Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter

K-State Fighting for a Cure Day Oct. 8

SnyderShirt2016Show your pride in K-State cancer research with one of our new Fighting for a Cure shirts!

Wear the shirt to the home football game or anywhere Oct. 8 for the 3rd Annual K-State Fighting for a Cure Day. Join First Lady of K-State Football Sharon Snyder and the Snyder family, Emmy Award-winning actor and K-State alum Eric Stonestreet, K-State Band Director Frank Tracz and many other Wildcats in celebrating K-State’s fight against cancer and honoring the K-State family’s cancer survivors and researchers.

Eric Stonestreet wearing Cure shirtGet the shirt!  This year’s shirt has a neutral, pink-free design. It’s available from our center for $20. All proceeds support K-State cancer research and education. And we ship! More details are on our Fighting for a Cure Shirt webpage.

Spread the word!  Post photos on social media of you and your friends wearing the shirt along with the hashtag #HelpKStateFightCancer! See past photos on our Facebook page: 2015, 2014 (you don’t need a Facebook account to view them).

Tailgate with us Oct. 8! Tailgate Party Graphic On K-State Fighting for a Cure Day, cheer on the ‘Cats with us at our Tailgate Party in Cat Town!

Thanks to everyone who has supported this shirt campaign the past few years! You raised $20,000 and immeasurable awareness for K-State cancer research and education!


All Upcoming Events: Regier Golf Tournament, Tailgate Party and more

The 19th annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament will be at 1 p.m., Oct. 7, at Colbert Hills. Check-in opens at 11 a.m. Rob was a K-State graduate in pre-dentistry who passed away from cancer at age 26. The tournament is hosted by his family.


2016 K-State Fighting for a Cure ShirtUnite in the fight by wearing your K-State ‘Fighting for a Cure’ Shirt Sat., Oct. 8, to the home football game or anywhere in celebration of K-State’s fight against cancer as well as Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Proceeds from shirt sales support cancer research and education at K-State.


Tailgate Party GraphicTailgate without the work! Celebrate K-State Fighting for a Cure Day and cheer on the ‘Cats with us Oct. 8 at our Tailgate Party in Cat Town.


Sunny 102.5 logosnydershirt2016forwebsiteThe Coach Bill Snyder & Sunny 102.5 Wildcat Challenge to Tackle Cancer takes place throughout the football season.



Pink Power Luncheon GraphicOur 7th annual Pink Power Luncheon will be Oct. 21. K-State toxicologist Dr. Annelise Nguyen will present “Understanding the Origin of and Therapies for Breast Cancer.” This event is full, but we’ve started a waiting list.


MikeHagenseeWe will sponsor a George S. Bascom Memorial Lecture on Current Issues in Clinical Medicine at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in the K-State Student Union Little Theatre. Michael E. Hagensee, Professor, Section of Infectious Disease, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, will present “HPV vaccination: from laboratory to…bedside?”


Other activities include our fall award application deadline of Oct. 3 and  Advisory Council meeting Oct. 1. Events are listed on our Upcoming Events webpage.

Research News & Achievements


Toxicologist’s work featured in Science as Art exhibition

Annelise Nguyen and her science art“Eye of the Storm,” an image captured by Annelise Nguyen, diagnostic medicine/pathobiology, was among nine artistic images selected by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) for its third annual Science to Art exhibition and fundraiser auction.

The exhibition provides a platform for scientists to display and describe their research through the visual arts. Funds raised by the auction benefit STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education in the community.

“Eye of the Storm” shows cell-to-cell communication proteins in human breast cancer tissue. read more

Biochemist studies fruit fly to understand Parkinson’s disease, muscle wasting

Erika GeisbrechtDr. Erika Geisbrecht, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, is studying the fruit fly, or Drosophila melanogaster, to understand a gene called clueless, or clu. Geisbrecht and her team have found a connection between clu and genes that cause Parkinson’s disease.

read more


Pond scum and the gene pool: One critical gene in green algae responsible for multicellular evolution, understanding of cancer origin

Cell ImageBrad Olson, biology, and an international team of researchers found a single gene is responsible for the evolution of multicellular organisms. The study is published in a recent issue of Nature Communications.

read more


Professors’ research shows moderate exercise may help cancer treatments

Dr. Brad BehnkeBrad Behnke and David Poole, exercise physiology, have shown that moderate exercise can increase effectiveness of cancer treatments. read Collegian story





Dr. Susan Sun


Susan Sun, grain science and industry, was named a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers. read more




Dr. Mark Haub

Mark Haub was named Department Head for food, nutrition, dietetics and health department.





