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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Vision, Mission & History

The Johnson Cancer Research Center’s multidisciplinary faculty researchers and students are working hard to unravel the complexities of cancer. With the support of a devoted Advisory Council and many generous donors, the center is taking a leading role in conquering cancers in our time.


To discover the foundational knowledge needed to advance in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.


To further the understanding of cancers by funding K-State cancer research, and supporting higher education, training, and public outreach.


Improve cancer-related research and education
Provide scholarships and fellowships
Enrich the student experience
Inform the public about cancer and cancer research


Terry C. Johnson

terry johnson

Terry C. Johnson, founding director of the cancer research center, was born and raised in Minnesota. He received his B.S. at Hamline University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

He became a professor of microbiology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, before moving with his family to Manhattan, Kan., in 1977, to serve as professor and director of the Division of Biology at K-State, where he eventually earned the title of University Distinguished Professor and other prestigious awards.

Dr. Johnson helped establish the center in 1980 by securing private and grant funds for an Anticancer Drug Discovery Laboratory. The center now serves as a hub to around 100 faculty researchers in 17 departments of five colleges, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and educational support to them and their students every year.

Dr. Johnson passed away from cancer in October 2002, but not before earning K-State national recognition and respect for its excellent cancer research and education programs.

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