Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter

Author: marcia

Annual magazine showcases K-State cancer research

Conquest 2018 magazine coverMany of you have received our 2018 Conquest magazine by now. Its layperson-friendly stories showcase Dr. Rob DeLong’s work to perfect the use of nanoparticles to destroy cancer cells and activate the host defense system, Dr. Santosh Aryal’s efforts to make anti-cancer drugs last longer so the host has more time to fight back, and Dr. Zhilong Yang‘s use of an anti-smallpox virus to fight cancer.

We learn about the Mary L. Vanier Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lab, and show off a couple of exceptional undergraduate student researchers: Vaithish Velazhahan, senior in microbiology, medical biochemistry and pre-medicine, and Kathlyn Gomendoza, senior in biology.

We talk to one of Manhattan’s most revered citizens and the first dean of the business college, Dr. C. Clyde Jones, about his desire to serve others and honor the memory of his late wife Midge. We also discuss our 8th Annual Pink Power Luncheon for breast cancer awareness, which featured one of Kansas’s biggest advocates of cancer research, Peggy Johnson.

Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight and other upcoming events

Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight 2018 logoCelebrate your fitness efforts and K-State cancer research May 5 at the 3rd Annual Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight, 1.5-Mile Fun Walk and 50-yard Kids’ Fun Run! Walk Kansas, the acclaimed statewide fitness initiative organized by K-State Research & Extension, is sponsoring this event on the beautiful K-State Manhattan campus and donating all proceeds to our center! This is open to everyone, not just Walk Kansas program participants.

This year’s event will be fiesta-themed in celebration of Cinco de Mayo!

We are so excited for this perfect partnership! Exercise, nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight all reduce cancer risk, and Walk Kansas has helped thousands of people reach fitness goals over the years. Come run or walk to support your health AND K-State cancer research!

Learn more and link to online registration.


Other Upcoming Events

21st Annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament – Fri., Oct. 12, 2018

5th Annual Fighting for a Cure Day – Sat. Oct. 13, 2018

Spotlight on Researchers

Congratulations to our spring award recipients, whose names will be announced soon on our Faculty Awardees and Student Awardees webpages.

Congratulations also to the below faculty and student cancer researchers on these recent achievements!


Dr. Punit Prakash


Punit Prakash, electrical & computer engineering, and team received a $1,321,648 National Cancer Institute grant for lung tumor treatment using bronchoscopic microwave ablation system. read more




Dr. Richard Rosenkranz


Ric Rosenkranz, food, nutrition, dietetics and health, was recently elected to a three-year term on the executive board of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. read more



Dr. Jun Li


Jun Li, chemistry, has received the Segebrecht Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for 2018. read more





Dr. David Poole


David Poole, kinesiology and anatomy & physiology, was named a University Distinguished Professor, K-State’s highest faculty honor, bestowed on only 2-3 professors per year. read more




Dr. Zhilong Yang


Zhilong Yang, biology, and team have discovered that the compound resveratrol, found in red wine and other foods, could help treat viruses. read more





Vaithish Velazhahan


Vaithish Velazhahan, senior in microbiology, medical biochemistry and pre-medicine working with Dr. Kathrin Schrickis receiving the 2018 Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study for his PhD at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom this fall. read more



Jazmine Snow


Jazmine Snow, senior in microbiology working with Dr. Nick Wallace, was one of five K-State undergraduate students to present her work at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol Feb. 14.





Adam SchiefereckeMuriel EatonTwo former undergraduate cancer researchers—Adam Schieferecke (K-State master’s student) and Muriel Eaton (K-State alumna pursuing a master’s degree at Purdue)—received prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. read more

Recent FUNdraiser events


Pink & Purple Polyester Party 2018
Pink & Purple Polyester Party photo by J&C Imaging

The groovy party-goers, sponsors and planners of the 7th annual Pink & Purple Polyester Party, which was presented by CivicPlus April 6, raised around $12,000! Attendees dressed up and boogied down! The party featured live disco music, a retro costume contest and the Off the Hook bra art contest! View photos and mark your calendars for April 5, 2019.



