Dr. Dave receives NIH grant

Heath Gordon

For the four years that Dave Hall has been teaching at Lawrence University, he and his students have been researching how a cold virus can exacerbate asthma. Soon Hall will have many more resources at hand as he has received a $206,000 grant from the National Institute of Heath to continue his research.
This money will be spent on salaries for students working over the summer, equipment, and various kits to aid the study. Student research will benefit from the grant, as many are already contributing to the findings of Hall’s studies.
One student has already completed an honors thesis on the subject, and there are two more that are pending this year. Sixteen undergraduates have been involved in the research up to this point.
With the grant, research will be done in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, the study is centering on making case studies of people with asthma who have been infected with an innocuous cold virus for two months.
At Lawrence, the studies focus on the effect that the cold virus has on the white blood cells of people with asthma.
The collaboration between the schools is considered important because of the varying means by which the two centers will acquire data and the differences in the participants that they will use. At Madison, the subjects are mostly people between the ages of 30-50, while at Lawrence the subjects will be students.
Hall stressed that, “This virus won’t hurt anyone; we’ve been using it in the state of Wisconsin for over 35 years, so no one’s going to get infected.”
The NIH grant is one of the many that the science departments at Lawrence have been receiving. Biology professor Beth DeStasio has received money to study worm biology, and the geology department has received money to upgrade its equipment. Several professors have also received a grant for studies in nanotechnology.
The grants that departments are receiving have raised the profile of the sciences at Lawrence, reinforcing the view that a small university can indeed be cutting edge.