Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence

at Pittsburg State University


Pittsburg State faculty and students are involved in a federally-funded effort to enhance biomedical research and training. This website describes the activities of the program on this campus.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) to foster research within states that traditionally have not received significant levels of competitive funding from NIH. One of the approaches of the IDeA Program, and the source of support on this campus, was the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Networks (BRIN) now referred to as the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE).

The objectives of K-INBRE are to:

  • bring together institutions within a state to establish a network,
  • provide competitive funding to the state-based network,
  • support institutional alterations and renovations,
  • provide funding for modern laboratory equipment, and
  • assist in the recruitment of new faculty.

K-INBRE funding is also intended to strengthen the basic science departments of the undergraduate institutions in the network by involving students in research. The undergraduate institutions also serve an important "feeder" role to the science departments of graduate schools within the IDeA-eligible areas.

The lead campus for K-INBRE is the University of Kansas Medical Center. Participants in Kansas K-INBRE in addition to Pittsburg State University are Emporia State University, Forth Hays State University, Haskell Indian Nation University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas - Lawrence, Washburn University, and Wichita State University.

  • Current Conference Attendees
  • Contacts at PSU
  • Faculty Mentors
  • Student Scholars
  • PSU Biology K-INBRE News
  • Publications and Abstracts

KInbre 2023

Pitt State K-INBRE attendees at the 2023 Conference

Campus Representative (and Faculty Mentor)

K-INBRE Faculty Mentors

Mailing Address:

Department of Biology [or Department of Chemistry]
Pittsburg State University
1701 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762

Each of these faculty guide undergraduate research with support from K-INBRE. But, more than just guiding research, these faculty are active mentors with each student.

Dr. Christine Brodsky

Dr. Christine Brodsky

Many research findings focus on the positive impacts of the proximity, density, and use of green spaces within a resident’s living environment, many of which are associated with health and psychological indicators. However, few studies have assessed the properties of the greenspace that correlate to their benefits. As the world becomes more urbanized, these impacts are incredibly more important to understand. 

Not all urban green spaces are equal: they can range from highly manicured parks and a mature forest stand, to a contaminated brownfield, steps away from a resident’s home. These site differences thus impact the site’s vegetation, wildlife diversity and habitat, potential for pollutant exposure, and residents’ interactions and well-being. To address how green space contents and structure affect urban wildlife and residents, our laboratory has collaborated with the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma’s Environmental Office. We are studying the effects of habitat remediation at the Tar Creek Superfund Site on the bird community and local residents, with the goal of tracking long-term changes. 

My research also studies how residents perceive green spaces and the features residents would prefer to have in their neighborhood green spaces. We found that residents valued clear and open spaces, indicators of lot care, and urban biodiversity within their neighborhoods. The next step is to go beyond perception and preference, and to assess how the contents and management practices of such green spaces affect residents both physiologically and psychologically. I welcome any student interested in either of these projects to contact me for volunteer or internship possibilities. 

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4947 | fax 620.235.4194


Dr. Peter Chung

Dr. Peter Chung

We have been interested in understanding how activated macrophages discriminate between normal and tumor cells and what is involved in that discrimination. Our approach has been to study the response of simian virus 40 (SV40)-transformed mouse fibroblast cells to activated macrophage-mediated cytotoxicity. Although SV40-transformed cells are tumorigenic, they are universally resistant to activated macrophage-mediated killing. However, a single subclone, F5b, was identified, which exhibits the unique phenotype of being sensitive to the tumoricidal activities of activated macrophages; while a sister clone, F5m, maintains the typical SV40-transformed phenotype of resistance.

Understanding the mechanisms by which tumor cells are resistant to macrophages may lead to the development of therapies which can overcome this resistance. Such a therapy could enhance the effectiveness of macrophages to reduce the occurrences of metastasis and to reject tumors.

Our laboratory, through collaboration with Kansas State University, is currently working with these tumorigenic cell lines, and one of our main goals is to identify, through cloning and expression, the putative gene(s) believed to be responsible for susceptibility to macrophage-mediated cytotoxicity. Preliminary molecular data suggests CD81 (a tetraspanin that may be used as a marker in tumorigenic cells) may be involved in differences in monolayer growth seen between the sister clones, F5b and F5m. Ongoing research with both nucleic acids and proteins will hopefully shed light into the mechanisms behind this activity.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4736 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact 

Dr. Laura Covert-MillerLaura Covert Miller

The overall goal of my research is to improve the health and quality of life for individuals with disabilities and older adults. The main intervention of focus is physical activity and implementing therapeutic recreation-based physical activity. Through investigations of physical activity interventions, evidence-based practices can be established to assist the credibility of the therapeutic recreation interventions. Investigating accurate measures of fitness and health is an additional research goal to help improve the reliability and validity of fitness assessments that can be used with such a diverse population. 

