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Johnson Cancer Research Center supports next-gen student research with new award

Thursday, April 25, 2024



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Johnson Cancer Research Center is endorsing the next generation of cancer researchers and supporting cutting-edge research in the field with its new Graduate Cancer Research Scholarship and Support Award.

The center has selected two outstanding graduate students to receive this esteemed award: Grant Brooke, doctoral student in microbiology, Topeka; and Ramona Weber, doctoral student in health and human sciences, Hanover. Brooke and Weber were selected for their exceptional dedication to cancer research and outstanding academic merit.

Brooke conducts research in the lab of Nick Wallace, associate professor of biology. His current project is "The Transcription Factor ELF3 as an Indicator of Disease Progression in High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions." Brooke's work in cervical cancer research showcases his commitment to advancing our understanding of cancer progression.

"I'm very grateful for this award, as it will significantly improve my quality of life by allowing me to fully concentrate on my research, establish a more sustainable schedule, and provide much-needed financial stability for my fiancé and me," Brooke said.

Weber is investigating "Nitric Oxide Signaling in Heart Failure and Breast Cancer: Implications and Therapeutic Regimens" in the lab of David Poole, university distinguished professor of kinesiology. Her research delves into the complex interplay between heart failure and breast cancer, highlighting her dedication to multidisciplinary research with significant clinical implications.

"Receiving the JCRC graduate award is a tremendous honor that will undoubtedly shape my profession in cancer research," Weber said. "It will enable focused research and work-life balance, letting me cherish time with my nieces and nephews and my beloved pets, Nigel and Zuri."

The Graduate Cancer Research Scholarship and Support Award, funded by an anonymous donor at the Topeka Community Foundation, provides financial support of up to $75,000 directly to the students, covering expenses for living, travel and other education-related costs. This support aims to empower students to continue their vital research endeavors and pursue impactful careers in cancer research.

"We are thrilled to recognize Grant Brooke and Ramona Weber for their exceptional contributions to cancer research," said Sherry Fleming, director of the Johnson Cancer Research Center. "Their dedication, passion and innovative research projects exemplify the spirit of excellence we strive for at the Johnson Cancer Research Center. We look forward to witnessing their continued success and contributions to the field."

The Graduate Cancer Research Scholarship and Support Award is an integral part of the center's ongoing efforts to advance cancer research and support talented students committed to making a difference in the fight against cancer.

The Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University is at the forefront of cutting-edge cancer research and is committed to advancing knowledge and fostering innovation in the fight against cancer. By supporting faculty, students and fellows, the center strives to make meaningful contributions to the field while nurturing the development of future leaders in cancer research.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


Johnson Cancer Research Center

News tip

Hanover and Topeka.

Written by

Sarah E. Velasquez