Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter

Category: 2018 Spring

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!