Most of the research completed is applied within the Ability Lab. The purpose of the Ability Lab is to provide therapeutic recreation interventions for community members while conducting research to create evidence-based practices in therapeutic recreation. Student research assistants are provided opportunities to work in the lab gaining valuable experience with those we serve which includes individuals with disabilities and older adults, specifically individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research assistants have opportunities to conduct assessments, plan and implement interventions, and evaluate outcomes. Interventions facilitated through the lab include physical activity programs, leisure education, and expressive arts interventions. Any students who have an interest in this research and the opportunities it can provide are welcome to reach out any time.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4670 | Contact 

Dr. Anuradha Ghosh

Anuradha Ghosh

I am an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Pittsburg state University. I am a microbiologist, and my research theme is One Health. My projects focus on various aspects of food safety, antibiotic resistance and virulence of food borne pathogens, molecular diagnostics. A few projects deal with host-pathogen interaction in vector (tick and mosquito) borne diseases. I also have projects related to restoration of environmental health. In many of these projects I have applied whole-genome sequence-based approach.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4532 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact








Dr. Ram GuptaRam Gupta

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4763 | fax 620.235.4003 | Contact








Dr. Phil HarriesDr. Phillip Harries

Virus infections pose a serious health threat to both plants and animals. In order for such infections to exert their negative effects, however, viruses must be able to move from cell-to-cell and spread within their hosts. My lab will focus on studying the methods by which viruses hijack plant cells to facilitate their movement. In particular, we will focus on the potential role of the host cell cytoskeleton which can serve as tracks along which cellular cargo (including invading viruses) can travel. Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) has been shown to require the host cytoskeleton for its spread but the mechanism underlying this requirement is unknown. We will examine the potential association of TBSV proteins with various components of the plant cell cytoskeleton using both microscopy and biochemical techniques. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of virus movement may lead to methods for slowing or stopping virus spread in important crop plants.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4864 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact

Dr. Mandy Peak BryanDr. Mandy Peak Bryan

Recognition of foreign antigens in the human immune system is primarily performed by the B and T cell receptors. The genes encoding the antigen-binding receptors are produced in a functional form during specific stages of lymphocyte development through a specific DNA rearrangement process referred to as V(D)J recombination. This results in somatic rearrangement of the gene segments that encode the variable regions of B-cell and T-cell receptors. Two lymphoid specific proteins, RAG1 and RAG2, initiate V(D)J recombination by introducing DNA double-strand breaks between each selected gene segment and their bordering recombination signal sequence (RSS) in a two step mechanism, in which the DNA is first nicked followed by hairpin formation. Mutations in either RAG protein that disrupt catalytic activity result in fatal immunodeficiency diseases, including SCID.

Our interests continue at the molecular level and we utilize biochemical methods to further interpret the protein-DNA interactions of RAG1 with the RSS. We will employ photo-crosslinking assays to determine the DNA nucleotides in the RSS heptamer that interact with RAG1 in the presence and absence of RAG2. Overall, these studies will provide important insight into the V(D)J recombination reaction, specifically that significant interaction of the RSS heptamer with RAG1 and to further elucidate the function of RAG1 and RAG2.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.6541 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact

Dr. Laurent PrétôtLaurent Pretot

The overarching goal of my research program is to understand the relative roles of cognition and ecology in shaping decision-making. I study this both at the individual and the species level, using cross-taxon comparative and developmental approaches. Exploring both the evolutionary and developmental origins of decision-making allows to better understanding how species solve problems they face in their everyday life. 

In my comparative work, I examined the performance of non-human primates and fish on versions of a task derived from the social dilemma encountered by cleaner fish in the wild. My findings showed that, despite their small brains, adult fish were better than primates and juvenile fish at solving this task, indicating that ecology and experience rather than cognition better equip species to be sensitive to particular cues when solving ecological problems. Consistent with this idea, monkeys improved their performance in versions of the task designed to be more relevant to primates. 

