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Note to editor: Courtney Estes and Jared Wilmoth are both graduates of Olathe North High School.
News release prepared by: Marcia Locke, 785-532-6705,

Friday, Jan. 21, 2011


MANHATTAN -- Nearly 50 undergraduates at Kansas State University are heading to the laboratory this semester to join the fight against cancer.

The students are recipients of cancer research awards from K-State's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research, and will conduct cancer research projects sponsored by the center.

The cancer research awards program was created by the center to promote undergraduate participation in laboratory research and encourage students to consider careers in cancer research and medicine.

"We're training the next generation of cancer researchers and medical workers," said Rob Denell, center director and university distinguished professor of biology.

The award program, open to K-State undergraduates interested in doing cancer-relevant research, provides $1,000 stipends to up to 50 students a year; their faculty mentors receive $1,000 for research expenses.

Students applied for the awards in the fall by co-writing research proposals with faculty mentors affiliated with the center. The winners conduct the research in the mentors' laboratories during the spring semester.

"These are outstanding students working closely with faculty on real research projects. Some of these students will undoubtedly go on to be top scientists and physicians," Denell said.

The cancer research awards emphasize the university's commitment to providing quality research opportunities for undergraduates, a point of emphasis in K-State's goal of becoming a top 50 research university.

Along with the research awards, the center provides other undergraduate scholarships and support for graduate student and faculty research and training. All of these programs are funded through private gifts.

The center is committed to furthering the understanding of cancer by funding basic cancer research and supporting higher education, training and public outreach. More information is available at or by calling 785-532-6705.

Cancer research award winners include:

Theodore Budden, senior in biology, Abilene; Taylor Kinney, senior in biology, Andover; Kendra Miller, senior in biology and nutritional sciences, Belleville; Pamela Maynez, senior in chemistry, Dodge City; Kristina Bigelow, junior in biology and chemistry, Elsmore; Theresa Barke, senior in biology, Fort Riley; Sterling Braun, junior in microbiology, Fort Scott; Jimmie Stewart, senior in biology, Garden City; Garret Seiler, senior in biology, Goddard.

From Greater Kansas City: Courtney Estes, senior in geography, and Jared Wilmoth, senior in chemistry and biochemistry, both from Olathe; James Neihart, senior in mechanical engineering, Andrew Satterlee, senior in chemical engineering, Patrick Shriwise, senior in mechanical engineering, and Kyle Steuber, senior in biochemistry, all from Overland Park; and Andrew Waters, junior in microbiology, Shawnee.

Corey Wells, senior in life sciences, Halstead; Jamie Ball, junior in biology, Hays; Colette Robinson, senior in chemistry and biochemistry, Horton; Parker Rayl, junior in biology, Hutchinson; Linette Ngaba, senior in dietetics, Junction City; Luis Chavez, junior in biology, and Edlin Ortiz, senior in life sciences, both from Liberal.

From Manhattan: Emily Archer-Slone, senior in biology; Leoni Bossmann, junior in biology and anthropology; Chloe Callahan, junior in chemistry and biochemistry; Emma Del Real, senior in psychology and biology; Eyad Elhamoudeh, freshman in biology; Karsten Evans, junior in chemistry and biochemistry; Samuel Honey, freshman in biology; Jacob Hull, junior in biochemistry; Stephanie Jacquez, junior in food science and industry; Paul Kurtz, senior in microbiology; Alexandria Leach, sophomore in biology; Allison McKiernan, junior in animal sciences and industry; Neema Prakash, freshman in life sciences; Preston Stephens, senior in biology and anthropology; Elizabeth Uthoff, senior in geography; and Megan Wolters, sophomore in microbiology.

Jammie Layman, senior in philosophy, Marysville; Allegra Gigstad, junior in nutritional sciences, Nortonville; Connor Brass, sophomore in microbiology, Salina; Luke Wenger, junior in microbiology, Topeka; and Angela Grommet, sophomore in chemistry, Wichita.

From out of state: Derek Schneweis, senior in anthropology and biology, Monument, Colo.; and David Villanueva, senior in biology, Baytown, Texas.

From out of country: Claudia Ganser, senior in biology, Austria; and Jithma Abeykoon, senior in biochemistry, Sri Lanka.