the United States and poses a major risk to human health through ingestion of contaminated water, food and milk. Perchlorate not only inhibits thyroid activity, but also alters sexual development in stickleback fish, a commonly used model organism in genetic studies. The recent dramatic increase and geographic differences in frequency of human reproductive disorders are likely due to changes in the environment, including perchlorate exposure. Proposed experiments will identify genes and gene functions that, under the insult of perchlorate contamination, disrupt normal development of male and female gonads. Experiments will also determine the hormonal mechanisms that translate genetic changes into developmental disorders of the gonads. This research will advance our understanding of human thyroid diseases and the recent epidemic of impaired human reproductive health.

Watch an audio slideshow of Dr. Hippel talking about his research on perchlorate

Meet the professor on

Meet the professor on FACEBOOK

Megan Holland wrote an article on von Hippel for the Anchorage Daily News which can be read here.

Creative Commons License "UAA biology professor receives $2.8 million NIH grant" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.