Johnson Cancer Research Center selects 22 students for research training awards
Monday, Dec. 7, 2020
Recent Kansas State University graduate Mackenzie Thornton, a former recipient of a Cancer Research Award from the Johnson Cancer Research Center, works with her faculty mentor, Katsura Asano, professor of biology.
MANHATTAN — The Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University has selected 22 students to participate in its undergraduate research mentoring and award program.
The Cancer Research Award program promotes undergraduate student participation in laboratory research. It encourages students to consider careers in cancer research and medicine early on while they are still deciding what academic and professional paths to take.
"This opportunity allows students to apply what they are learning in classes to real-life laboratory problems, and engages them in their education, a critical factor for success," said Sherry Fleming, the center's director and a professor of biology. "Many of these future cancer researchers and medical workers will undoubtedly go on to be some of the top professionals in their fields."
The award program, which is open to undergraduate students interested in doing cancer-relevant research, provides $1,500 awards to students and $1,000 per student for research expenses. The funds allow them to spend more time working on research rather than a non-academic job.
Students apply for the awards by co-writing research proposals with faculty members who will serve as their mentors. The awardees conduct their research in the mentors' laboratories throughout at least the spring semester.
"These are some of the university's — and the state's — most outstanding science students, working closely with excellent faculty on projects to stop cancer," Fleming said.
The students are usually recognized in the spring at a banquet attended by their families, the faculty mentors, center supporters and university administrators. A virtual recognition will likely replace this banquet due to COVID-19.
The Johnson Cancer Research Center, in K-State’s College of Arts and Sciences, supports the cancer research and training of its faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. All programs are funded through private gifts.
The following students received Cancer Research Awards; included is each student's faculty mentor. A list that includes their research project titles is at cancer.k-state.edu/awards/studentawardees.html.
From Concordia: Adara Warner, junior in microbiology, pre-medicine and medical laboratory science, mentored by Kathrin Schrick, associate professor of biology; and Lake Winter, junior in microbiology, mentored by Zhilong Yang, associate professor of biology.
Gage Wright, senior in chemistry, Derby, mentored by Jun Li, professor of chemistry.
From Greater Kansas City: Kierra Holloman, junior in biochemistry, Kansas City, mentored by Michael Kanost, university distinguished professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics; Ariana Cecil, senior in biology and pre-medicine, Leawood, mentored by Katsura Asano, professor of biology; Joshua Spradlin, junior in kinesiology and pre-medicine, Lenexa, mentored by Zhilong Yang, associate professor of biology; Douglas Farleigh, senior in chemistry and pre-veterinary medicine, Olathe, mentored by Ryan Rafferty, associate professor of chemistry; John Tumberger, Overland Park, mentored by Brad Olson, associate professor of biology; and Charles Worley II, senior in biology and pre-medicine, Shawnee, mentored by Chingakham Singh, research assistant professor of biology.
Morgan Phillips, sophomore in animal sciences and industry and pre-law, Hollenberg, mentored by Masaaki Tamura, professor of anatomy and physiology.
From Manhattan: Abdulrahman Naeem, senior in biology, mentored by Ruth Welti, university distinguished professor of biology; Hawa Dembele, senior in biochemistry and chemistry, mentored by Om Prakash, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics; Cathryn Haas, senior in biology, mentored by Lorena Passerelli, professor of biology; and Mayme Loyd, senior in biochemistry and pre-medicine, mentored by Masaaki Tamura, professor of anatomy and physiology.
Caleb Kline, freshman in chemistry and pre-dentistry, Salina, mentored by Ping Li, associate professor of chemistry.
From Topeka: Ashley Bartels, senior in chemical engineering, mentored by Ryan Rafferty, associate professor of chemistry; and Emma Francis, senior in biology, pre-medicine and pre-law, mentored by Rollie Clem, professor of biology.
Alexander Vontz, junior in biochemistry, Wamego, mentored by Brian Geisbrecht, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics.
From Wichita: Taylor Bugbee, junior in biology and pre-medicine, mentored by Nick Wallace, assistant professor of biology; Hannah Coggeshall, senior in biology and pre-medicine, mentored by Jocelyn McDonald, associate professor of biology; and Lydia Waner, senior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology and pre-medicine, mentored by Thomas Mueller, research assistant professor of biology.
From out of state: Elizabeth Riforgiate, senior in biology and pre-medicine, Port Washington, Wisconsin, mentored by Nick Wallace, assistant professor of biology.