My developmental work complements my research with animals by exploring the factors influencing children’s decision-making in social dilemmas. In this line of work, I place social dilemmas in more socially valid and naturalistic contexts, ones in which individuals are interacting with real partners and where group membership matters. To examine this, I combine experimental work in the lab and observational work in the field. 

Together, the comparative and developmental facets of my research emphasize the importance of understanding how both ecology and social environment critically influence how species and individuals solve different problems. 

Contact Information: phone 620.235.6152

Dr. Virginia Rider

Dr. Virginia Rider

We are interested in understanding the action of female sex hormones in normal target cells and disease. A major focus of our research is to clarify the mechanisms involved in preparing the uterus to accept an embryo. The maternal cells that interface with the fetal placenta are of particular interest. The proliferation (increase in number) and differentiation (conversion of stromal cells to decidual cells) is regulated by progesterone and estradiol. We are studying how these hormones stimulate two different but related processes in the same cells.

The autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) occurs 10 times more often in women than men. Ongoing research in our laboratory suggests that the female sex hormone, estradiol, alters the mechanisms involved in maintaining self-recognition in adults. Loss of self-recognition leads to the development of autoimmunity. Identifying the targets of abnormal estradiol action in lupus T cells is the focus of our research. Understanding why estradiol has this affect in lupus T cells will enhance our knowledge of gender bias in some autoimmune diseases and lead to the development of novel treatments to improve patient’s lives.

Current Students: Samantha Meneely, Anuradha Bhusri, Austin Price, Brady Steinbock.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4739 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact

Dr. Santimukul SantraDr. Santimukul Santra

The main goal of our research is to develop new cutting-edge nanotechnologies to address the critical medical problems associated with human health, exploiting the advantages of nanobiotechnology, nanomedicine and polymer science in targeting, imaging and treatment of life-threatening malignant carcinomas. More specifically, the current research projects including “polymer science in drug delivery, nanotheranostics, activatable prodrugs and nanosensors” are focused on the early detection of circulating tumor cells, optical / MR / PET / CT imaging, targeted drug delivery and treatment of malignant tumors. Polymer-based magnetic nanosensors are of great interest in the timely detection of intra-cellular slow-growing infectious pathogens (e.g., Crohn’s disease), chemical & bioterrorism threats and other infectious diseases. The ultimate aim is to introduce attractive concepts for combined therapeutic and diagnostic approaches and to transfer the bench-top technologies to the clinics with a hope to reach bed-side.

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major impediment to the success of cancer chemotherapy. The proposed nanoparticle-based research will demonstrate that the MDR effect in cancer cells can be significantly overcome by a combination of receptor-mediated internalizations and intracellular release of therapeutic anti-cancer drugs from our newly designed nanotechnologybased drug delivery systems (DDS). Single-step synthetic protocol is developed for the synthesis of biocompatible dendritic polymers. Nanoparticles from these polymers will be labeled with UPR targeting inhibitors, receptor targeting ligands, ER stressors, MRI / PET / CT contrast agents, Si-RNA, therapeutic drugs and their theranostic applications as the breast, ovary, lung, prostate and cervical cancer nanomedicine will be evaluated. Designing new magnetic nanosensors and activatable prodrugs is the part of our intermediate research plan. Challenges will be taken to design activatable T2 contrast agent, while activatable T1 agent is established in the lab. Functional Quantum dots will be designed for activatable optical imaging. Investigation on nanoceria will facilitate the treatment of intracellular ROS, ER stress, chronic inflammations and inflammatory bowel diseases. These nanosensors and nanoprobes will be used for the timely detection of infectious diseases. This lab will pursue long term research plans in developing nanotherapeutics for targeting CNS diseases.

KEY RESEARCH AREA: Targeting, imaging and treatment of malignant tumors using designer nanotheranostics | Nanotechnology-based drug delivery system formulations | Early detection of circulating tumor cells | Timely detection of infectious diseases | Activatable prodrugs | Activatable MRI probes | Medical nanodevices | Nanomedicine | Nanobioimaging | Bioconjugations | Magnetic switches | Nanosensors | Nanotoxicology | Material science | Biopolymer synthesis | Synthetic organic  chemistry.

Current Students: Blaze Heckert, Megan Burdick, Derek Coates, Buster Reddick.

