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K-INBRE
Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence
at Pittsburg State University


The Twelfth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2014)

The twelfth annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the Downtown Kansas City Marriott Muehleback Tower Hotel in Kansas City, January 18-19, 2014. Attendees included twelve faculty (Drs. Peter Chung, David Gordon, Phil Harries, Mandy Peak, James McAfee, Charles Neef, Santimukul Santra, Neil Snow, Virginia Rider, Xiaolu Wu, Daniel Zurek, Irene Zegar); two administrators, Dr. Lynette Olson, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Pawan Kahol, Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies; and twenty-two students: Boya Abudu, Tayita Abudu, Anuradha Bhusri (graduate student), Jayden Bowen, Coleton Caldwell, Hannah DeVries, Trista Dugan, Tyler Egbert, Chris Hance, Trevor Harris, Blaze Heckert, Samanth Meneely (graduate student), Elias Mitchell, Kristi Neufeld, Austin Price, Tyler Shelby, Brady Steinbock, Emily Wilson, Josh Yeomans, Samanth Young and Christopher Ward. What a tremendous turnout.  Please see the photo taken of all of us during the meeting.

There were many excellent plenary talks. Paul Trainor, Professor at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research presented an excellent talk titled “Head and facial birth defects:  Their origins and the potential for prevention”.  Stuart Macdonald, the K-INBRE Bioinformatics Director at the University of Kansas gave a talk titled “The genetic basis of complex trait variation: Insights from Drosophila.  The poster sessions on Saturday afternoon were well attended. As usual, the food was delicious and the Muehleback Tower was a great venue for the Annual K-INBRE Symposium.  This meeting is an opportunity for students to present their research and for students and faculty to network with other scientists across the State of Kansas.  Taken together, the 12th Annual K-INBRE Symposium was an all-around success.  


K-INBRE provides record number of awards to PittState students and faculty. (2014)

Dr. Jody Neff (Chemistry) and Dr. Neil Snow (Biology) received “start-up” packages to fund supplies and equipment necessary for undergraduate research projects in their laboratories. Christopher Ward (Dr. Peak, mentor) received the very prestigious “Star Trainee Award” to fund his undergraduate research over his senior year and to help pay for tuition for the first year at a graduate school of his choice.  Five undergraduate students: Boya Adubu (Dr. Peak, mentor), Trevor Harris (Dr. Wu, mentor), Austin Price (Dr. Rider, mentor), Josh Yeomans (Dr. Harries, mentor) and Samantha Young (Dr. Gordon, mentor) received Summer Scholar Awards to conduct research over the summer. Congratulations to all. Click here for our group photo.


The Eleventh Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2013)

The eleventh annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the new Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center in Manhattan, KS from January 19-20, 2013. Attendees included nine faculty (Drs. Peter Chung, David Gordon, Phil Harries, Mandy Peak, James McAfee, Virginia Rider,  Xiaolu Wu, Daniel Zurek, Irene Zegar); Dr. Karl Kunkel, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and twenty-eight students: Boya Abudu, Whitney Baldridge (graduate student), Colten Caldwell, Sarah Base, Kaleb Nickell (graduate student), Michael Noble, Christopher Ward, Emily Rausch, Josh Wormington, Austin Price, Samantha Young, Sierra Foster, Kurt Herron, Miles Crowley, Lauren Renner, Sara Verga, Joshua Yoemans, Ryan Woodruff, Zarna Marfatia, Kristopher Parker, Johnna Foster, Ryan Wier, Megan Kramer (graduate student), Kelsey Knisley, Bradley Aubin, Margaret Cook and Trevor Harris. What a tremendous turnout. Click here for our group photo.

There were many excellent plenary talks. Phil Harries, Assistant Professor of Biology at PittState, gave an excellent plenary talk titled “Virus movement and the host cell cytoskeleton: hijacking cellular pathways to enable virus spread”. John Pijanowski, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas, gave a talk titled “Building a bridge between moral reasoning and moral action”. Students entering biomedical research are expected to perform as leaders and incorporate ethical standards in research. Part of the K-INBRE mentoring experience is to expose undergraduate students to various venues allowing them to develop leadership talents and acquire a strong sense of ethical behavior in research.

We gorillas all agreed that the food was delicious and the Hilton Garden Inn was a great venue for the Annual K-INBRE Symposium.  Most importantly, the annual meeting is an opportunity for students to present their research and for students and faculty to network with other scientists across the State.  At the end of the meeting, two professors from K-STATE agreed to travel to Pittsburg in the spring and present research seminars. Taken together, the 11th Annual K-INBRE Symposium was an all-around success. 


Samantha Young, a K-INBRE Scholar with Dr. Dave Gordon, received a grant award from the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) section of the Entomological Society of America. This was a national award and Sam was one of only eight recipients.  The money is to support her research project.  Way to go Sam!


The Tenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2012)

The tenth annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO from January 14-15, 2012. Attendees included nine faculty (Drs. Peter Chung, David Gordon, Phil Harries, Mandy Peak, James McAfee, Virginia Rider, Xiaolu Wu, Daniel Zurek, and Irene Zegar) accompanied by twenty-six students: Boya Abudu, Whitney Baldridge (graduate student), Erin Blitz, Bailee Claypool, Pamella Conley, Gerald Diskin, Sierra Foster, Autumn Gabehart, Daniel Haines, Holly Hrabik, Kelsey Knisley, Megan Kramer, Joshua Kristalyn, Zachary Krumsick, Joshua Mayfield, Kaleb Nickell, Christopher Nusbaum, Alex Talbott (graduate student), Myles Taylor, Carly Twarog, Sara Verga, Christopher Ward, Ryan Woodruff, Josh Wormington, Guannan Xiao (graduate student), and Samantha Young. Wow the turnout was the best yet!

Whitney Baldridge presented her research to the entire conference in an oral presentation titled “Screening compounds for effective inhibition of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1.” Whitney’s research was chosen for oral presentation by a committee of K-INBRE scientists based on the quality of her abstract. Samantha Young was presented an award for her poster titled “Sand fly vectors in Southeast Kansas.” Christopher Nusbaum received an award for his poster titled “HNRNP C and HRRALY: Biomarkers for cancer detection”. Alex Talbott was given an award for his poster titled “”Regulation of wingless signaling in proliferating and differentiating rat uterine stromal cell cultures”. There were 100 posters presented at the meeting and it was an honor for 3 posters from PittState to be selected as outstanding. Remember, one of the criteria for the poster selection is the importance of the research to human health.

There were many excellent plenary talks. Two of particular note were “Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs) from molecular pathogenesis to personalized therapy” (Dr. Godwin, K-STATE) and “Heads or tails in embryonic patterning” (Dr. Susan Brown, K-STATE). I hope the students realize that the science we hear at K-INBRE from top notch Kansas scientists is as good as it gets! It was a great meeting and we all look forward to January 2013 for the next opportunity to share science and fellowship.

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The Ninth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2011)

The ninth annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City, MO from January 15-16, 2011. Attendees included seven faculty (Drs. Peter Chung, Phil Harries, Mandy Peak, James McAfee, Virginia Rider, Xiaolu Wu and Irene Zegar) accompanied by twenty students: Whitney Baldridge, Alissa Becknell,  Brendan Coulter (graduate student), Sierra Foster, Emma Hayes (now a graduate student at UMKC), Elizabeth Kester, Kelsey Knisley, Joshua Kristalyn, Zachary Krumsick,  Joshua Mayfield, Meagan Miller, Myron Perry, Amy Pervin, Haley Ruther,  Brett Siegle, Alex Talbott (graduate student) Julie Ward (graduate student), Sarah Wolfe, Ryan Woodruff, and Guannan Xiao (graduate student).

Julie Ward gave on oral presentation titled "The differential regulation of calreticulin by 17-β estradiol in systemic lupus erythematosus T cells." Brendan Coulter presented a poster titled "The tomato bushy stunt virus movement protein binds to and disrupts actin filaments." presented a poster titled "Progesterone-dependent expression of wingless proteins in proliferating rat uterine stromal cell lines." Sierra Foster, Liz Kester, Alissa Becknell, Daniel Haines ,and Jenny Schnedler presented a poster titled "Identification of markers involved in tumorigenesis and macrophage resistance." Josh Kristalyn and Meagan Miller presented a poster titled "Investigation of the thermostability and DNA binding properties of a histone protein from the mesophilic arhaeal organism, Methanobrevibacter smithii."  Brett Siegle presented a poster titled "Molecular interactions between RAG1 and the RSS required for V (D) J recombination."  Alex Talbott, Zack Krumsick, and David Ramsey presented a poster titled "Regulation of wingless (WNT) signaling by female sex hormones in the rat uterus." Sarah Wolfe and Josh Mayfield presented a poster titled "Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins of the C type are differentially expressed in some cancer cells."  Ryan Woodruff and Kelsey Knisley reported their research in a poster titled "Assessing the cytoskeletal requirements for tomato bushy stunt virus movement." Whitney Baldridge Myron Perry and Haley Ruther presented a poster titled "Establishment of a pseudotype virus system to screen inhibitors for avian influenza virus, H5N1."  There were 111 posters presented at the meeting from all of the K-INBRE participants.

