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Johnson Cancer Research Center


In addition to performing cutting-edge research, our faculty scientists are training today’s students to be some of tomorrow’s top cancer researchers and medical professionals.

Our center offers numerous opportunities to help students work towards careers in research and medicine. We do this through special activities and through award programs, which are discussed below. We've also included links to websites about other institutions’ student research opportunities.

Educational efforts include:

  • Students are brought into the laboratory early on, when it can be influential in their academic and professional decision-making.
  • Exposure to cancer issues is provided through cancer-related courses in multiple departments at undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Awards, scholarships, fellowships, and workshops are sponsored by the center to enhance education.
  • Multidisciplinary programs expose students to a variety of areas and expert researchers.
  • The Cancer Journal Club offers opportunities to learn about hot topics in cancer research, as well as to practice presentation skills.
  • The K-State Cancer Fighters offers an avenue for students to support the Johnson Cancer Research Center as volunteers and advocates.

This video of undergraduate cancer researcher and survivor Andrew Satterlee, discussing his personal and scientific fight against cancer, demonstrates what a Johnson Cancer Research Center lab experience can do for students.

Here is a story about another student who has benefited from a cancer research lab experience.

Student Award Programs

Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards

This is a highly competitive research mentoring program that offers a unique opportunity for students to participate in real laboratory research while still at the undergraduate level. Students and cancer research center-affiliated faculty complete the CRA application together, proposing a project that involves the student in the faculty mentor’s research and lab team. The students who are selected for the program and fulfill their research commitments receive $1,500 near the end of the spring semester. Each faculty mentor also receives a $1,000 award per student to support project expenses. Learn more and apply here.

During the spring semester, we have an Awards Banquet to recognize our Cancer Research Award recipients. See photos of past banquets here.

Cancer Research Award winners are further encouraged by Advisory Council member and K-State Alumni Fellow Bob Kinders, PhD, head of the Pharmacodynamics assay development (PADIS) laboratory at Frederick National Laboratory, part of the National Cancer Institute, to apply for the National Institutes of Health Summer Internship Program in Frederick, Maryland. To learn more, e-mail Dr. Kinders at rkinders@ncifcrf.gov.

Heart Research Awards

These awards are presented to one or more faculty members to support graduate student research on heart development, function, or disease. This award is given periodically based on an endowment established for this specific purpose. Learn more and apply here.

Graduate Student and Biology Graduate Student Travel Awards

This program helps graduate students attend professional meetings and seminars to present research and meet experts in their fields. Learn more and apply here.

Graduate Student Summer Stipends

These stipends fund three-month salaries for ten graduate students studying under the direction of our affiliated scientists. Learn more and apply here.

Research Opportunities at Other Institutions

Our undergraduate Cancer Research Award winners are encouraged by advisory council member and K-State alumnus Bob Kinders, PhD, National Cancer Institute, to apply for the National Institutes of Health Summer Internship Program in Frederick, Maryland. You may e-mail Dr. Kinders at rkinders@ncifcrf.gov.

The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston has a Summer Undergraduate Research Program that offers a hands-on laboratory experience for undergraduate students who wish to obtain a PhD degree and pursue a career in basic scientific research and/or science education at the college or university level.

The Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has a Summer Research Internship Program that allows talented students who are interested in a career in academic research to spend approximately twelve weeks conducting hypothesis-driven childhood cancer research.