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Source: Katsura Asano, 785-532-0116, kasano@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, 785-532-6415, ebarcomb@k-state.edu

Monday, Sept. 21, 2009

K-STATE BIOLOGIST RECEIVES STIMULUS FUNDS FOR FURTHER STUDY OF CELLULAR PROCESS THAT CAN PLAY A ROLE IN CHRONIC DISEASE

MANHATTAN -- Federal stimulus funding is helping a Kansas State University biologist continue to collaborate with the Harvard Medical School. Their research is creating a clearer picture of a certain cellular process that can play a role in chronic diseases like cancer.

Katsura Asano, K-State associate professor in the Division of Biology, received nearly $200,000 from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences through Recovery Act funding. The grant is to study how eukaryotic cells -- like the ones humans have -- initiate the process of building proteins.

The long-term goal of Asano's research is to understand the complex pathway that sets cells into motion to build proteins accurately rather than with an alteration that can result in malignancy or chronic disease. Asano and his colleagues use yeast as a model because the cells build proteins in a way similar to human cells.

He is collaborating with Dr. Gerhard Wagner, a professor at the Harvard Medical School.

In addition to research, Asano also is involved in undergraduate instruction at K-State. This fall he is teaching cell biology to juniors and seniors.