Two graduate students named winners at statewide research summit
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Zheng Zhao, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, is the winner of a $500 BioKansas scholarship for his research presentation at the 14th Capitol Graduate Research Summit. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University graduate students received statewide recognition for their Kansas-related research at the 14th Capitol Graduate Research Summit, March 10, at the State Capitol in Topeka.
Ryan Schmid, doctoral student in entomology, Kingsley, Iowa, received a $500 scholarship from the university's Graduate School. Zheng Zhao, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, China, received a $500 BioKansas scholarship, which is supported by BioKansas.
"The K-State students effectively communicated the value of their research to the state of Kansas while interacting with the legislators, industry representatives and the public," said Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School. "Judges for the event commented on how difficult it was for them to select from amongst all the excellent research and presentations. They noted that the students were well prepared and their responses reflected the depth of their knowledge of the research and how the results can benefit Kansas."
"The BioKansas award not only recognizes the top researchers, but also those projects that have the best potential for commercialization and for impacting the state of Kansas," said Dennis Ridenour, president and CEO of BioKansas.
The Capitol Graduate Research Summit is a statewide event that features current research of graduate students at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Wichita State University, Emporia State University, Fort Hays University and Pittsburgh State University. Each university invited a university professor and an industry representative to judge the student poster presentations. The top presenters from each university received awards.
Schmid's poster was "Protecting Kansas wheat: Assessment of a novel hessian fly monitoring strategy." His faculty mentor is Brian McCornack, associate professor of entomology.
Schmid's research focuses on the development of a monitoring tool for a significant insect pest of wheat, the Hessian fly. The results of his research have demonstrated the potential for LEDs to improve Hessian fly monitoring, which will give Kansas wheat producers much-needed information to make judicious management decisions and reduce yield loss from this pest.
"I think it is important to participate in the Capitol Graduate Research Summit because it is an excellent opportunity to showcase to our state legislators some of the tremendous research conducted at the state universities of Kansas," Schmid said. "The research summit provides graduate students the chance to exhibit to legislators how their support is helping to attain results, which will ultimately benefit the citizens of Kansas."
Zhao's poster was "Developing multiplexed detection of blood exosomal markers for diagnosis of ovarian cancer." His faculty advisor is Mei He, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering.
Zhao's research focuses on detecting and diagnosing cancer cell growth at the earliest stages. His ExoSearch Chip can help doctors and clinical facilities detect cancer in a more efficient and accurate way.
"Participating in the Capitol Graduate Research Summit is imperative since most of the time we present in front of people with an academic background," Zhao said. "Since we are conducting research that is applicable to people, it is important for us to know what the publics or patients think about the research."