These are unprecedented times. Many of our laboratories were shuttered, but they are gradually re-opening with the return of students. Experienced students are continuing their lab work with proper precautions. Importantly, we continue to fight cancer by funding student and faculty research awards, thanks to our supporters.
With football in the near future, we are looking forward to the 7th annual K-State Fighting for a Cure Day Oct. 24. Please get your shirt—sweatshirts are a new option this year! Then, unite in wearing it that day in honor of the K-State family’s cancer survivors and researchers!
Dr. Sherry D. Fleming
Director, Johnson Cancer Research Center
The K-State Family is fighting, ever fighting, for a cure! Get your shirt and wear it to the football game or anywhere Sat., Oct. 24, for K-State’s 7th Annual Fighting for a Cure Day, in honor of the K-State Family’s cancer survivors and researchers! This fall, in addition to short- and long-sleeve t-shirts, we’ve added sweatshirts! All proceeds support K-State cancer research and education.
Jeff Comer, anatomy & physiology, received a $450,500 NSF CAREER award. His innovative computer simulation work complements several cancer research projects by directing chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells.
Katie Heinrich, kinesiology, was named president-elect for the American Academy of Health Behavior. She will serve as its twenty-first president, and is the first K-State faculty member to serve in that role. read more
She was also named a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. read more
Dr. Heinrich studies the impact of exercise on health, fitness and quality of life in the prevention and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Ho-Leung Ng, biochemistry & molecular biophysics, leads a research consortium that uses artificial intelligence to find promising drugs for COVID-19 treatment. He studies protein interactions critical in cancer, and now in COVID-19.
Carl Ade, kinesiology, was awarded the K-State College of Health & Human Sciences’ Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant for promising, early-stage research. He studies how chemotherapy causes cardiovascular toxicity. read more
JCRC provided nearly $600,000 for research and education in FY 2020
Cancer research and education programs at Kansas State University received a big boost from donations made to the university’s Johnson Cancer Research Center in fiscal year 2020.
Private donations to the cancer research center provide hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to support innovative cancer research, laboratory equipment purchases, mentoring of student researchers and more.
The Johnson Cancer Research Center offers competitive funding to its faculty members and their students every semester. This semester, we’ll offer faculty Innovative Research Awards, Travel Fellowships and Cancer Research Collaboration of Excellence Awards. For students, we’ll offer undergraduate Cancer Research Awards and Graduate Student & Post-Doc Travel Awards. Applications are due Oct. 1.
The Johnson Cancer Research Center says thank-you and farewell to our associate director, Dr. Annelise Nguyen, as she embarks on her new adventure at Texas Tech University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Nguyen joined the JCRC staff in January 2020. She was an associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and had been a member of the JCRC faculty since 2005.
Dr. Nguyen brought to the JCRC her expertise in breast cancer drug design and toxicology, and experience in business and marketing. In her few months on staff, she was a devoted asset as the center entered a new phase of leadership.
Her positive attitude, enthusiasm and cheerful personality will be missed. We wish her all the best in Texas.
A new brochure from K-State Research & Extension and the Johnson Cancer Research Center discusses breast cancer and the actions women can take to reduce their risk of developing or dying from it. Learn more and download.
The 2nd annual You’ll Never Run Alone 5K was held Aug. 9 in memory of local youth soccer coach Frank Alonso, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2018. Thanks to the hard work (extra hard this year due to COVID-19) of Frank’s wife Jennifer Alonso and daughters Isabella and Sophia, and the support of hundreds of participants, sponsors and volunteers, this event raised more than $9,000 for K-State cancer research.
Many thanks to major sponsors Kansas Farm Bureau, Kstate Credit Union, and Steel and Pipe Supply, and all the other sponsors and supporters!
The Bill Snyder Highway Half-Marathon & 5K was held Labor Day, Sept. 7 (rescheduled from May 23). This annual event, presented by Manhattan Running Company, supports four local charities a year, designated by former K-State Head Football Coach Bill Snyder. We’re very grateful to have been selected again this year. We don’t have results yet, but last year, it raised $3,000 for our center!
Thanks to friends who had to cancel annual events due to COVID-19
The Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight, scheduled for May 2, was canceled. It is presented annually by K-State Research & Extension’s Walk Kansas program. An informal virtual alternative got a little participation with a lot of enthusiasm, and a few registrants donated their fees despite the cancellation (and received a shirt). We’re grateful for all the support!
See how K-State is fighting cancer in the Johnson Cancer Research Center’s 2020 Conquest magazine. Brief, easy-to-read stories showcase some of the excellent cancer research happening at K-State, and some of the friends who help make it possible.
