Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter

Author: marcia

Cancer documentary screening and community resource fair March 28

Cancer Documentary Screening Event FlierWe will host a preview screening of the major PBS documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” at 2-4 p.m. Sat., March 28, in the Manhattan Public Library auditorium. The event, cosponsored by KTWU PBS, Topeka, will begin with an informational fair featuring local organizations (listed below), followed by the one-hour film preview. The public is invited, admission is free, and refreshments will be served.

The documentary, produced by preeminent filmmaker Ken Burns, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. The three-part film will air on PBS March 30, 31 and April 1.

“The documentary examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series weaves…a historical documentary, an engrossing and intimate vérité film, and a scientific and investigative report.PBS

Mercy Regional Health Center – advanced directives and palliative care
North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging – caregiving and NCFHAAA services
Manhattan Homecare & Hospice
Riley County Health Department – cancer screening tests
KDHE’s Early Detection Works – free breast and cervical cancer screening tests
Midwest Cancer Alliance – skin damage detection using Dermascan
American Cancer Society – supportive programs for cancer survivors
Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. – HPV vaccination
Johnson Cancer Research Center – K-State cancer research and outreach

Pink & Purple Polyester Party April 10

SpectacularGuestsByJ&CImgagingCROPFri., April 10, 2015 ~ 7 p.m.
Houston Street Ballroom
Manhattan, Kansas

Dig out your polyester bell bottoms and platform shoes, grab your friends, and boogie down with Kansas City band Disco Dick & the Mirrorballs at the Pink & Purple Polyester Party, presented by CivicPlus, on April 10!

Play crazy games, vote for your favorite blinged-out bra in the Off the Hook bra art contest between local businesses, and enjoy tasty treats, a cash bar and a fun photo booth…all while helping K-State fight cancer!

Register now! Registration is requested by April 3, but late registrations and walk-ins are welcome. Visit our website for information or register online now.

‘Like’ the Pink & Purple Polyester Party Facebook page for updates on entertainment, prizes, auction items and sponsors. Use hashtag #PolyesterParty whenever you post about it on Facebook or Twitter.

We are very grateful to the planning committee: Dave Lewis, public address announcer for K-State Football and Men’s Basketball and owner of Dave Lewis Entertainment; Dr. Thad & Shannon Schneider, Flint Hills Pain Management; John & Cindy La Barge, J & C Imaging; Bobbi French, G. Thomas Jewelers; Patrick Lee, N Zone; and Arrica Wallace.

We thank all our sponsors, including these major sponsors: CivicPlus, Briggs Auto Group and Kansas State Federal Credit Union!


Kudos: Advising China and more

Stefan BossmannChina names Bossmann international expert, cancer research adviser

China is honoring Dr. Stefan Bossmann, chemistry, and enlisting his expertise through a research appointment. He’s been awarded the title of Highest Honored International Expert by scientific advisers to the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. This summer, he will advise the Chinese authorities on early cancer detection methods.

read full K-State news release



IMG_0631cropshrunkResearchers find ‘affinity switch’ for proteasome assembly process

Dr. Jeroen Roelofs, biology, and team are uncovering how a specific “molecular machine” inside cells–the proteasome–is assembled. Understanding this process may present new drug target sites and lead to better cancer treatments.

read full K-State news release



cra14-15Good luck to our undergraduate Cancer Research Awardees this semester! We look forward to honoring them at our annual awards banquet March 27.


Zheng Zhao receives award
Zheng Zhao receives K-INBRE Outstanding Poster award

Of the six K-State students who earned honors at the annual Kansas INBRE Bioscience Symposium, five were our Cancer Research Awardees. Congratulations to Amanda Bradley, Erika Peters, Adam Schieferecke, Katherine Sensenich and Zheng Zhao!

Zhao, senior in biological & agricultural engineering (K-State Olathe), earned the Outstanding Poster Presentation award. He studies ovarian cancer-derived exosomes using a novel microfluidic platform. His mentor is Dr. Mei Heread more



Two K-State student cancer researchers were selected to present at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. Cancer Research Awardee Raquel Ortega and Yubisela Toledo, sophomores in chemistry mentored by Dr. Stefan Bossmann, co-presented “Studying the Protease Expression of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.”  read more


Nominated for Goldwater Scholarships were Lauren Komer, biology, one of our June Hull Sherrid Scholarship recipients, and Katherine Johnson, a microbiology student mentored by Dr. Brad Olsonread more



Pet Cancer Case Study from Veterinary Diagnostic Lab Newsletter

Ocular lymphoma: A case study by Jamie Henningson, DVM, PhD, DACVP
A globe from a 12-year-old Chihauhau with a three-week history of a cloudy eye and corneal ulcer was submitted to the KSVDL. On examination of the globe, the ciliary body and adjacent choroid were expanded by sheets of monomorphic round cells (Figure 1) consistent with neoplastic lymphocytes.

Immunohistochemistry was performed for B and T cell markers and the neoplastic cells were positive for B cell lymphoma (Figure 2). This animal had no enlarged lymph nodes or signs of illness.

