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K-State Today

March 11, 2011

Department of biochemistry celebrates 50th anniversary

By Beth Bohn

The department of biochemistry celebrated its 50th anniversary this week with a variety of speakers and a banquet.

The fifth annual Functional Genomics Consortium Spring Symposium featured 13 speakers on an array of topics. Three K-State faculty members addressed attendees: Michael Kanost, department head and university distinguished professor of biochemistry; Ruth Welti, professor of biology; and Loretta Johnson, associate professor biology. Two alumni of the K-State biochemistry program also were speakers: Congcong Ma, senior staff scientist in the molecular biology department at Life Technologies, and Lee Zou of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center at Harvard Medical School.

The banquet, March 10 at the K-State Student Union, featured David Cox, head of the K-State department of biochemistry from 1973-1989.

Kanost said he was happy to involve students in the celebration.

"It is nice to combine the celebration with a scientific event and have our students involved in both events," he said.

He believes the interdisciplinary nature of the biochemistry program has led to its success.

"That's part of what makes it a successful program," he said. "Our students learn this interdisciplinary approach to get a broad science education."

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