Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter



cervical cancer cells imaged with fluorescence microscopy
This image of cervical cancer cells was captured with fluorescence microscopy.

Nick Wallace, biology, received a $454,466 National Cancer Institute grant to study Cisplatin-resistant cervical cancers. read news release

Also, Dr. Wallace and Dr. Nick Wallaceteam’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



Hippo Signaling Pathway diagram

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



Dr. Punit PrakashPunit 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


Dr. Dong Lin

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



cell-based MRI contrast agent imageSagar 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 WildenAlexa 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

Emma Francis
Emma Francis
Elizabeth Riforgiate
Elizabeth Riforgiate
Lake Winter
Lake Winter









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.”



Read about the K-State students recognized at the K-INBRE Symposium.


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



Photo of Konner WinkleyKonner 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



Photo of Anil PantAnil 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





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.