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Source: Marcia Locke, 785-532-6705,
Web site:
Note to editor: Barbara Braga is a graduate of Olathe North High School and Kyle Stueber is a
graduate of Olathe East High School.
Photos available. Contact Marcia Locke at 785-532-6705,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Forty-one undergraduate students at Kansas State University are earning cancer research awards from K-State's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research.

The cancer research award program was created to promote undergraduate participation in laboratory research and to encourage students to consider careers in research and medicine.

"We are helping train the next generation of cancer researchers and medical workers," said Rob Denell, center director and a university distinguished professor of biology.

The award program, which is open to K-State undergraduate students interested in working in cancer-relevant laboratories, provides $1,000 stipends to as many as 50 students a year, and $1,000 to their faculty mentors for research expenses.

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

"These students work closely with faculty on real research projects and some will undoubtedly go on to be top scientists and physicians," Denell said.

The awards will be presented to the students at a banquet Friday, March 26. It will be attended by the center's affiliated faculty, benefactors and friends.

The center also provides other undergraduate scholarships, as well as awards to graduate and postdoctoral students and faculty to support their cancer research and training.

The center's 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.

Cancer research award winners include:

Anna Rogers, junior in microbiology, Clyde; Randi King, senior in animal sciences and industry, Derby; Laura Mosher, junior in microbiology, Emporia; Brian Heiniger, senior in kinesiology, Fairview; Sterling Braun, freshman in microbiology, Fort Scott.

Nidia Ortega-Herrera, senior in life sciences and psychology, and Jimmie Stewart, junior in biology, both from Garden City; Garret Seiler, senior in biology, Goddard.

From Greater Kansas City: Mitchell Loeb, junior in biochemistry, Leawood; Barbara Braga, sophomore in English, 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; Gage Brummer, sophomore in biochemistry, Prairie Village; and Derek Low, senior in biochemistry, Westwood.

Colette Robinson, junior in biochemistry and chemistry, Horton; Connor Bridge, junior in animal sciences and industry and biology, and Kimberly Hall, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, both from Hutchinson; and Allison McKiearnan, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine, Lacygne.

From Manhattan: Joseph Bloomfield, senior in biology; Leonie Bossmann, sophomore in anthropology and biology; Emma Del Real, senior in biology and psychology; Karsten Evans, sophomore in biochemistry and chemistry; Claudia Ganser, senior in biology; Akiko Haruta, senior in biology and dietetics; Jacob Hull, junior in biochemistry; Diana Hylton, senior in microbiology and nutritional sciences; Melanie Katz, senior in biochemistry; Kelsey Pearson, senior in biochemistry; Paula Schlossinger Kurtz, senior in microbiology; Mark McHaney, senior in biology; Xiaoyu Su, senior in biology; Elizabeth Uthoff, junior in geography; and Megan Wolters, freshman in biology.

John Hirt, senior in biology and secondary education-biological science, Murdock; Erica Volker, senior in geography, Stafford; and Stacy Littlechild, junior in biology, Wakeeney.

From out-of-state: Derek Schneweis, junior in anthropology and biology, Monument, Colo.; Jillian Braun-Jankovich, sophomore in nutritional sciences, Papillion, Neb.; and David Villanueva, senior in biology, Baytown, Texas.

More information about the center is available at or by calling 785-532-6705.