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Sources: Anita Cortez, 785-532-5864, cortez@k-state.edu;
Tamica Lige, tlige@k-state.edu; and Kristina Bigelow, kr16b@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010

DEVELOPING SCHOLARS PRESENT RESEARCH

MANHATTAN -- Two Kansas State University students recently presented research as part of the Developing Scholars Lecture Series.

Tamica Lige, senior in art history, Manhattan, presented on the iconography of Albrecht Durer's "Adoration of the Magi."

"My research examines Frederick the Wise and Albrecht Durer's attraction to the African image. It explores how the 'Adoration of the Magi' altarpiece stands as a result of their interest in the historical development and adaptation of blacks in Northern art to conflate German traditions surrounding the Cult of St. Maurice and the Cult of the Magi," she said.

Lige's faculty mentor is Douglas Dow, assistant professor of art history.

Kristina Bigelow, sophomore in biology, Elsmore, presented on the regulation of gap junctions in colon cancer cells. Gap junctions are channels that make up of connexin proteins. Little is known about the function and regulation of gap junctions in colon cancer cells, so the field has great potential for exploration, according to Bigelow. Colon cancer cells feature fewer gap junctions than average colon cells. She said that adding connexin protein -- such as connexin 43 or Cx43 -- using the transfection technique could regain gap junction activity in colon cancer cells. Furthermore, a synthetic drug, known as gap junction enhancer, was used to achieve the control of gap junction activity in colon cancer cells.

Her faculty mentor is Annelise Nguyen, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Bigelow is grateful for the Developing Scholars Program and how it has taught her how to do research.

"I want to go to medical school," she said. "This research allows me to understand how drugs are made, and it gives me an appreciation for the research that goes in to all of the drugs used today."

This is the second year of the Developing Scholars Program Lecture Series. The aim is to illustrate to younger members of the program about different research opportunities at K-State, according to Anita Cortez, administrative director.

"It also shows faculty and the campus community what other undergraduates can achieve when given opportunities outside of the classroom," she said. "They are involved in research and the hunt for new information; that's exciting."