Pink Up the Pace starting line
Pink Up the Pace 5K photo by J&C Imaging

We are so grateful to Downtown Manhattan, Inc., and their partners for devoting the month of March to K-State cancer research!

The 2nd Annual Pink Up the Pace 5K was held by Downtown Manhattan, Inc., March 31. With the support of major sponsor AJ’s NY Pizzeria and other sponsors and participants, $1,700 was raised for K-State cancer research! View photos

Bra Crawl 2018The Off the Hook Bra Crawl was held by Gaia SalonSpa and partners March 20 in conjunction with the Pink & Purple Polyester Party’s Off the Hook bra art contest. The event raised $720 and lots of awareness for K-State cancer research! They offered fun activities, food and drink specials and advance glimpses of the Off the Hook bras.

The Hope for a Cure Paint & Sip event held by Uncorked Inspiration March 25 raised $200! View photos

We are so thankful to all the businesses and individuals who supported all these events!

Paint & Sip event in Downtown Manhattan Kansas

Recent outreach events


Dr. Kevin Ault presenting for Bascom Lecture seriesOur 16th George S. Bascom Memorial Lecture on Current Issues in Clinical Medicine, held March 12, featured Kevin Ault, MD, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine expert and obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He gave the presentation, “The HPV Vaccine: A Missed Opportunity for Cancer Prevention.” A video is archived on our Facebook page.

For the past two decades Dr. Ault has been involved in the development of a vaccine against HPV. He has published extensively in medical journals on the topics of infectious diseases, women’s health and the development of the second generation HPV vaccine.

Most adults have some type of HPV. The vaccine prevents many of the strains that cause cervical, throat and other cancers, in both men and women.

This Bascom Lecture was co-sponsored by Lafene Health Center.



Open House 2018 GuestsOpen House Volunteers Kelsey & JohnathanDespite unseasonably cold weather, we had a good number of visitors during K-State’s annual Open House event Sat., April 7. We told guests about K-State cancer research and how our center supports it, and then our volunteers escorted them to Dr. Nick Wallace’s laboratory in biology.

Our thanks to Dr. Wallace and his team for partnering with us again this year, and to our helpful volunteers Kelsey Ferguson (left) and Johnathan Dallman (right) and Connor Horn, all undergraduate cancer researchers! Thanks also to all the visitors who took an interest in our center!



CETCOR webpage banner imageThe College of Veterinary Medicine, with support from the Johnson Cancer Research Center, has established the Center of Excellence for Translational and Comparative Oncology Research to focus on improving the diagnosis, management and treatment of both human and animal cancers. This brings us one step closer to our Bold New Vision to achieve NCI designation.

“The overriding objective of CETCOR is to expedite the pre-clinical and clinical development, production and/or licensure of novel or improved medical interventions — drugs, immunotherapeutics and medical devices — for the treatment, diagnosis and monitoring of both human and animal cancers,” said Principal Investigator Dr. Raelene Wouda, clinical sciences.

Read full story from College of Veterinary Medicine


Bascom Lecture to feature HPV Vaccine Expert

Kevin Ault, Obstetrician-Gynecologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center, will present “The HPV Vaccine: A Missed Opportunity for Cancer Prevention” at 7 p.m. Mon., March 12, at the K-State Student Union Cottonwood Room, for our George S. Bascom Memorial Lecture Series on Current Issues in Clinical Medicine. The public is invited to this free event, which is co-sponsored by Lafene Health Center.


Pink & Purple Polyester Party logoThe Pink & Purple Polyester Party, presented by CivicPlus, will be at 7 p.m., Fri., April 6, at the K-State Alumni Center.

Shake your booty with Disco Dick & the Mirrorballs of Kansas City! Vote for your favorite “Off the Hook” bra art and enjoy party food, libations and a fun photo booth! Best retro costume wins $100!