Highlights from the meeting included a fabulous turnout from PSU faculty and students.  Dr. Joan Hunt, the Principle Investigator of the K-INBRE since its beginning, announced her retirement. She is the founder of K-INBRE and a champion for undergraduate research in the State of Kansas. Her retirement, though well deserved, will be noticed throughout the State.  Doug Wright is the new Principle Investigator for the K-INBRE and we look forward to many more years of good science and research under his leadership.  There were excellent presentations at the meeting and several of our students won awards for their posters.  The food was first class, the fellowship superior and once again we returned to PSU with renewed vigor to conduct even better experiment to present at next year's meeting. 


The Eighth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2010)

The eighth annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City, MO from January 16-17, 2010. Attendees included five faculty (Drs. Peter Chung, Phil Harries, Mandy Peak, Virginia Rider and Dan Zurek) accompanied by nine students: Alissa Becknell, Caleb Burrows, Afrita Davis, Sierra Foster, Dustin Graham, Emma Hayes, Myron Perry, Haley Ruther and Julie Ward.

Davis, Graham, Burrows, and Ramsey presented a poster titled "Changes in the cell-specific expression of wingless (Wnt) suggests a regulatory model for progesterone-dependent synchronized proliferation of rat uterine stromal cells." Ruther and Perry presented a poster titled "Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, pseudotype H5N1: Luciferase assay for inhibiting compounds." Hayes presented a poster titled "Study of a novel auxin responsive tomato kinase gene."

Dr. Rider presented a plenary talk titled "Estrogen: Contributor to gender biased autoimmunity?" Other regional scientists talked about their research and the topics ranged from gene regulation to paleobotany. The later topic was discussed in a presentation titled "The harder you work, the luckier you get in paleobotany and biomedical research" given by Thomas Taylor, PhD, Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence. The food and the venue were excellent, as usual. The Saturday night dinner featured speaker Leonard Krishtalka, PhD presenting a provocative talk titled "The Knowledge Frontier: Where is it? How do we get there?" All in all it was a great weekend of science, fellowship and fun. Our students learned about research presentations on a more national level. We look forward to next years meeting!


The Seventh Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2009)

The seventh annual K-INBRE Symposium was held at the Clarion Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas from January 17-18, 2009. Attendees included Drs. Chung, Rider and Wu along with ten undergraduate students Becca Bryon, Caleb Burrows, Rhonda Egidy, Dustin Graham, Emma Hayes, Elise Johannesen, Haley Lawrence, Carrie McDowell, Kylie Quick and Nathan Woodward.

Bryon and Quick presented a poster titled "Measurement of estrogen receptor-alpha and estrogen receptor-beta in human T cells." Egidy presented a poster titled "Signal transduction in response to auxin". Graham and Burrows presented a poster titled "Hormonal control of wingless (Wnt) signaling in the rat uterus." Hayes presented a poster titled "Vanillin compounds and their anti-fungal properties." Johannesen presented a poster titled "Estrogen suppresses foxp3 expression in SLE T cells." McDowell presented a poster titled "Identification of markers involved in tumorigenesis and macrophage resistance." Woodward and Lawrence presented a poster "Analysis of an antibiotic glucanase protein from soybean."

Regional scientists presented excellent plenary talks ranging from "Strategies for Bacterial Success Across Kingdoms" (Fletcher, OSU) to "Can a mother's diet influence the sex of her offspring?" (Roberts, MU). The meeting was attended by four reviewers from AAAS to assess K-INBRE progress in the State of Kansas. Their reviews were positive and instructive. We were delighted to hear the news that K-INBRE has been renewed for another five years.


Summer 2008

Dr. Virginia Rider is the first winner of the Sidney A. McNairy, Jr. Mentoring Award given through the National Institutes of Health. The award, which will be given to one professor in the nation every two years, honors faculty for their dedication and focus mentoring students. For more, read the PSU blog.


The Sixth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2008)

This symposium was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri, January 19-20, 2008. Attendees included Drs. Brooker, Chung, Zurek, Rider and eight undergraduate students. Emily Walters gave an oral presentation titled "An Estrogen Receptor Antagonist, Faslodex, Improves Disease Activity and Increases Foxp3 Expression in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." Emily received an Award of Excellence for her presentation. She also gave an poster presentation titled "Microarray Profiling of Estrogen-Dependent Genes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." Rhonda Egidy gave an oral presentation titled "Determination of Factors Involved in the MicroRNA Biogenesis Pathway". Eric Bluml received an Award for his poster presentation titled " Halogenated Coumarin Derivatives As Novel Fungicides." Nolan Williams presented a poster titled "Tumor Cell Resistance to Macrophages". Nathan Woodward presented a poster titled "An Estrogen Receptor Antagonist, Faslodex, Improves Disease Activity and Increases Foxp3 Expression in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." Chad Stewart and Nathan Woodward presented a poster titled "Analysis of an Antibiotic Glucanase Protein From Soybean." Carrie McDowell and Kylie Quick attended the conference. There were excellent research presentation by scientists working in Kansas. The next K-INBRE Symposium will be held at K-State in Manhattan, KS.