Contact Information: Phone 620.235.4861 | Fax 620.235.4003 | Contact

Dr. Neil SnowDr. Neil Snow

Human health can be affected significantly by local environmental conditions. Regionally, for example, we have the Tar Creek Superfund Site, a legacy of past mining activities that paid insufficient attention to the short and long-term effects of surface mining on human health. Likewise, local environmental health is dependent on, and linked to, regional and global environmental conditions.

Local terrestrial ecosystems, and the native fauna they support, only function normally in the presence of native species of plants. Surprisingly, many areas have not been adequately surveyed for their native plant diversity, or if so, have not been surveyed for many decades.

My research in part studies the distribution of native and non-native plants across local landscapes. Many potential local projects await the attention of highly motivated students. The data from such studies are valued and used by state and federal land management agencies, municipal planners, educators, and ecologists and other scientists. Although the numbers are rarely high, openings for career positions in the private consulting sector and publicly in state and federal land-management agencies are advertised steadily.

The other principal focal area of my research is the systematics (=classification) of the Grass (Poaceae) and Myrtle (Myrtaceae) families. Ecologically, grasses are the most abundant plants on the planet by far, something native Kansans are other prairie dwellers understand intuitively. My studies focus on Leptochloa and closely related genera, which was the topic of my doctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis and at the Missouri Botanical Garden. My other main area of interest, the Myrtle family, is studying one of the most species-rich plant genera in the world, Eugenia, in one of the world’s mega-divers countries, Madagascar.

The Theodore M. Sperry Herbarium at Pittsburg State University, of which I am Director, is a center of research for plant diversity in the region. Students interested in potential projects, including possible work-study options in the T. M. Sperry Herbarium, are encouraged to contact me.

Contact Information: Phone 620.235.4424 | Fax 620.235.4194 | Contact

Dr. Dan ZurekDr. Daniel Zurek

My lab is investigating a potent antimicrobial protein from soybean with the ultimate goal of producing a novel antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance is an enormous and rapidly growing problem among numerous human pathogens formerly easily controlled by existing drugs. Discovery of new antibiotics is essential. Research has focused on isolating new medicinal compounds from rare tropical plant species, but little attention has been paid to crop species which can be grown in quantity.

We have cloned a gene from soybean (Glycine max L.) encoding an enzyme possessing glucanase activity, potentially capable of degrading bacterial and fungal cell wall structures, resulting in abatement or termination of microbial growth. It has shown considerable activity against several species of gram negative bacteria (E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Proteus vulgaris) as well as against Charcoal Rot (Macrophomina phaseolina), a significant fungal pathogen of soybean, corn, cotton, and many other plant species of agronomic importance responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars lost to American farmers annually. Analysis of purified recombinant protein from a yeast expression system is underway to quantitate the efficacy of this protein as an antimicrobial agent.

Contact Information: phone 620.235.4746 | fax 620.235.4194 | Contact

University Scholars (2023-2024) 

K-INBRE University Scholars
Student Scholar         Mentor
Abby Bolick Dr. Zurek
Kyra Hirshey Dr. Gupta
Jessica Jones Dr. Covert-Miller
Christopher Simmons      Dr. Brodsky

Summer/Semester Scholars (2023-2024)

K-INBRE Summer Scholars
Student Scholar Mentor
Alexandra Robinson Dr. Gupta
Adam Worsley Dr. Santra
Caleb Worsley Dr. Santra

Bioinformatics Scholar (2023-2024)

Bioinformatics Scholar
Student Scholar Mentor
Ayushee Dasgupta  Dr. Ghosh

STAR Trainees (2023-2024)

