Steven D. Aust, director of the Biotechnology Center at Utah State University, has received almost $304,000 from the National Institutes of Health for a study of the role of iron in poisoning and disease.

The grant began May 1 and is for three years. It will support research on the metabolism of iron and how the process might be affected by toxic chemicals, Aust said."There is good evidence that iron is involved in the toxicity caused by a number of toxins such as the herbicide paraquat or the anti-tumor drug adriamycin," he said. "Also, there is mounting evidence that excess iron, or perhaps iron not metabolized in the appropriate matter, may be involved in the development of cancer."