Faculty Researchers

The Johnson Cancer Research Center’s multidisciplinary approach to cancer research makes the most of the knowledge and talents of numerous excellent scientists at K-State. Below is a list of our faculty research members and their areas of study.

To learn about becoming a member of the Johnson Cancer Research Center faculty, please contact center director Dr. Sherry Fleming at sdflemin@k-state.edu. Interested faculty may also submit a membership application here.

Dr. Christer Aakeröy

Chemistry – Studies chemical approaches to maximize the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs. more details

Dr. Carl Ade

Kinesiology and Physician Assistant Program – Studies mechanistic underpinnings and clinical features of cardiovascular damage resulting from anti-cancer treatments. more details

Dr. Placidus Amama

Chemical Engineering – Studies nanocarbon-based platforms for cancer therapeutics. more details

Dr. Katsura Asano

Biology – Studies the control of protein synthesis and the alterations in gene expression that can lead to cancer. more details

Dr. Chieko Azuma

Clinical Sciences – Studies the biological effects of therapeutic radiation, tumor biology and targeted radiotherapy. more details

Dr. Amir Bahadori

Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering – Studies ways to evaluate and reduce cancer risk from radiation exposure. more details

Dr. Pankaj Baral

Biology - Studies the role of lung-innervating neurons in lung adenocarcinoma development. more details

Dr. Matt Basel

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies better cancer models for translational research and using targeted nanotechnology and hyperthermia in cancer therapy. more details

Dr. Brad Behnke

Kinesiology – Studies manipulation of tumor microenvironments to enhance conventional cancer therapy outcomes. more details

Dr. Gina Besenyi

Kinesiology – Studies the impact of outdoor, nature-based physical activity on physical and mental health and the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. more details

Dr. Susan Brown

Biology – Studies genes important to normal development and cancer. more details

Dr. Rollie Clem

Biology – Studies regulation of cell death. more details

Dr. Jeff Comer

Anatomy & Physiology – Uses computers to study new materials (nanotechnology) for targeted delivery of cancer drugs to cancer cells. more details

Dr. Christopher Culbertson

Chemistry – Studies signal transduction pathways (i.e. kinase cascades) in cells to better understand how misregulation of them results in the development of cancers. Is also developing a "lab-on-a-chip" cancer early-detection test. more details

Dr. Walter Dodds

Biology – Studies nitrate and drinking water quality. more details

Dr. Timothy Durrett

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies how different enzymes recognize the specific compounds that they modify. more details

Dr. Shih-Kang (Scott) Fan

Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering – Liquid biopsy and 3D bioprinting to study cancer with electrically-driven droplets (picoliter-microliter) on an electromicrofluidics platform. more details

Dr. Bret Flanders

Physics – Studies the use of nanoscale fiber scalpels to sample tumors and cancer cells. more details

Dr. Sherry Fleming

Biology – Studies complement activation and regulatory proteins and innate immune molecules. more details

Dr. Peying Fong

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies regulation, structure and function of ion channels and transporters in macromolecular complexes. more details

Dr. Tendai Gadzikwa

Chemistry - Studies the use of the scaffold of crystalline, multifunctional, nanoporous framework materials to construct multi-tasking drug delivery systems that target cancer cells. more details

Dr. Brian Geisbrecht

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies structural approaches to understanding macromolecular function in normal, pathogenic and cancerous states. more details

Dr. Erika Geisbrecht

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies signal transduction pathways essential to normal embryonic development. more details

Dr. Karin Goldberg

Geology – Studies natural uranium contamiation of groundwater , which are potential causes of cancer. more details

Dr. Maureen Gorman

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics - Studies iron homeostasis, an important factor in tumor initiation and tumor growth. more details

Dr. Revathi Govind

Biology – Studies pathogenic mechanisms of anaerobic bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile. more details

Dr. Mark Haub

Food, Nutrition, Dietetics & Health – Studies effects of protein, grain-based foods, and supplements on colon and whole-body health outcomes using clinical trials with human subjects. more details

Dr. Jamie Henningson

Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology – Studies the pathogenesis of tumors and cancer cells. more details

Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham

Clinical Sciences – Studies the diagnosis and treatment of feline lymphoma as well as clinical trials involving treatment of cancer in animals. more details