Student Scholar Mentor
Carlie Payne Dr. Chung

Past Undergraduate Researchers

  • Austin Abram (Class of 2022) environmental consulting
  • Boya Abudu (Class of 2014) medical school, San Diego
  • Tayita Abudu (Class of 2017) medical school, KU
  • Shelby Aikins (Class of 2022) graduate school, PSU
  • Audriana Angeles (Class of 2021) medical school, KUMC
  • Ryan Asauskas (Class of 2020) medical school, KUMC
  • Bradley Aubin (Class 2013) physical therapy program, Washington University, St. Louis
  • Quentin Austin (Class of 2019) outcome unknown
  • Whitney Baldridge (Class of 2011) graduate school, PSU; PhD program Scripps
  • Cassidy Barnard (Class of 2017) research tech, University of Iowa
  • Sarah Base (Class 2015) working in non-science area
  • Alissa Becknell (Class of 2011) dental school, UMKC
  • Erin Blitz (Class of 2013) unknown outcome
  • Morgan Blubaugh (Class of 2024) still in program
  • Jayden Bowen (Class of 2016) MD/PHD, University of Iowa
  • Halle Brin (Class of 2020) graduate school, PSU; PhD program K-State
  • Nicholas Burnett (Class of 2019) graduate school, MPH
  • Caleb Burrows (Class of 2010) medical school, Oklahoma State University
  • Thai Butcher (Class of 2020) graduate school, PSU
  • Colton Caldwell (Class 2013) UMKC School of Dentistry
  • Brent Cameron (Class of 2006) MD/PhD program, Case Western
  • Delaney Cedeno (Class of 2023) middle school science teacher
  • Bailee Claypool (Class of 2013) Biotech company, Kansas City
  • Pamella Connely (Class 2013) graduate school, University of Alaska
  • Ashlyn Conner (last attended Spring, 2016) outcome unknown
  • Andrew Conard (Class of 2004) Graduate Studies, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
  • Karsteen Creech (Class of 2017) working, Mercy Hospital
  • Brock Crews (Class of 2020) graduate school, UC-Fullerton
  • Gage Davies (Class of 2017) medical school, KU
  • Afrita Davis (Class of 2010) postbac (Oregon)
  • Tiffany Dawson (Class of 2004) biotech industry
  • Hannah DeVries (Class of 2017) graduate program
  • Niamh Dixon (Class of 2023) graduate school, George Washington University
  • Nicholas Dooley (Class of 2022) working in hospital
  • Trista Dugan (Class of 2016) medical school, KU
  • Brett Dunbar (Class of 2004) medical school, KCUMB, Kansas City
  • Caine Duran (Class of 2022) biotech industry
  • Rhonda Egidy (Class of 2008) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee
  • Rebekah Elliot (Class of 2018) medical school, KU
  • Tyler Elmore (Class of 2016) medical school, KU
  • Ryan Endress (Class of 2004) medical school, KU
  • Miranda Fazzi (Class of 2017) outcome unknown
  • Emily Fry (Class of 2018) medical record specialist
  • Sierra Foster (Class of 2014) medical school, KU
  • Autumn Gabehart (Class of 2013) Nursing School
  • Veronica Casquero Garcia (Class of 2004) graduate school, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain
  • Mallory Gibson (Class of 2019) medical school, OU
  • Laura Glenn (Class 2012) homeopathic medical school, Springfield, MO
  • Sara Goins (Class of 2021) outcome unknown
  • Robin Goodreau (Class of 2019) manager, pheasant farm
  • Dustin Graham (Class of 2010) medical school, University of Oklahoma
  • Scott Grammar (Class of 2005) medical research and development
  • Laci Hadorn (Class of 2017) medical school, KCU
  • Daniel Haines (Class of 2011) medical school, KU
  • Garrett Harmon (Class of 2018) PA program MSU, Springfield
  • Trevor Harris (Class 2015) UMKC school of Dentistry
  • Zoey Harvey (Class of 2023) graduate school, PSU
  • Emma Hayes (Class of 2010) graduate school, UMKC
  • Grace Herren (Class of 2021) physical therapy program, University of Saint Mary
  • Kurt Herron (Class 2013)  medical school, AT Still
  • Jonathan Hey (Class of 2018) pharmacy school, KU
  • Simon Higginbotham (Class of 2020) medical school, KUMC
  • Holly Hrabik (Class of 2012) graduate school, Texas A & M
  • Holly Humes (Class of 2023) US Army
  • Vedant Jain (Class of 2021) graduate school, KUMC
  • Wes Jameson (Class of 2022) Crawford County EMS
  • Kyla Jantz (Class of 2021) pharmacy school, University of Colorado Denver
  • Janae Jarred (Class of 2004) medical school, KU
  • Jessica Jewell (Class of 2017) medical school, KUMC
  • Ashley Jimenez (Class 2017) pharmacy school
  • Monica Jirak (Class of 2021) physician assistant program, Wichita
  • Elise Johannesen (Class of 2009), medical school, OU
  • Stacy Jones (Class of 2007) medical school, KU
  • Benjamin Kelm (Class of 2019) chiropractic school, Cleveland KC
  • Nathan Kerr (Class of 2018) graduate school, MU
  • Elizabeth Kester (Class of 2011) pharmacy school
  • Andrew Kleinberg (Class of 2007) medical school, Southwestern, Dallas
  • Kelsey Knisley (Class of 2013) physician assistant program
  • Samantah Knoblauch (Class of 2020) optometry school, St. Louis
  • Megan Kramer (Class of 2012) graduate school, PSU