In conjunction with the party will be the “Off the Hook” Bra Crawl March 20. Enjoy food and drink specials at downtown Manhattan restaurants while previewing the “Off the Hook” bras.

Info and photos are available on the party’s website and Facebook page.


Hope For a Cure Paint & Sip by Uncorked Inspiration & Iron Clad Working

Hope for a Cure Paint & Sip, presented by Uncorked Inspiration and Iron Clad Coworking, will be March 25. Have fun painting and drinking your favorite beverage as you create artwork in a comfortable environment.


Pink Up the Pace 5K imagePink Up the Pace, Downtown Manhattan‘s 2nd Annual 5K for K-State cancer research, will be at 8 a.m. Sat., March 31! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to our center. Run/Walk up Poyntz Ave. to Sunset Zoo and back to AJ’s for the Pink Party!



Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight Logo

The third annual Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight and 1.5-mile fun walk will be Sat., May 5. A kids’ fun run will also be offered. This event is open to everyone, not just Walk Kansas program participants. Make this 5K your goal as you work towards better health! Exercise reduces cancer risk! Learn more.


Ladies' & Men's Shirts

It’s back! Our original Fighting for a Cure shirt with pink Powercat is available again, while supply lasts! They are $20 and all proceeds benefit our center. Learn more.



All Upcoming Events

Bascom Lecture “The HPV Vaccine: A Missed Opportunity for Cancer Prevention” – presented by KU Medical Center’s Kevin Ault, MD, 7 p.m. Mon., March 12, K-State Student Union, Cottonwood Room

Translational and Comparative Oncology Research Symposium – March 17, K-State Student Union, sponsored by K-State CETCOR

Off the Hook Bra Crawl in conjunction with Pink & Purple Polyester Party – Tue., March 20, downtown Manhattan

Hope for a Cure Paint & Sip by Uncorked Inspiration – Sun., March 25, Iron Clad Coworking, Manhattan

Pink Up the Pace 5K by Downtown Manhattan, Inc. – Sat., March 31

Pink & Purple Polyester Party – Fri., April 6, at K-State Alumni Center

K-State Open House – Sat., April 7, 2018. Visit our center, 1 Chalmers Hall, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to learn about K-State cancer research and see a laboratory.

Cancer Research Awards Banquet – Fri., April 13

Advisory Council Spring Meeting – Sat., April 14, 2017

Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight – Sat., May 5, K-State Manhattan campus

K-State Fighting for a Cure (Shirt) Day – Sat., Oct. 13

Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament – Fri., Oct. 12, Colbert Hills


Dr. Raelene Wouda & dogRaelene Wouda, clinical sciences, served on a panel of experts who discussed attacking cancer with a One Health approach at the Kansas City One Health Day event Nov. 1 at K-State Olathe. K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and life science partners in Greater Kansas City invited the community to celebrate One Health and learn how the comprehensive approach is accelerating research in human, animal and environmental health. read more

Yulong Xiong, anatomy & physiology, is focusing on a transgenic solution for tackling Parkinson’s disease. Her findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. read more



Dr. Zhoumeng Lin

Zhoumeng Lin (pictured left), anatomy & physiology, Majid Jaberi-Douraki, mathematics, both with the Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine, recently published with international collaborators the paper “Bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) binds to the surface of gold nanoparticles, interferes with biocorona formation and induces human monocyte inflammatory activation,” in Nanotoxicology. read more


Dr. Anna Zinovyeva

Anna Zinovyeva, biology, received $1.8 million NIH grant for her microRNA research. read more





Dr. Robert DeLongRob DeLong, Nanotechnology Innovation Center in the anatomy and physiology department, was invited to deliver keynote speeches on cancer nanotechnology or nanobiotechnology at, and/or co-organize: the 2nd World Summit on Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Research, St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, UK; and Nanotechnology 2018, 6th World Congress and Expo on Nanotechnology and Materials Science, Valencia, Spain.



