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Upton announces federal grant for Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding a federal grant to Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. The $377,500 grant will be used to further allergy, immunology, and transplantation research at the school. The title of the grant is “Sex Determines Age-related Changes in Repertoire and Function of Natural Antibodies Protective against Streptococcus pneumoniae with Increasing Age.”

“This is yet another feather in the cap of Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and once again recognizes the extraordinary work their staff and students continue to do,” Upton said. “This federal funding will help advance the knowledge we have in this important area of research. Its implications reach beyond our local community and could have a worldwide impact.”

“Dr. Nichol Holodick’s research is focused on an important, but understudied, type of immune cell called a B1 cell. These cells are found throughout the body and are one of the first lines of defense to infection.  These cells produce natural antibodies that can fight off infectious agents like the bacteria that causes pneumonia, one of the most lethal infectious diseases known.  I anticipate that Dr. Holodick’s research will have a significant impact on the health of the people of Michigan, especially the elderly,” said Dr. Greg Vanden Heuvel, Associate Dean for Research at WMU’s Medical School. “We are delighted with the success of Dr. Holodick.  She is a leader in the field of Immunology and a member of the Center for Immunobiology, one of the foremost centers for the study of B1 cells in the country.”  

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