  • Joshua Kristalyn (Class of 2011) outcome unknown
  • Zach Krumsick (Class of 2011) medical school, KU
  • Diana Laflin (Class of 2017) medical technology
  • Ryan LaSota (Class of 2006) medical school, KU
  • Yashvi Limbasiya (attended 2020, did not graduate) outcome unknown
  • Joshua Mayfield (Class of 2011) graduate program, University of Texas-Austin
  • Carrie McDowell (Class of 2008) optometry school, MU-St. Louis
  • Erick McCloskey (Class of 2021) graduate school, KU
  • Taylor Michael (Class of 2023) medical school, KU
  • April Miller (Class of 2019) outcome unknown
  • Megan Miller (Class of 2011) medical school, KU
  • Rachel Miller (Class 2016) physician assistant program, Wichita
  • Sara Monrad (Class of 2007) dental school, UMKC
  • Kinsey Morey (Class of 2022) working, Freeman Cancer Institute
  • Tucker Morey (Class of 2019) medical school, KUMC
  • Abbi Morgan (Class of 2018) graduate school, PSU
  • Denise Muchangi (Class of 2019) medical school, KUMC
  • William Niedens (Class of 2022) working, Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph
  • Evan Noel (Class of 2017) graduate school, UT Southwestern
  • Abby Noble (Class of 2023) pharmacy school, KU
  • Mike Noble (Class 2015) medical technology, BMT @ PSU
  • Maria Newmaster (Class of 2016) medical school, KU
  • Sydney Nippoldt (Class of 2022) working, Labette Health
  • September Numata (Class of 2017) graduate school, KUMC
  • Christopher Nusbaum (Class of 2011) graduate school, University Pennsylvania
  • Lindsey ONeal (Class of 2016) outcome unknown
  • Sasha Pashchenko (Class of 2018) medical school, Dartmouth
  • Yegor Pashchenko (Class of 2017) medical school, KU
  • Megan Peters (Class of 2017) Community Health, medical assistant
  • Amy Pervin (Class of 2010) physician assistant program, Wichita
  • Danyell Pollard (Class of 2011) business owner
  • Austin Price, (Class of 2014) medical school, KU
  • Emma Puddefoot (Class of 2021) outcome unknown
  • Kylie Quick (Class of 2008) medical school, KU
  • Emily Rausch (Class of 2010) medical school, KU
  • Madison Reese (Class of 2023) graduate school, OSU
  • Dakota Robarts (Class of 2018) graduate school, KUMC
  • Tyson Roderique (Class of 2020) medical school, AT Still
  • Rachel Ruiz (Class of 2023) graduate school, University of Alabama
  • Haley Ruther (Class of 2011) graduate school, LSU - Shreveport
  • Clinton Seifert (Class of 2004) medical school, KU
  • Drake Shaw (Class of 2020) medical school, AT Still
  • Tyler Shelby (Class of 2016) MD/PHD, Yale
  • Lok B Shrestha (class of 2018) industry - DuPont
  • Baylie Sigmund (Class of 2022) physical therapy program, KUMC
  • Brett Siegle (Class of 2011) medical school, KU
  • Morgan Smith (Class of 2021) graduate school, PSU
  • Chad Stewart (Class of 2008) medical school, KU
  • David (Adam) Stewart (attended 2022, did not graduate) outcome unknown
  • Stephen Stull (Class 2016) outcome unknown
  • Joseph Symes (Class of 2004) chiropractic medicine, Palmer School, Des Moines
  • Erika Sumner (Class of 2018) applied PA program
  • Myles Taylor (Class of 2013) medical school, KU
  • Hannah Thomas (Class of 2017) graduate school, Cornell
  • Deaven Thompson (Class of 2017) works in medical office
  • Carly Twarog (Class of 2013) medical school, KU
  • Meryl Twarog (Class of 2006) medical school, Case Western
  • Marissa Vail (Class of 2023) medical school, KCU
  • Sarah Veesart (Class of 2019) medical school, KUMC
  • Sara Verga (class of 2013) medical school, KU
  • Ryan Walker (Class of 2019) graduate program, PSU
  • Ryan Weir (Class of 2014) medical school, KU
  • Ryan Woodruff (Class of 2013) medical school, KU
  • John Yost (Class of 2006) medical school, KU
  • Sarah Yost (Class of 2004) medical school, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • James Vallandingham (Class of 2005) graduate school, KU Computer Science/Bioinformatics
  • Christopher Ward (Class of 2014), medical school, KU
  • Andrea Wassum (Class of 2005) BsEd, Washburn University
  • Briggs Westby (Class of 2015) medical school, Edward Via, South Carolina
  • Nolan Williams (Class of 2008) medical school, KU
  • Caleb Winscott (attended Fall 2019, did not graduate) outcome unknown
  • Kalee Woody (Class 2016) medical school, KCU
  • Rebecca Wolgematt (Class of 2005) medical school, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Nathan Woodward (Class of 2008) dental school, UMKC
  • Sarah Wolfe (class of 2011) graduate school, University of Texas, Austin
  • Joshua Wormington (class of 2013) Health Quest technician, Kansas City
  • Paul Worsley (Class of 2023) medical scribe, Freeman Health
  • Elaine Worth (attended Spring 2012, did not graduate) outcome unknown
  • Joshua Yeomans (Class 2016) Continuing Medical Education Coordinator, KUMC
  • Samantha Young (Class of 2013) graduate school, PSU
  • Hannah Zerr (Class of 2021) medical school, KUMC

