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K-State Today

November 4, 2016

Chapes named interim director of cancer research center

Submitted by Noelle Blood

Stephen Keith Chapes has been named the interim director of the Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University. Chapes will replace Rob Denell, university distinguished professor of biology, who is retiring after directing the center for 13 years. 

Chapes, who is a professor in the university's Division of Biology specializing in immunology, innate immunity, macrophage biology and gravitational and space immunology, has served as the center's associate director since 2003. His duties included reviewing applications for funding by the center and providing input on the center's role at the university. He will serve as interim director for roughly a year while a national search is conducted for the position. 

"The college is fortunate to have Dr. Chapes as interim director," said Beth Montelone, associate dean for research in the university's College of Arts & Sciences and member of the internal hiring committee. "His long tenure with the Johnson Cancer Research Center as a faculty scientist and associate director will allow the work of the center to go forward during the interim period."

Chapes' research group at K-State has made groundbreaking strides in the immunology and microgravity fields. They developed novel cancer cell lines that allowed research into mechanisms on how the immune system recognized and destroyed cancer cells.

The Johnson Cancer Research Center supports and advances cancer research at K-State, helps train future researchers and informs the public about cancer and risk reduction. All of its programs are made possible by private donations. 

The center is one of the College of Arts & Sciences' 25 academic divisions and departments. As K-State's largest and most diverse college, the College of Arts & Sciences acts as an intellectual center for the university encompassing studies in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.