Melissa RileyMelissa Riley, junior in animal sciences and industry working with Bruce Schultz in anatomy and physiology, was one of only four students in the nation selected as a 2016 Integrative Organismal Systems Physiology Fellow. read more



Muriel EatonMuriel Eaton, senior in biochemistry working with Jeroen Roelofs in biology, was awarded Duke Summer Undergraduate Research in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology fellowship.

Eaton is also featured in this inspirational KSU Foundation story about how philanthropy has made it possible for her to not only attend K-State but be involved in neurological protein research and other activities K-State has to offer.



Adam SchiefereckeAdam Schieferecke, senior in microbiology working with Stefan Rothenburg in biology, was a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic this past summer.

Inaugural Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight was a great success!

WK5K flag & bannerAbout 95 people from across Kansas gathered on the Pedestrian Mall outside our center in Chalmers Hall May 7 to participate in the inaugural Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight and 1.5-mile fun walk. The weather was perfect, the crowd was fun and the event raised $1,025 for K-State cancer research!

We are so grateful to K-State Research & Extension (KSRE), the coordinators of the acclaimed Walk Kansas health initiative, for supporting us! 5K Starting LineThe partnership is perfect since exercise, good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight all help reduce cancer risk. Many thanks to the “WK5K” planning committee, especially Sharolyn Jackson, Walk Kansas state coordinator; Katie Allen, KSRE communications specialist; and JCRC affiliated researcher Dr. Ric Rosenkranz, department of food, nutrition, dietetics & health.

Team Hartley ran in memory of their father/father-in-law/grandfather, J. Herbert Hartley, a K-State alum who passed away in June 2015 from stomach cancer.
Team Hartley ran in memory of their father/father-in-law/grandfather, J. Herbert Hartley, a K-State alum who died from stomach cancer in June 2015.

We also thank longtime JCRC supporter Sunny 102.5 FM for donating a live remote broadcast, p.a. services and bottled water. Sunny’s presence made it even more fun! Thanks also to Pat Melgares of Manhattan Cross Country Club and Let’s Go Run, for the excellent and discounted timing service and extra guidance! And we couldn’t have pulled it all off without our event-day volunteers, which included K-State students and KSRE professionals.

John Anderson & Ian Harmon
Sunny 102.5 FM show host John Anderson and K-State Cancer Fighters club president Ian Harmon

Next year’s WK5K is planned for the same weekend, Sat. May 6, 2017. We plan to add even more fun elements for all, so mark your calendar and start training!


More Successful Events!

Pink & Purple Polyester Party raised $8,300!

Polyester Party 2016You could feel the grooviness in the air at the Pink & Purple Polyester Party April 22. About 200 party-goers, decked out in pink, purple and retro attire, filled the Houston Street Ballroom in support of K-State cancer research! They boogied down to live music from Disco Dick & the Mirrorballs, cheered on costume contest participants, and stuffed cash into blinged-out bras created by local businesses and modeled by easy-going K-State students!Polyester Party Bra

The party raised $8,300! We extend big thanks to the wonderful planning committee, major sponsor CivicPlus and all the other sponsors, as well as the party-goers and other supporters. It was a truly unique and fun party! You can view photos on our Facebook.

Next year’s party will be Fri., April 7, 2017!

Thanks, “P4” Committee!
Dr. Thad & Shannon Schneider, Flint Hills Pain Management

John & Cindy La Barge, J & C Imaging
Bobbi French, G. Thomas Jewelers
Patrick Lee, N Zone
Missy & Mick Tener
Dave Lewis, Dave Lewis Entertainment
Brooke Minihan


Kaw Valley Rodeo Association’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign raised $5,000

Dr. Gene Klingler, Bud Cox & Dr. Rob Denell

The 10th annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo and inaugural BBQ fundraiser at Cox Bros. BBQ raised about $5,000 this year! We thank the Kaw Valley Rodeo Association and its “pink committee,” as well as major sponsors Women’s Health Group and Cox Bros. BBQ and all the other sponsors and event attendees!




