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Fourteen Kansas State University graduate students receive cancer research awards totaling $95,439

Friday, April 30, 2021



MANHATTAN — The Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University has selected 14 graduate students to receive Cancer Research Awards to support their summer research endeavors.

Graduate Cancer Research Awards are made on a competitive basis to provide outstanding graduate students the opportunity to conduct their cancer research and publishing full-time during the summer without the interruption of classes.

"These are the workhorses of the laboratory," said Sherry Fleming, the center's director and a professor of biology. "Their work is critical to the lab's success and most of the students continue on to become scientists studying cancer and related areas that contribute to the fight against cancer."

The awards generally provide $5,000 to $7,500 to graduate students working in a Johnson Cancer Research Center member lab. The funds allow them to spend more time working on research than on non-academic jobs.

The Johnson Cancer Research Center, a unit of the university's College of Arts and Sciences, supports the cancer research and training of its faculty members and their undergraduate and graduate students. All of its programs are funded through private gifts.

Graduate and Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards are supported by endowed funds and other direct gifts, including sums of funerary memorial gifts honoring the deceased through philanthropy.

The award recipients and donors were recognized in a virtual ceremony on April 23, along with undergraduate awardees selected last fall. The ceremony was attended by the awardees and their guests, faculty mentors, center supporters and university administrators.

The following students received Graduate 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.

Christopher Messer, doctoral student in biology, Alma, mentored by Jocelyn McDonald, associate professor of biology; Dryden Baumfalk, doctoral student in human ecology, Colby, mentored by Brad Behnke, professor of kinesiology; Dalton Dacus, doctoral student in microbiology, Junction City, mentored by Nick Wallace, assistant professor of biology; Joel Steyer, doctoral student in genetics, Lenexa, mentored by Richard Todd, associate professor of plant pathology; Arnaldo Torres-Hernandez, doctoral student in chemistry, Manhattan, mentored by Ryan Rafferty, associate professor of chemistry; and Tanner Richie, doctoral student in microbiology, Salina, mentored by Sonny Lee, assistant professor of biology.

From out of state: Alexis Carpenter, doctoral student in microbiology, Lee's Summit, Missouri, mentored by Rollie Clem, professor of biology; and Stephen Hammond, doctoral student in human ecology, Warsaw, Ohio, mentored by Carl Ade, associate professor of kinesiology.

From out of country: Tshegofatso Ngwaga, doctoral student in biology, Botswana, mentored by Stephanie Shames, assistant professor of biology; Wei Wu, doctoral student in chemistry, China, mentored by Ping Li, associate professor of chemistry; Sabari Rajendran, doctoral student in chemistry, India, mentored by mentored by Jun Li, professor of chemistry; Anuja Paudyal, doctoral student in microbiology, Nepal, mentored by Govind Vediyappan, assistant professor of biology; Bibek Subedi, doctoral student in biology, Nepal, mentored by Kathrin Schrick, associate professor of biology; and Deepa Upreti, doctoral student in physiology, Nepal, mentored by Masaaki Tamura, professor of anatomy and physiology.


Johnson Cencer Research Center


Johnson Cancer Research Center

News tip

Alma, Colby, Junction City, Lenexa, Manhattan and Salina, Kansas; Lee's Summit, Missouri; and Warsaw, Ohio.

Written by

Marcia Locke