Past Star Trainee

  • Ryan Asauskas (Class of 2020) medical school, KUMC
  • Jayden Bowen, MD/Ph.D Iowa State
  • Kerri Burson, graduate school, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Caine Duran (Class of 2022) working in industry
  • Rebekah Elliot (Class of 2018) medical school, KU
  • Blaze Heckert, graduate school, OSU
  • Vedant Jain, graduate school, Ph.D., KUMC
  • Denise Muchangi, applied medical school
  • September Numata, graduate school, KUMC
  • Christopher Nusbaum, graduate school, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sasha Paschchenko, medical school, Dartmouth
  • Danyell Pollard, planned graduate school
  • Tyson Roderique, medical school, AT Still
  • Rachel Ruiz (Class of 2023) graduate school, University of Alabama
  • Tyler Shelby, MD/PhD Yale
  • Sarah Veesart, medical school, KU
  • Emily Walters, MD/PhD program, Rochester, NY
  • Christopher Ward, medical school, KU
  • Paul Worsley (Class of 2023) medical scribe, Freeman Health

Past Teleconference Students

  • Greg Peterson, graduate school, Ph.D., Kansas State University
  • Tamara Potapova, graduate school, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
  • Julie Ward, graduate school, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

The Twenty-first Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium (2023)

The 21st Annual K-INBRE Symposium was held back in-person after two years of virtual attendance. The meeting took place on January 13 – 15, 2022 at the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas. Pitt State was well represented with faculty and 14 students attending from the Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and HHPR departments. BioKansas sponsored the poster session, where 158 posters were presented by students from across Kansas institutions. Twelve of our K-INBRE scholars presented their work. Paul Worlsey (undergraduate Biology major, mentored by Dr. Santra) received an Honorable Mention for his oral presentation. Thanks to all of the K-INBRE students for presenting their research and to the faculty mentors who supervised their research and attended the meeting. We look forward to the next symposium in 2024!

The Twentieth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2022 (PDF Report)

The Nineteenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2021 (PDF Report)

The Eighteenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2020 (PDF Report)

The Seventeenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2019 (PDF Report)

The Sixteenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2018 (PDF Report)

The Fourteenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2016 (PDF Report)

The Thirteenth Annual K-INBRE Student Research Symposium - 2015 (PDF Report)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer K-INBRE - 2008 (PDF Report)

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


Choi, J., Morey, K., Kumar, A., Neupane, D., Mishra, S. R., Perez, F., and Gupta, R. K. "Self-assembled cotton-like copper-molybdenum sulfide and phosphide as a bifunctional electrode for green energy storage and production." Materials Today Chemistry 24:100848, 2022.


Shaw, Z., Patel, A., Butcher, T., Banerjee, T., Bean, R. and Santra, S. "Pseudo-branched polyester copolymer: an efficient drug delivery system to treat cancer." Biomaterials Science 8:1592-1603, 2020.