Also, Dr. Wallace and team’s study, “Beta-HPV 8E6 Attenuates LATS Phosphorylation After Failed Cytokinesis,” was published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Journal of Virology. view publication
Jianzhong Yu, anatomy & physiology, received a $1,580,922 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to uncover how an evolutionary pathway may affect tumor development and cancer. His research could lead to better therapies for treating cancer. read story
Punit Prakash, electrical & computer engineering, and team received a $1.3 million NIH grant to expand on preliminary hypertension studies that indicate mild heating of benign adrenal gland tumors can disrupt the tumors’ unregulated production of the hormone aldosterone, which may cause some hypertension cases. (Prakash also studies the use of energy-based devices and strategies for thermal therapy of cancer.) read more
Dong Lin, industrial & manufacturing systems engineering, received an NSF CAREER Award to investigate a novel manufacturing technique to engineer nacre- (mother of pearl) or bio-inspired, 3D metal-graphene composites. read more
Zhoumeng Lin and postdoctoral researcher Yi-Hsien Cheng, anatomy and physiology, report progress and limitations of nanoparticle-based drug formulations for cancer treatment in their study, “Meta-analysis of nanoparticle delivery to tumors using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation approach,” published in the journal, ACS Nano. read more
Sagar Rayamajhi, a graduate student in chemistry who works with Dr. Santosh Aryal, was lead author on a study published in two Royal Society of Chemistry journals, Biomaterial Science and the Journal of Material Chemistry B. Their team has developed a cell-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent that can efficiently light up a tumor area, providing crucial diagnostic information for cancer therapy, more safely than the current agent based on gadolinium metal. read more
Alexa Wilden, senior in biology who works with Dr. Stella Lee and is a three-time Cancer Research Award recipient, was awarded the H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence, which recognizes an outstanding senior with the highest student honor in the Division of Biology. read more
Cancer researchers among Division of Biology’s Most Promising Students
Four Cancer Research Award recipients are among the 15 sophomores and juniors honored by the Division of Biology with Most Promising Student Awards. They are: Emma Francis, junior in biology who works with Dr. Rollie Clem; Abdulrahman Naeem (not pictured), junior in biology, minoring in political science, who works with Dr. Ruth Welti; Elizabeth Riforgiate, sophomore in biology who works with Dr. Nick Wallace; and Lake Winter, sophomore in biology, minoring in anthropology, who works with Dr. Zhilong Yang. read announcement
Cancer research students recognized at K-INBRE symposium
Of the four K-State students honored for their research presentations at the 18th annual K-INBRE Symposium (Kansas IDeA—Institutional Development Awards—Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) in January, two were former Cancer Research Award recipients:
Mayme Loyd, senior in medical biochemistry and pre-medicine who works with Dr. Masaaki Tamura, for her poster presentation “Cell wall membrane fraction of Chlorella sorokiniana enhances host anti-tumor immunity and inhibits colon carcinoma growth in mice.”
Isabel Lewis, senior in biochemistry and pre-medicine who works with Dr. Gregory Finnigan, for her oral presentation “CRISPR Cas12a endonuclease in a gene drive: Cuts only as good as the guide.”
Dryden Baumfalk was recognized at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka Feb. 26. Baumfalk works with Dr. Brad Behnke in kinesiology studying the effect of moderate-intensity exercise on skeletal and cardiac muscle mass in prostate cancer patients. read more
Konner Winkley, doctoral candidate in biology who works with Dr. Michael Veeman and received a JCRC 2020 Summer Stipend, was awarded the $17,000 Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship in Molecular Biology. read more
Anil Pant, doctoral candidate in biology who works with Dr. Zhilong Yang and has received multiple JCRC awards, was awarded a $1,000 Sarachek Scientific Travel Award. read more
JCRC AWARDS $247,832 TO FACULTY AND STUDENTS THIS SPRING
Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to invest $247,832 in K-State cancer research and education this spring! We awarded graduate and post-doctoral students $132,132 in summer stipends. We awarded faculty $67,700 in Innovative Research Awards and $8,000 for laboratory equipment, plus a commitment of $40,000 to support a flow cytometry core facility pending an external grant. The awardees are listed on our Faculty and Student Awardee webpages.
Every fall, up to 50 undergraduate students are selected to receive Cancer Research Awards. The annual award banquet recognizes the students, their faculty mentors and the donors who made the awards possible.
Last fall, 42 students were selected. The 2020 virtual award banquet presents all the awardees, their awards and the donors, as well as a video presentation from our guest speaker Gabrielle Phillips, a senior in chemical engineering who works with Dr. Ruth Welti in biology.