Marta Stetsiv photo from Shawnee DispatchMarta Stetsiv, a junior and Cancer Research Awardee working in Dr. Erika Geisbrecht’s lab in biochemistry, was featured in the Shawnee Dispatch.





Vaithish VelazhahanVaithish Velazhahan, senior and Cancer Research Awardee working with Dr. Kathrin Schrick in biology, has received a prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship to study towards a PhD in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University in England.






4th Annual K-State Fighting for a Cure Day Oct. 14K-State Marching Band formation spells Beat Cancer

Wildcats wore Fighting for a Cure shirts to the home football game and elsewhere in celebration of K-State Fighting for a Cure Day Oct. 14.Mary Joerg, 101-year-old K-State retiree

One-hundred-one-year-old K-State Research & Extension retiree Mary Joerg (pictured left) and many other friends showed their pride by wearing their shirts.

More than 700 shirts were purchased in 2017, raising around $9,200 for K-State cancer research, bringing total funds raised to more than $35,000!

Photos of our shirt campaign supporters are on Facebook, including K-State Football Coach Bill Snyder and Athletic Director Gene Taylor.

K-State Head Football Coach Bill Snyder holding Fighting for a Cure shirt

A highlight of Fighting for a Cure Day was the K-State Marching Band’s formation of “BEAT CANCER” during halftime! We also enjoyed our annual Tailgate Party in Cat Town.

We are grateful to N Zone, our media partners and many others who have supported this effort over the years!

The 2018 Fighting for a Cure Day will be Oct. 13. Get your shirt!


8th Annual Pink Power Luncheon Oct. 11

Peggy Johnson speaking at 2017 Pink Power LuncheonAlmost 200 people attended our Pink Power Luncheon Oct. 11! Our guest speaker was Peggy Johnson, CEO and COO of Wichita Medical Research and Education Foundation. She presented “Research and Breast Cancer Survivorship.” This special, free event is co-sponsored by Komen Kansas and offers lunch, breast cancer-related information, exhibits by local health-related resources and door prizes.


20th Annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament Oct. 12

Regier Family 2016The 20th Annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament was Oct. 20 at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan. It raised nearly $29,000 for K-State cancer research!

Hosted by the Regier Family of Overland Park, this annual tournament honors Rob Regier, a K-State grad in pre-dentistry who died of cancer at age 26. This year’s event also honored Beth Winans, a close friend of the family and K-State alumna who died of cancer in December 2016.

We are so grateful for the Regiers’ support! Thanks also to premier sponsor Grand Mère Development. Mark your calendars for Oct. 12, 2018


Thanks also to these supporters!

Manhattan Assoc of Realtors 2017 Gala
Manhattan Association of Realtors raised more than $5,000 for us at their annual gala!
K-State Credit Union staff with JCRC's Marcia Locke
K-State Credit Union raised $286 for us at the grand opening of their new building!
Downtown Dental & Tasty Traveler Food Truck
Downtown Dental and Tasty Traveler Food Truck raised $270 for us at their Lunch for a Cause.


K-State’s 2017-2018 Undergraduate Cancer Researchers

Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to invest $237,380 in K-State cancer research and education last fall! Our competitive awards foster excellence among K-State cancer research faculty and students, and help advance the most promising research projects. Awards are offered each semester. Spring award applications are due March 1.

Faculty Awards

We awarded $151,000 in Innovative Research Awards for eight research projects spanning six departments, and $2,500 to help pay travel expenses of two faculty affiliates visiting collaborators in Japan.

We also awarded $12,000 to two faculty affiliates planning Centers of Excellence in cancer research.

View full list of faculty awardees.

Student Awards

Thirty-three outstanding undergraduate students were selected for our Cancer Research Award program, which offers faculty-mentored laboratory research experiences and $1,000 awards to each student. Faculty mentors receive $1,000 per student to cover research expenses. We’ll recognize these students at our annual awards banquet April 13.

A Travel Award of $880 was provided to one graduate student to attend a meeting and present his research.

A Heart Research Award of $5,000 was provided to one graduate student.

View full list of student awardees.