Rider, V., Talbott, A., Bhusri, A., Krumsick, Z., Foster, S., Wormington, J. and Kimler, B. “Wingless (WNT) signaling is a progesterone target for rat uterine stromal cell proliferation.” Journal of Endocrinology 229:1-11, 2016.


Ward, J. W., Rider, V., Abdou N. I., and Kimler, B. F. “Estradiol differentially regulates calreticulin: a potential link with abnormal T cell function in systemic lupus erythematosus?” Lupus 22:583-596, 2013.


Weng, Ju-Lin, Samantha L. Young, David M. Gordon, David Claborn, Christine Petersen, Marcelo Ramalho-Ortigao. 2012.First Report of Phlebotomine Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Kansas and Missouri, and a PCR Method to Distinguish Lutzomyia shannoni From Lutzomyia vexator. J. Med. Entomol. 49:1163-1552.


Abdou, N.I., and Rider, V. 2010. "Gender Differences in Autoimmune Diseases: Immune Mechanisms and Clinical Applications": in Principles of Gender Specific Medicine. M. Legato, ed., Elsevier, New York, pp 585-591.


Rider, V., and Abdou, N. I. 2009. "Hormones-Epigenetic Contributors to Gender Biased Autoimmunity". in Epigenetics of Autoimmune Diseases. M. Zouali, ed., John Wiley & Sons Ltd. London, UK, 310-336.

Harries, P.A., Karuppaiah, P., Yu, W., Schoelz, J.E., Nelson, R.S. (2009) The Cauliflower mosaic virus protein P6 forms motile inclusions that traffic along actin microfilaments and stabilize microtubules. Plant Physiology 149(2):1005-1016.

Walters, E., Rider V., Abdou N.I., Greenwell C., Svojanovsky S., Smith P. and Kimler B.F. (2009) Estradiol targets T cell signaling pathways in human systemi lupus. Clinical Immunology 133:428-436.


Gorjestani, S., Rider, V., Kimler, B.F., Greenwell, C., and Abdou, N.I. "Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinase1/2 Signaling in SLE T Cells is Influenced by Estrogen and Disease Activity." Lupus, 17: 548-554, 2008.

Abdou, N. I., Rider, V., Greenwell, C., Li, X. and Kimler B.F. "Fulvestrant (Faslodex) an Estrogen Selective Receptor Downregulator, in Therapy of Females with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Clinical, Serologic, Bone Density, and T Cell Activation Marker Studies: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial." Journal of Rheumatology, 35: 797- 803, 2008.

Harries, P.A., Karuppaiah, P., Bhat, S., Nelson, R.S. (2008) Tobacco mosaic virus 126-kDa protein increases the susceptibility of Nicotiana tabacum to other viruses and its dosage affects virus-induced gene silencing. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 21:1539-1548.

Harries, P.A., Nelson, R.S. (2008) Movement of Viruses in Plants. Encyclopedia of Virology, 3rd Edition. pp. 348-355. Elsevier Press.


Rider, V., Li, X., and Abdou, N.I. "Hormonal Influences in the Expression of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Companion to Rheumatology. G. C. Tsokos, P.C. Gordon, J. S. Smolen, eds., Elsevier, New York, NY, 87-94, 2007.


Rider, V., Li, X., Peterson, G., Dawson J., Kimler B.F., and Abdou, N.I. "Differential Expression of Estrogen Receptors in Females with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus". Journal of Rheumatology 33: 1093-1101, 2006.

Li, X., Rider, V., Kimler, B.F., and Abdou, N.I. "Estrogen Does Not Regulate CD154 mRNA Stability in SLE T Cells." Lupus 15: 1-6, 2006.

Rider, V., Isuzugawa, K., Twarog, M., Jones, S., Cameron, B., Imakawa, K., and Fang, J. "Progesterone Initiates Wnt-β-catenin Signaling But Estradiol is Required for Nuclear Activation and Synchronous Proliferation of Rat Uterine Stromal Cells." Journal of Endocrinology 191:1-13, 2006.

Cove, D.J., Bezanilla, M.B., Harries, P.A., Quatrano, R.S. (2006) Mosses as model systems for the study of metabolism and development. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 57, 497-520.

Abstracts of Recent Presentations and Posters (PDF)