Thursday, December 11, 2014

46 undergraduate students selected to join Kansas State University cancer research teams

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University has selected 46 undergraduate students to participate in its research mentoring and award program.

The center's undergraduate Cancer Research Award program promotes early participation in laboratory research, encouraging students to consider careers in cancer research and medicine while they're still deciding what academic and professional paths to take.

"We are enlisting a new generation of cancer researchers and medical workers, and helping train them to do scientific research," said Rob Denell, center director and university distinguished professor of biology.

The award program, which is open to Kansas State University undergraduate students interested in doing cancer-relevant research, provides $1,000 awards to about 50 students a year, and $1,000 per student for research expenses.

"These are outstanding students working closely with faculty on real research projects, and some, as we've seen in the past, will undoubtedly go on to be top scientists and physicians," Denell said.

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

The students will be recognized in the spring at a banquet attended by their families, center supporters and university faculty and administrators.

The center provides other undergraduate scholarships as well, and supports research and training of affiliated faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. All of these programs are funded through private gifts.

The center advances and funds cancer research at Kansas State University, and supports higher education and public outreach. More information about the center is at

The following students received a Cancer Research Award:

Kelsie Cole, junior in biology, and Macy Garcia, senior in biochemistry, both from Andover; Nicole Fiorentino, senior in biology, Arkansas City; Adam Schieferecke, sophomore in microbiology, Bennington; Noah Trapp, sophomore in microbiology, Ellsworth.

From Greater Kansas City: Jacob Morris, junior in microbiology, Kansas City; Heidi Brown, junior in microbiology, Muriel Eaton, sophomore in biochemistry, William Jones, senior in biology, and Katherine Sensenich, junior in microbiology, all from Leawood; Andrew Konecny, junior in biochemistry, Lenexa; Adam Elkiwan, junior in biology, Melissa Feuerborn, sophomore in biology, and Laura VanLerberg, junior in microbiology, all from Olathe; Caitlin Hall, sophomore in biology, Brenden Mitchell, sophomore in biology, and Megan Murray, senior in biology, all from Overland Park; Jacob Hodge, senior in biology, and Leah Rettig, junior in biology, both from Shawnee; and Leiming Tang, senior in biochemistry, Stilwell.

Valerie Binns, junior in electrical engineering, Hiawatha; Noel Fernando Nieto, sophomore in biology, Junction City; Cody Simmons, senior in biology, Leonardville.

From Manhattan: Kristin Bishop, senior in microbiology; Anna Brokesh, sophomore in biological systems engineering; Madeline Colter, junior in biology; August Fitch, senior in chemistry; Wren Michaels, senior in microbiology; and Steven Stimac, junior in chemical engineering;

Maia Carlson, senior in biology, Norton; Kayla Wilkinson, sophomore in biochemistry, Riley; Sarah McConnell, freshman in chemistry, Salina.

From Topeka: Amanda Bradley, senior in biology; Dillon Fairchild, senior in biological systems engineering; Jordan Parker, senior in biology; and Erika Peters, junior in microbiology.

Raquel Ortega, sophomore in chemistry, and Bailey Wright, sophomore in biology, both from Wichita.

From out of state: Baylee Alexis Porter, sophomore in psychology, Arlington Heights, Illinois; Samantha Hustak, junior in biology, Glenwood, Iowa; Hayley Holt, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, Country Club, Missouri; and German Cuevas, sophomore in biology, Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

From out of country: Zheng Zhao, senior in biological systems engineering, China; Arasi Nakashima, freshman in animal sciences and industry, Japan; Jose Espinola, senior in biochemistry, Paraguay; and Ha Quang Le, sophomore in microbiology, Vietnam.