Dr. Daniel Higgins

Chemistry – Studies the use of multiphoton methods to trigger anticancer drugs. more details

Dr. Duy Hua

Chemistry – Performs synthesis and bio-evaluation of new anti-cancer agents. more details

Dr. Takashi Ito

Chemistry – Studies new techniques for sampling biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. more details

Dr. Loretta Johnson

Biology – Studies genes involved in protecting against heavy metal poisoning and associated cancers. more details

Dr. Jung Sim Jun

Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work – Studies cancer health disparities among ethnic/racial minority groups and culturally appropriate and technology-supported health education and intervention strategies. more details

Dr. Michael Kanost

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies immunological mechanisms relevant to human cancers. more details

Dr. Phillip E. Klebba

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies iron deprivation as a means of retarding cancer cell growth and as a therapy to block microbial infections in cancer patients. more details

Dr. Meena Kumari

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies the addition of sugars to proteins and the significance of increases in this process in some gastrointestinal cancers. more details

Dr. Sonny Lee

Biology – Studies the influence of microbiome to cancer development and therapeutics. more details

Dr. Jun Li

Chemistry – Studies nanotechnology for early cancer diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring. more details

Dr. Ping Li

Chemistry – Conducts mechanistic studies of cancerous proteins, and synthesis of their inhibitors. more details

Dr. Brian Lindshield

Food, Nutrition, Dietetics & Health – Studies the potential of foods and/or dietary supplements to decrease cancer incidence and progression. more details

Dr. Max Lu

Geography – Studies geographic differentials in cancer incidence and mortality rates using spatial statistics and geographic information systems (GIS) technology. more details

Dr. Jocelyn McDonald

Biology – Studies how cells move and invade tissues in cancer. more details

Dr. Hande McGinty

Computer science -Studies research focuses on agriculutre, food and bio-ontologies and the applications for machine learning and artificial itelligence. more details

Dr. Kristin Michel

Biology – Studies serpin function in mosquito-transmitted malaria, and potential relationship to human cancer. more details

Dr. Socrates Munoz

Chemistry – Development of new synthetic routes for the preparation of organofluorine and sulfur-containing compounds for therapeutic applications including cancer therapy. more details

Dr. Waithaka Mwangi

Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology – Development of new strategies for safely using novel cow antibodies to fight cancer in humans. The lab will develop special cow antibodies that target molecules involved in cancer. more details

Dr. Brad Olson

Biology – The evolution of multicellular eukaryotes—clues for detection and future cures. more details

Dr. Sunghun Park

Horticulture – Studies metabolic engineering of flavonoids to prevent cancer. more details

Dr. Won Min Park

Chemical Engineering – Studies protein self-assembly for the design of nanomaterials for cancer detection and therapy. more details

Dr. Charles Pickens

Psychologcial Sciences - Studies thalamocortical circuits, and examine models of several different disorders. more details

Dr. David Poole

Kinesiology and Anatomy & Physiology – Studies oxygen transport with respect to vascular and microcirculatory control and the matching of oxygen delivery to the energetic requirements of tissues in health and disease. more details

Dr. Davood Pourkargar

Chemical Engineering – Uses machine learning-based multiscale modeling frameworks to enhance the understanding and predictions of the
progression pattern of cancer in the human body and the drug delivery dynamics using in-lab cell culture and clinical data. more details

Dr. Om Prakash

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies anticancer agents using multidimensional Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and computer aided molecular modeling. more details

Dr. Punit Prakash

Electrical & Computer Engineering – Studies energy-based devices (radiofrequency, microwaves, ultrasound) and treatment delivery strategies for minimally invasive thermal therapy of cancer. more details

Dr. Ryan Rafferty

Chemistry – Studies blood-brain barrier penetration for treatment of brain cancers and works to develop new cancer drug delivery methods. more details

Dr. Thomas Schermerhorn

Clinical Sciences – Studies cellular secretion and protein movement in normal and cancer cells. more details

Dr. Jeremy Schmit

Physics – Studies formulation strategies for protein-based drugs. more details

Dr. Kathrin Schrick

Biology – Studies interactions of lipids/sterols and regulatory proteins that are key to cell division and development. more details