Mason’s Wish raised $21,660

Mason holding checkMason’s Wish, a charity that raises funds for K-State cancer research, recently donated $21,660! Their main fundraiser is an annual golf tournament sponsored by Western States Fire Protection in Colorado. Big thanks to both of them and their supporters!

Mason’s Wish is a charity started and managed by Mason Wolfe and her mom Nancy Wolfe, a 1990 K-State alumna, with support from family and friends. To date, they have raised almost $160,000 for K-State cancer research by selling candles, games, t-shirts and other items, and holding benefit events. They started the charity after Mason’s father, Fred Wolfe, a 1993 K-State alum, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. She wanted to do something to not feel hopeless and to help her dad and other families.

2016 Conquest showcases K-State cancer research

CoverConquest2016CropShrunkForTwitterOur 2016 Conquest magazine is hot off the press! Read about Dr. Raelene Wouda‘s cancer drug clinical trials in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stefan Rothenburg and his student Adam Schieferecke’s studies into the use of viruses to fight cancer, and a multidisciplinary collaboration between Drs. Susan Sun and Annelise Nguyen that has resulted in the use of a new K-State-developed biomaterial to grow breast cancer cells into 3-D tumors that are more complex and helpful for research than traditional 2-D cell cultures.

You’ll also read about National Cancer Institute laboratory director and K-State Alumni Fellow Dr. Bob Kinders, who is helping us develop future cancer scientists, and the purple-groupcropBbleeding Regier family, who will have their 19th annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament for us Oct. 7. And don’t miss the story about how kids at a Gilda’s Club in Grand Rapids, Mich., are benefiting from our A Day With Dr. Waddle activity book.

Read Conquest on the Web or request a paper copy.

Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight May 7, other upcoming events

Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight LogoThe acclaimed statewide fitness motivation program, Walk Kansas, which is organized by K-State Research & Extension, will hold its inaugural Walk Kansas 5K for the Fight (and 1.5-mile fun walk) on the beautiful K-State Manhattan campus at 10 a.m. May 7 and donate all proceeds to our center! It is open to everyone, not just Walk Kansas participants.

Timing will be managed by Manhattan Cross Country Club, which uses the IPICO chip timing system. Medals will go to the fastest 3 males and females in each age category: 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & older. All participants will receive a high-quality souvenir water bottle and other goodies as well as water and post-event snacks. Cost is $25. Details and a link to register online are on our WK5K webpage.


Pink & Purple Polyester Party – Fri., April 22, 7-11:30 p.m., K-State Alumni Center

Walk Kansas 5K For the Fight – Sat., May 7, 10 a.m., Manhattan campus

Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo – Fri., July 22, 8 p.m., Wells Arena in CiCo Park, Manhattan, Kan.

Advisory Council Fall Meeting – Sat., Oct. 1

Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament – Fri., Oct. 7, 1 p.m. shotgun start, Colbert Hills Golf Course

K-State Fighting for a Cure Day & JCRC Tailgate Party in Cat Town – Sat., Oct. 8. NEW SHIRT DESIGN IN 2016!

George S. Bascom Memorial Lecture on Current Issues in Clinical Medicine – Thu., Nov. 3, Michael E. Hagensee, Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center


Disco for a Cure at Pink & Purple Polyester Party April 22

SpectacularGuestsByJ&CImgagingCROPDig out your polyester bell bottoms and platform shoes–or just some pink or purple–and disco for a cure at the groovy Pink & Purple Polyester Party, presented by CivicPlus, 7 p.m., Fri., April 22, at the K-State Alumni Center. Last year’s party raised $13,120!

Shake your booty with Kansas City’s Disco Dick & the Mirrorballs and Manhattan’s host-with-the-most Dave Lewis! Vote for your favorite Off the Hook bra crafted by a local business! Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar catered by Bockers II Catering, as well as a fun photo station! The guest with the most far-out 60s, 70s or 80s threads wins $100!

