When supporters of Kansas State University's Johnson Cancer Research Center proclaim, "the fight starts here," it's more than a catchy slogan. It's a fact.
Since 1980, the center has furthered the understanding of cancer by funding basic cancer research, unraveling the disease's complexities by starting at the source. Rob Denell, center director, said the center provides more than a half-million dollars annually to support 90 cancer research teams.
"It's a very promising and exciting time for cancer research," said Denell. "We're discovering new methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment, with basic research providing the underpinnings of new approaches and clinical studies."
K-State faculty researchers are constantly working to improve cancer prevention, diagnostics and treatments, as well as training future scientists. The center does this by focusing on three key areas: research, education and outreach.
Researchers in nearly 100 laboratories in 17 university departments are conducting leading studies in areas including cancer progression, cancer cell genetic information, anti-cancer drugs, and methods of diagnosis and treatment. K-State supports its cancer researchers through several competitive award programs, testimony to the Kansas Legislature and improved facilities.
Faculty scientists are dedicated to training tomorrow's top cancer researchers and medical professionals. Students are brought into the lab early on, and have access to multidisciplinary cancer-related courses in multiple departments. The center sponsors many awards, scholarships and fellowships that enhance education and encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
We educate the public about cancer, risk reduction and our own research. Community groups and visitors are welcome to tour the center, or bring the research to your front door with a cancer education presentation. The center also published a children's book, "A Day with Dr. Waddle," which introduces children to the difficult subject of cancer. Finally, plan to attend the annual Pink Power Luncheon, a popular event co-sponsored by Komen for the Cure.
All this legwork is saving lives in many ways. Our undergraduates are going on to become physicians and scientists, and our programs are being recognized nationally. As the K-State family continues fighting ever fighting for Wildcat victories, we'll add cancer to our list of foes.
That's the Wildcat Way.