Dr. Bruce Schultz

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies hormone-induced changes in epithelial function. more details

Dr. Kristopher Silver

Entomology – Studies the mechanisms of RNA interference and how they can be applied to cancer treatment. more details

Bruce Snead

Engineering Extension – Studies radon related lung cancer risk prevention and reduction. more details

Dr. Peter Sues

Chemistry – Develops more efficient and selective catalytic tools using metals that are both less toxic and more sustainable than the leading alternatives in order to synthesize anti-cancer pharmaceutical agents. more details

Dr. Susan Xiuzhi Sun

Grain Science & Industry – Studies biomaterials that can be fabricated into scaffolds for 3-dimensional cell growth to advance cancer drug discovery and treatment. more details

Dr. Masaaki Tamura

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies tumor physiology, cytotherapy and prevention of metastasis to the lung and peritoneal cavity. more details

Dr. Richard Todd

Plant Pathology – Studies how transcription factors—regulators of cell growth involved in many cancers—are themselves regulated. more details

Dr. Michael Veeman

Biology – Studies the cellular mechanisms of embryonic morphogenesis in simple chordates. more details

Dr. Nick Wallace

Biology – Studies HPV biology to improve treatment options for the cancers caused by these viruses. more details

Dr. Weiqun (George) Wang

Food, Nutrition, Dietetics & Health – Studies cancer prevention by dietary calorie restriction, exercise and plant chemicals. more details

Dr. Mark Weiss

Anatomy & Physiology – Studies the potential use of stem cells for gene delivery vehicles, especially to brain tumors. more details

Dr. Ruth Welti

Biology – Studies the roles of lipid signaling and lipid metabolism in cancer. more details

Dr. Wei Wen HSU

Statistics – Studies statistical methods for identifying promising cancer biomarkers (in longitudinal or high-dimensional settings) for early cancer detection and cancer risk assessment. more details

Dr. Cen Wu

Statistics - Studies the integration of multiple types of cancer genomic data to better elucidate cancer etiology and prognosis. more details

Dr. Anna Zinovyeva

Biology – Studies how genes are regulated and how the changes in gene regulation that lead to cancer can occur. more details

Dr. Anna Zolkiewska

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies cell-cell interactions and communications in cancer. more details

Dr. Michal Zolkiewski

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Studies the stress-response and protein quality-control pathways. more details


(not taking K-State students or sponsoring JCRC student award applications)

Dr. Santosh Aryal
Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Kansas State University
Studies ways to improve cancer nanomedicine so that target tumor cells won't develop resistance, degrade or excrete the drug. more details

Dr. Frank Blecha
Professor, Anatomy & Physiology, Kansas State University
Studies innate immune responses important to cancer. more details

Dr. Stefan Bossmann
Professor, Cancer Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center

Dr. Keith Chapes
Retired Professor, Biology, Kansas State University

Dr. Kate Digby
Associate Professor, Dance, Kansas State University
Certified instructor of Moving for Life Dance Exercise for Recovery classes designed to support cancer patients, survivors and their families. more details

Dr. Shay Logan
Associate Professor, Philosophy, Kansas State University
Studies ethical and decision-theoretic questions about cancer treatment regimensd. more details

Dr. Majid Jaberi-Douraki
Professor, Mathematics, Kansas State University-Olathe
Develops quantitative and computer modeling methods to better understand cancer growth and optimize regimens for personalized breast cancer therapy. more details

Dr. Beth Montelone
Senior Associate Vice President for Research, Kansas State University
Professor, Biology, Kansas State University
Studies genes involved in DNA repair in yeast whose counterparts help prevent cancer in humans. more details

Dr. Annelise Nguyen
Professor, Toxicology, Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Chingakham Ranjit Singh

Biology - Studies the use of toxins to selectively block protein synthesis and cause death in cancer cells. more details

Dr. John Tomich

Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics – Conducts biochemical studies of cellular constituents important to cancers. more details


Biochemistry Prof Durrett Prof Brian Geisbrecht Prof Erika Geisbrecht Prof Gorman Prof Kanost
Prof Klebba Prof Prakash Prof Tomich Prof Anna Zoklioskha Prof Michal Zoklioskha