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Students from Kansas, Oklahoma honored for research at bioscience symposium

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — Twenty undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students were honored for their scientific research presentations at the 13th annual Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) symposium Jan. 17-18 in Topeka.

The annual symposium is part of the K-INBRE initiative to identify and recruit promising college science students into careers in biomedical research in Kansas.

Throughout the year, K-INBRE students work in laboratories alongside scientist mentors to develop research projects. These projects give students early “hands-on” experience in putting the scientific method into practice. Overall, 129 students presented their findings at the symposium.

“The symposium is a great opportunity for students to learn how to package and present their hard work and exceptional research to their peers and mentors,” said Doug Wright, principal investigator for K-INBRE and professor of anatomy and cell biology at University of Kansas Medical Center.

Four high school students from Wheatland High School in Grainfield also presented at the symposium. The students won the KU Area Health Education Center’s Night @ the Lab statewide science competition and were invited to present their research on Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Led by KU Medical Center, K-INBRE is a collaborative network students, faculty and staff at 10 campuses in Kansas and northern Oklahoma: KU Medical Center; Emporia State University; Fort Hays State University; Haskell Indian Nations University; Kansas State University; Pittsburg State University; KU; Washburn University; Wichita State University and Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma.

“This program is vital for the continued development and recruitment of biomedical researchers in Kansas,” Wright said. “With this program we hope to keep the biosciences in Kansas growing and thriving.”

The following 20 students, listed by campus, received cash prizes for their presentations:

Fort Hays State University

  • Hunter Scheib, senior student in radiology, “The incidence rate of the magic-angle effect in the oblique coronal T1-weighted images of the supraspinatus tendon” – oral presentation.


Kansas State University

  • Amanda Bradley, senior in biology, “Role of glucosylceramide synthase in cell-type differentiation of plants” – poster presentation.
  • Luke Kicklighter, junior in microbiology, “Targeting gap junction intercellular communication for triple negative breast cancer treatment” – poster presentation.
  • Erika Peters, junior in microbiology, “Characterization of start domains and co-regulators linking metabolism to development” – poster presentation.
  • Adam J. Schieferecke, junior in microbiology, “Generation of improved oncolytic myxoma virus” – poster presentation.
  • Katherine Sensenich, junior in microbiology/pre-med, “Identification and functional testing of natural variants of myxoma virus inhibitors of the antiviral protein kinase R” – oral presentation.
  • Zheng Zhao, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, “Rapid microfluidic Exosearch for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer” – poster presentation.


Langston University, Langston Okla.

  • Taylor Dismuke, “The investigation of proteasome degradation in saccharomyces cerevisiae” – oral presentation.


Pittsburg State University

  • Blaze Heckert, senior in biology, “Inhibitor-induced combination therapy of K-RAS driven NSCLC” – poster presentation.
  • Rachel Miller, junior in biology, “Determining Public Awareness about the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus, H5N1, in the United States” – oral presentation.
  • Kalee Woody, junior in biology, “PSMA-receptor targeting magnetic nanoprobes: Novel nanotheranostics for the treatment of prostate carcinomas” – poster presentation.


University of Kansas – Lawrence campus

  • Ryan Limbocker, an Overland Park senior in chemistry, “Analysis of neurochemistry in chemotherapy-treated rats to understand the mechanism of neurodegeneration in Post-Chemotherapy Cognitive Impairment” – oral presentation.
  • Erin Suderman, a Bluffton, Ohio, graduate student in molecular biosciences, “Genetic control of tissue specific growth in the larval trachea of drosophila” – poster presentation.
  • Meng Sun, post doc in chemistry, “Measuring Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) in Transgenic Mice Modeled Huntington’s disease (HD) on Craft Paper-based Analytical Devices (cPADs)” – oral presentation.
  • Thomas Field, graduate student in chemistry from Ann Arbor, Michigan, “Synthesis and characterization of photocaged sulfhydryls” – poster presentation.


University of Kansas Medical Center

  • Heather Wilkins, post doc in neurology from Haysville, “Bioenergetic influence of Amyloid beta generation” – oral presentation.
  • Everett Hall, graduate student from Wildwood, Missouri, in anatomy and cell biology, “Compound mouse mutants of Specc1l hypomorphic alleles model human palate neural tube closure defects” – oral presentation.


Washburn University

  • Jalen Dickson, senior in chemistry, “Solvent-free synthesis of biologically active stilbenoid derivatives” – poster presentation.


Wichita State University

  • Yongchao Li, post doc in biological sciences, “ARP2/3 complex mediates EFs-directed migration of neural stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte precursors” – oral presentation.
  • Hailey Lundin, junior in biology, “Bio-corrosion evaluations in accelerated dynamic electrochemical conditions” – poster presentation.


About K-INBRE:

K-INBRE is a multi-isciplinary network designed to inspire undergraduates to pursue careers in biomedical research, enhance research capacity through faculty development and retention and expand the biomedical research infrastructure connecting several academic institutions. More information about the program can be found at www.k-inbre.org.

This program was made possible by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20 GM103418.

Funding for the poster presentation awards was provided by BioKansas, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on enhancing the business and research climate and working with leaders across the state to attract and retain bioscience talent, companies and funding.