Primary ocular lymphoma in dogs is rare and is primarily part of multicentric lymphoma. In cats, lymphoma is the second most common intraocular neoplasm and is usually part of the systemic disease process. However, ocular disease is often the presenting complaint and may precede signs of systemic involvement.  read more from “Diagnostic Insights” newsletter (pg. 2)

JCRC Council member Bob Kinders named Alumni Fellow

RobertKinders2014CropOur longtime advisory council member Dr. Robert (Bob) Kinders will be named a 2015 Alumni Fellow in April. Dr. Kinders earned his Ph.D. in biology at K-State in 1981 and was a student of our center’s founder, the late Dr. Terry C. Johnson.

Dr. Kinders is senior principal scientist at Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, Md., where he leads the pharmacodynamics section in the laboratory of human toxicology and pharmacology. His section develops technologies for measuring drug efficacy at the molecular level, particularly in new drug trials in the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, NCI Clinical Trials network.

The K-State Alumni Fellows Program, sponsored by the Deans Council, the President’s Office and the K-State Alumni Association, recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers.

Dr. Kinders is expected to visit campus and give some talks on April 15 and 16. Watch our website, Facebook and Twitter for more details.

All Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for Tough Enough to Wear Pink! The Spaghetti Dinner will be July 12 and the Rodeo will be July 24.

Full list of upcoming events

March 27, 2015 – Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards Banquet

March 28, 2015 – Advisory Council Spring Meeting

March 28, 2015 – PBS Cancer Documentary Screening and Resource Fair, with KTWU 11, previewing Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

April 10, 2015 – Pink & Purple Polyester Party

April 15, 2015 – K-State Alumni Fellow and JCRC advisory council member Dr. Bob Kinders to present biology seminar (details coming soon)

July 12, 2015 – Tough Enough to Wear Pink Spaghetti Dinner

July 24, 2015 – Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo

October 1, 2015 – Fall Award Applications due

Oct. 17, 2015 – ‘Fighting for a Cure’ Shirt Day & Tailgate Party

Happy New Year!

As we begin 2015, we’d like to thank you for being part of our 2014! Whether you gave a gift, participated in a fundraiser or other activity, pursued challenging research, or simply spread the word about us, you were critical to our success and we are grateful! We hope the accomplishments and efforts discussed here inspire you to keep helping K-State fight cancer in 2015.

On that note, mark your calendars for Fri., April 10, when the Pink & Purple Polyester Party returns better than ever! More details are below.

In this issue:

Subscribe to our e-newsletter by emailing cancerresearch@k-state.edu.
Learn more about us at cancer.k-state.edu.
with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Send us your stories and photos related to K-State cancer research.

Faculty and student achievements

Faculty Honors

Brown,SueHiguchiSmallerSusan Brown, biology, received a Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Award which annually recognizes outstanding accomplishment in research by four faculty members at Kansas Board of Regents universities. Dr. Brown was honored for her work in developing a model system for genetic and molecular studies on the red flour beetle. read more

Stephen Keith Chapes, biology, received the highest honor of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research. Dr. Chapes studies the impact of space flight and gravity on the immune system. read more

Welti,RuthAAASSpotlightRuth Welti, biology, was spotlighted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest scientific society. She is one of 20 K-State AAAS fellows. read more

Stefan Rothenburg, biology, was appointed to the editorial board of the top-ranked Journal of Virology. read more

Kathrin Schrick, biology, and team’s publication in the August issue of BMC Biology was recommended by the Faculty of 1000 for special significance in its field. The Faculty of 1000 is an international group of biomedical scientists that designate new research articles for potential high impact. read moreRobGovBrownbackShrunk

Rob Denell, our center’s director and a university distinguished professor of biology, was honored for 40 years of service to the State of Kansas. read more


A patent was awarded to K-State for research conducted by Duy Hua, chemistry; Annelise Nguyen, toxicology; and Dolores Takemoto, biochemistry (emeritus). They developed synthetic compounds, called quinolines, that can restart communication between cells if those communication channels have closed due to a disease. It could potentially be used for treating cancer. read more

sun, susanSusan Sun, grain science and bio- and agro-engineering, and team developed a hydrogel that was issued a patent. The jelly-like substance may be used for biomedical applications ranging from cell culture and drug delivery (including anticancer drugs) to repairing and replacing tissue, organs and cartilage. read more

Sherry Fleming, biology, and John Tomich, biochemistry, received a patent for their use of a peptide that prevents tissue damage. The work could lead to new ways to treat both tissue damaged by heart attack or stroke, and cancer. read more


IMG_0018cropKatie Heinrich, kinesiology, was awarded a $2.52 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to test the effects of high-intensity functional training on changes in body composition, health and fitness as compared to usual Army physical readiness training. read more Continue reading “Faculty and student achievements”

Highlights of fall activities

Pink Power Luncheon Oct. 17???????????????????????????????

