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K-State Today

May 19, 2023

Innovative Research Awardees named

Submitted by Katy Heger

The Johnson Cancer Research Center has two Innovative Research Awardees: Karin Goldberg, associate professor of geology, and Mark Weiss, professor of anatomy and physiology.

Goldberg is researching natural contamination of groundwater by uranium in Southeast Kansas. Uranium is extremely dangerous and can cause cancer and lead to kidney problems, if water contaminated with uranium is consumed. Her research has shown water from wells are able to be contaminated if the water were to be exposed to rocks, like black shales. Black shales are dangerous because they contain extremely higher uranium levels than most rocks.

Weiss studies the potential use of extracellular vesicles — small particles released from cancer cells — for early detection of cancer, especially soft tissue tumors. He will collect and characterize the extracellular vesicles from rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma cells to determine if the vesicles can be used for earlier detection.

Goldberg and Weiss are both members of the Johnson Cancer Research Center.