Tickets are $60, or get a reserved table for 10 and recognition as a Cool Cat Sponsor for $500. Pay online until April 21, or pay at the door.

We thank major sponsors CivicPlus and Central Kansas Cancer Center! We also thank Manhattan Broadcasting and all our Cool Cat table sponsors and other sponsors (see webpage), as well as the planning committee, volunteers and party-goers!

Research Kudos & News

Photo of Undergrad Cancer Research AwardeesCongratulations to K-State’s 2015-2016 Undergraduate Cancer Researchers!
Students selected for our undergraduate Cancer Research Award (CRA) program last fall were recognized at our annual CRA Banquet April 8. Also recognized were their faculty mentors and the donors who make the awards possible. All awardees are listed on our Student Awardees webpage and in this news release. Photos of the banquet and each student receiving his or her award will be shared soon. Watch our Facebook and Twitter pages.


We awarded $266,394 this spring!
Thanks to our generous supporters, we invested $265,394 into K-State cancer research and education this semester! We awarded faculty $147,245 for innovative research projects, $38,500 for laboratory equipment, and $500 for travel to collaborate or receive training. We awarded graduate students $72,217 in summer stipends and $6,932 for travel. The awardees are listed on our Faculty and Student Awardee webpages.


Faculty Kudos


Rollie Clem, biology, has been selected to serve as a rotational program officer for the National Science Foundation. read more

Clem also published “Arboviruses and apoptosis: The role of cell death in determining vector competence” in the Journal of General Virology. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000429.


Dr. Mei He & Kim Pleviak


Dr. Mei He and graduate student Kim Pleviak developed a 3-D printed diagnostic device that can rapidly detect anemia. This relates to other work Dr. He does to develop low-cost biomedical devices for point-of-care cancer diagnostics. read more


Dr. Jooyoun KimDr. Jooyoun Kim, who studies biomedical/cancer applications of fiber-based biomaterials in the department of apparel, textiles & interior design, received a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award! She also will be K-State’s team leader in a $317 million national fabric research partnership with Advanced Functional Fabrics of America and the U.S. Department of Defense. read more


Dr. Beth Montelone


Dr. Beth Montelone, professor of biology and associate dean for research in the College of Arts & Sciences, received a Kansas Advancement of Women in Science Award. read more


Student Kudos

AdamSchiefereckeDayAtTheCapitolBAdam Schieferecke, junior in microbiology and biochemistry working in Stefan Rothenburg’s lab in biology, was awarded a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. He also represented K-State at Undergraduate Day at the Capitol and was the guest speaker at our annual CRA Banquet.


Raquel Ortega


Raquel Ortega, junior in chemistry working in Stefan Bossmann’s lab in chemistry, was awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Honorable Mention.



Muriel Eaton


Muriel Eaton, a senior in biochemistry working in Jeroen Roelofs’ lab in biology, was nominated by K-State for a Goldwater Scholarship.



Chen Peng in lab


Chen Peng, PhD student in microbiology working in Rothenburg’s lab in biology, made it to the final round of K-State’s Three Minute Thesis competition ‪#‎3MT‬! read more



Erika Peters


Erika Peters, senior in microbiology working in Kathrin Schrick’s lab in biology, won the Division of Biology’s Haymaker Award for Outstanding Senior.



Vaithish Velazhahan


Vaithish Velazhahan, sophomore in biology working in Schrick’s lab in biology, won a Division of Biology Most Promising Student Award.




“Dr. Stefan Rothenburg finds key to myxoma virus/rabbit coevolution” – From K-State News Services, April 5, 2016

“K-State cancer research shares goal with Biden’s ‘moonshot’ initiative” – From The Collegian, March 30, 2016

New K-State Fighting for a Cure Shirt

DesignOnMensShirtShrunkYou asked for it, you got it! A new K-State Fighting for a Cure shirt will be available soon!

Wear your shirt to the home football game or anywhere Oct. 8, 2016, in celebration of K-State cancer research and Breast Cancer Awareness Month! We also invite you to help us cheer on the ‘Cats that day at our Tailgate Party in Cat Town!

Proceeds from shirt sales support K-State cancer research. Contact Marcia to pre-order.

We’ll have more details about the shirt soon. Watch our Facebook or Twitter.