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Gov. Brownback to sign proclamation marking 50th anniversary of Division of Biology

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

Ackert Hall

The main office of Kansas State University's Division of Biology, celebrating 50 years of excellence in research, teaching and service to the state, is in Ackert Hall. Faculty offices and labs also are in adjoining Chalmers Hall, Bushnell Hall and Leasure Hall. | Download this photo.


MANHATTAN — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will likely sign a proclamation on Friday, Sept. 22, to mark 50 years of groundbreaking accomplishments by Kansas State University's Division of Biology.

The governor will host a proclamation signing ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in the governor's office to honor the Division of Biology's excellence in research, instruction and service to Kansas, the U.S. and the world for the past 50 years.

"The proclamation is celebrating yesterday's success and the Division of Biology's promise for tomorrow's innovation," said Jim Guikema, associate director of the division and 50th anniversary coordinator.

Formed in 1967 by combining the disciplines of zoology, botany, bacteriology, biophysics and environmental sciences, the Division of Biology has obtained more than $275 million in extramural support and formed one of the first long-term tallgrass prairie ecological research stations supported by the National Science Foundation in the nation, which became Konza Prairie Biological Station.

"In the last 50 years, Division of Biology faculty have excelled in a variety of research areas, including grassland ecology, cancer research and NASA-funded research on space shuttles," said Brian Spooner, division director. "I am proud of the current and past members of the team — faculty, staff and students — who have made the division so accomplished in research and teaching."

The Division of Biology offers three bachelor's degrees, a master's degree and two doctoral degrees. As one of the largest academic programs on the Manhattan campus, the division has averaged more than 800 undergraduate students and 65 graduate students enrolled every year over the last decade. Every graduate student is active in research and all are focused on the division's undergraduate training mission. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the division stands out for its continued encouragement of researchers.

"The students and faculty in the Division of Biology are instrumental in providing fundamental science research and education that ultimately benefit Kansas and American citizens," Guikema said.

The Division of Biology is committed to all aspects of human health and well-being. The division pioneered the university's Johnson Cancer Research Center and is home to many interdisciplinary research initiatives, including the Arthropod Genomics Center, Bioinformatics Center, Ecological Genomics Institute and The Institute for Grassland Studies.

"The division has started its next 50 years with excellent momentum and is poised to provide the research underpinnings that will help all of our Kansas citizens," Guikema said. "For example, The Institute for Grassland Studies combines research from the Kansas prairie with that on the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arthropod Genomics Center and the Bioinformatics Center apply the latest genomic tools to understand our biological problems of today."


Jim Guikema


Guikema is Guy-kuh-ma



Written by

Stephanie Jacques