Our 5th annual Pink Power Luncheon for breast cancer awareness on Oct. 17 had 150 attendees again this year! The guest speaker, Dr. Susan Krigel, clinical psychologist with the Midwest Cancer Alliance, an outreach arm of the University of Kansas Cancer Center, presented “Chemobrain” and What You Can Do About It, a topic appreciated by many. We thank Komen Kansas for supporting this event. We’ve shared photos on Facebook.

K-State Fighting for a Cure Shirt

CoachBillSnyderK-State fans bought thousands of our Fighting for a Cure shirts in 2014, raising significant awareness of K-State cancer research, and $15,000 to support it!

We thank everybody who bought shirts and the many media outlets, businesses and volunteers who helped promote and sell them! Special thanks to Varney’s and N Zone for helping sell shirts and donating proceeds! We couldn’t have gone as big without them!

Check out the many great photos of friends who supported our #HelpKStateFightCancer social media campaign!

Powercat Gameday crew
Powercat Gameday crew, including former K-State and Kansas City Chief football player Kevin Lockett

Fighting for a Cure Shirt Day Oct. 4

LaBargeCrewInStandsMany K-Staters united in wearing their K-State Fighting for a Cure shirts to the home football game and elsewhere Oct. 4 in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and K-State cancer research!

We appreciated the support of First Lady of K-State Football Sharon Snyder and the Snyder family, K-State President and First Lady Drs. Kirk & Noel Schulz, and so many others who showed their pride in K-State’s fight against cancer. We also thank The Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band for recognizing K-State cancer researchers and survivors during their halftime performance that day!

Shirts are still available and we’re planning another Shirt Day in October. Watch our newsletter, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Tailgate Party Oct. 4

tailgate party 2014

We had a great time cheering on the ‘Cats with friends at our tailgate party in Cat Town Oct. 4! Join us for great food, beverages and company at our next tailgate party in October! Continue reading “Highlights of fall activities”

$227,500 awarded last fall

Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to invest $227,500 in K-State cancer research and education last fall! Our competitive awards encourage excellence among K-State cancer research faculty and students, and ensure we help advance the most promising cancer research projects. Awards are offered each semester and spring award applications are due March 1.

Faculty Awards

We awarded $105,500 in Innovative Research Awards for seven cancer research projects in six departments, and $25,000 to support three laboratory equipment purchases. View list of all faculty awardees.

Dr. Mei He received a $20,000 Innovative Research Award.
Dr. Mei He (left) received a $20,000 Innovative Research Award to develop a diagnostic test for ovarian cancer.

Student Awards

Forty-six outstanding students were selected for our undergraduate Cancer Research Award program, which offers faculty-mentored laboratory research experiences and $1,000 awards to each student.

German Cuevas
German Cuevas is a three-time Cancer Research Awardee working in Dr. Lorena Passarelli’s lab.

The students co-wrote research proposals with center-affiliated faculty and will carry out their research this semester. Faculty mentors receive $1,000 per student to cover research expenses. A banquet to honor the students will be held March 27. More about the program and awardees is in our news release.

Travel awards totaling $5,000 were provided to four graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to support their attendance at professional meetings to present their research.

View list of all student awardees.


Upcoming events

Pink & Purple Polyester Party

Friday, April 10, 2015
Houston Street Ballroom
Manhattan, Kansas

Scroggs Family at Pink & Purple Polyester Party
Scroggs Family

Dig out your polyester bell bottoms and platform shoes, grab your friends, and boogie down with a Kansas City disco band at the Pink & Purple Polyester Party on April 10! Play crazy games, vote for your favorite blinged-out bra, and enjoy tasty treats and a fun photo booth…all while helping K-State fight cancer!

Visit our website for information and ‘like’ the Pink & Purple Polyester Party Facebook page for updates on entertainment, prizes, auction items, food and sponsors.

We are very grateful to the planning 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; Arrica Wallace and Dave Lewis.

Local Screening of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a PBS documentary

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, will premiere as a PBS documentary from preeminent filmmaker Ken Burns. This three-part show will air at 8-10 p.m. March 30, 31 and April 1 on KTWU, PBS in Topeka. KTWU will conclude the event with a live, viewer-interactive studio production at 8 p.m. April 2.

We are pleased to sponsor a screening event at the Manhattan Public Library Sat., March 28, in the auditorium. Join us at 2 p.m. for pre-screening activities prior to the hour-long preview of the documentary at 3 p.m.

January is Radon Action Month

Radon, a gas released by decaying uranium in the soil and found in some homes, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after smoking. Our research affiliate Bruce Snead, director of the Kansas Radon Program, is featured in this informative video from Wichita’s KSN News. We encourage you to watch it and get an inexpensive test kit for your home. The Kansas Radon Program website has lots of helpful information.


Jan. 27 – Undergraduate Cancer Research Orientation
Mar. 1 – Spring Award Application Deadline
Mar. 27 – Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards Banquet
Mar. 28 – Advisory Council Spring Meeting
April 10 – Pink & Purple Polyester Party
July 24 – Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo