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News and Seminars Overview


Department News Archive


  • Congratulations to Dr. Jeroen Roelofs on his well-deserved, upcoming promotion to Professor! His new appointment will begin on July 1, 2024. March 2024.
  • Dr. Christy Hagan received a DoD award entitled “Progestin therapy for endometrial cancer” with collaborators at the University of Iowa, February 2024
  • Dr. Bret Freudenthal was awarded an Emerging Leader Award from the Mark Foundation (1 of 6 in the nation), January 2024
  • Dr. Christy Hagan was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society, January 2024

Previous Year's News

    • Sophiya John Ephrame (Slawson lab), renewal of Woodyard Fellowship, December 2023
    • Dr. Christy Hagan received a Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society, October 2023
    • Dr. Bret Freudenthal NIGMS R35 "Structural and Mechanistic Studies of DNA Repair," September 2023
    • Dr. Jeroen Roelofs NIGMS R35 "Proteasome homeostasis and substrate prioritization," September 2023
    • Dr. Christy Hagan
      • With Harmony Saunders, supplement from Susan Komen Foundation for "Progesterone Promotes an Immune Privileged Microenvironment in Breast Cancer"
      • Supplement from NIH through the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence for "Research on Women’s Health in the IDeA States”
    • Drs. Swint-Kruse/Fontes – NIH supplement to R01 “Using dynamic network models to quantitatively predict changes in binding affinity/specificity that arise from long-range amino acid substitutions” to purchase a new isothermal titration calorimeter
    • Luis Cortez in the Freudenthal lab on the receipt of an NIH F31, August 2023.
    • Dr. Christy Hagan was chosen as the Mark T. Fisher IGPBS Instructor of the Year for FY22-23, August 2023.
    • Dr. Ladokhin was awarded NIH 1R01GM145991-01A1 Project Title: Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms of Conformational Switching during Protein Insertion into Membranes, August 2023.
    • Dr. Lejla Zubcevic was awarded NIH 1R01NS126211-01A1 Grant entitled Studies of SLC41A1, a Mg2+-Transporting Protein Linked to Parkinson's Disease, August 2023.
    • Graduate student Taylor Strope (Wilkins lab) was awarded an NIH F31, August 2023.
    • 2023 Student Research Forum Winners
      • Ben Ryan received the 2023 Kimmel award.
      • Kaitlin Dehart won second place in her Oral presentation session.
      • Taylor Strope and Shwetha Sreenivasan won 2nd place poster awards
    • 2023 Grand Affair Winners
    • Dr. Alexey Ladokhin was recognized with a KUMC 2022 Faculty Investigator Research Award. These awards are given to outstanding investigators who have demonstrated significant research accomplishments and a high potential for sustained productive research in the future.
    • Dr. Christy Hagan received The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director’s 2022 Young Scientist Award.
    • Lauryn Werner, Hagan lab/BMB M.D.-Ph.D. student, received a 1st place KUCC Student Poster Travel Award.
    • Harmony Saunders, Hagan/Slawson lab CBio M.D.-Ph.D. student, received a KUCC award as a PIVOT Speaker.
    • 2022 BRTP awarded to Sophiya John Ephrame
    • 2022 Grand Affair Winners 
      • Dr. Chad Slawson for the Outstanding M2 Lecturer award
      • Dr. Joseph Fontes for the M1 “The ACE” award
      • Dr. Joseph Fontes for the M2 Above and Beyond award
    • Congratulations to Dr. Lejla Zubcevic for winning the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in Neuroscience. These fellowships support high-risk, high-reward projects at the cutting edge of neuroscience. Dr. Zubcevic studies the magnesium transporting ion channels involved in neurodegenerative disorders. Learn more on the news and seminars page.
    • Dr. Christy Hagan received The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director’s 2022 Young Scientist Award. The Director’s awards recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to the Cancer Center’s mission of reducing the burden of cancer in our region.
    • Lauryn Werner, Hagan lab/BMB MD-PhD student, received a 1st place KUCC Student Poster Travel Award for her work entitled “Progesterone impacts the growth and immune cell infiltration of murine mammary gland tumors”.
    • Harmony Saunders, Hagan/Slawson lab CBio MD-PhD student, received a KUCC award as a PIVOT Speaker for her work entitled “The role of O-GlcNAcylation on progesterone receptor in breast tumor biology”.
    • Kenrick Waite featured in Journal of Science, "First person - Kenrick Waite"
    • Congratulations to Russell Swerdlow, M.D. on earning the Oskar Fischer Prize for innovative Alzheimer’s disease research
    • Aron Fenton, Ph.D. brings interactive science to area middle schools
    • 2022 Student Research Forum awards:
      • Poster award:  Top 20 second places – Kaitlin DeHart
      • Poster award: Top 20 first places – Shwetha Sreenivasan
      • Oral session:  First place – Ben Ryan
      • Lauryn Werner – First place oral session, 3-minute thesis – second place overall, BMB Grisolia award
      • Griffin Welfer – First place oral session, Overall 2nd place oral presentation (all sessions), BMB Kimmel award
    • Lexy Cockrell in the Gerton lab received an NIH F30.
    • Student Research Forum 2021 winners announced:
      Mandeep Kaur made the final round of the 3-minute thesis competition.  Benjamin Ryan places First in his section for Oral Presentations.  Max Fairlamb had the Best Overall Poster.  Nicole Hoitsma won the Joe Kimmel Award for excellence in biomedical research.   
    • Dr. Amy Whitaker, who has just received the 2021 Gregg Cancer Award from the KU Cancer Center.
    • The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department is proud to announce that Dr. Jill Bergerhofer and Mrs. Amy Radaker Hillman are recipients of the Randy Dix 2021 Junior High Science Teacher Award.
    • Dr. Kenneth Lee is the recipient of our departmental Tom Steadman 2021 High School Biotech Teacher Award. This award recognizes a high school teacher, who teaches hands-on research techniques, by providing the opportunity to contribute to original research.
    • Dr. Victor Vasquez Montes, Lauryn Werner and Griffin Welfer, have each received FY21 Biomedical Research Training Program Fellowships.    
    • Dr. Joseph Fontes will be honored at the 2021 (virtual) Grande Affair with the M1 Above and Beyond award AND the M2 Above and Beyond award.
    • Dr. Stephen Parnell will be honored at the 2021 (virtual) Grande Affair with the M1 Illuminator award.
    • Dr. Chad Slawson will be honored at the 2021 (virtual) Grande Affair with the M1 Mighty Punch award.
    • Dr. Christy Hagan was designated as a "NextGen Star" for American Association for Cancer Research. She will give a research presentation at upcoming AACR conference.
    • Congratulations to Dr. Amy Whittaker on receipt of an NIH K99/R00 grant entitled "Repair of Oxidative Damage in G-Quadruplex Promoter DNA".
    • Congratulations to Dr. Jim Calvet, Dr. Stephen Parnell, and the Kidney Institute for receiving an NIH U54 center grant entitled "Kansas PKD Research and Translation Core Center".
    • Congratulations to Dr. Christy Hagan. Her abstract has been selected for the Young Investigator Award and oral presentation at the 7th Midwest Tumor Microenvironment Meeting. The meeting will be held May 24 - 26, 2021, at the University of Kansas Medical Center
    • Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Parnell who received a 2020 Research Grant from the PKD Foundation.
    • Joan Conaway, BMB Affiliate Faculty at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
    • Congratulations to Dr. Chad Slawson on the official receipt of his NIH R01 grant:  O-GLCNAC Homeostasis Regulates Mitochondrial Function In Alzheimer's Disease
    • Congratulations to Dr. Joe Fontes, who has received an IAMSE Educational Scholarship Grant: The Association of Medical Student Engagement with Components of Flipped Classroom and Summative Exam Performance
    • Congratulations to Dr. Antonio Artigues for his promotion to Research Professor and to Dr. Bret Freudenthal for his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure.
    • Congratulations to Katie Walter, recently graduated from the Hagan Lab and who was selected to receive the Kelly and Karen Gregg award for excellence in cancer research.
    • Nicole Ellis, PhD Student in Freudenthal Lab, has been selected to receive an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.  The AHAPF helps students initiate careers by providing research assistance and training.
    • On November 15th a Memorial Research Symposium was held to honor Dr. Mark Fisher.
    • Dr. Bret Freudenthal received the University of Kansas Cancer Center Director's 2019 Young Scientist Award at the Cancer Center's Symposium and Dinner on November 7th.  The award recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to the Cancer Center's mission of reducing the burden of cancer in our region.
    • Drs. Joseph Fontes, Robert Harris and Chad Slawson will be recognized by the Medical Student Assembly with Student Voice Awards at the 22nd annual 'A Grand Affair' in January, 2020.
      • Dr. Fontes will be honored with the M1 ACE award
      • Dr. Harris will be honored with the Oustanding M1 Lecturer award
      • Dr. Slawson will be honored with the M1 Mighty Punch award
    • L.B. Fogt was recognized at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department retreat by Drs. Fenton and Swint-Kruse with the 2019 Tom Steadman Award.
    • Alex Machen received the 2019 Kimmel Award at the Department Retreat held on May 21st.
    • Congratulations to Joesph Fontes, Ph.D..  He was recently named Assistant Dean for Foundational Sciences, SOM.  He has served as Director since 2016.
    • BMB students made a great showing at the SRF! As noted last week, Pierce, Alex, and Max Fairlamb were in the 3MT finals. For their sessions, Mallory Smith and Alex Machen won 2nd places, Nicole Ellis Hoitsma tied for 2nd place, and Pierce O'Neil won 1st place. Alex Machen won the Kimmel Award.
    • Liskin Swint-Kruse, Ph.D., was named Chair of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department effective February 1, 2019.  Dr. Swint-Kruse has been serving as interim chair since July 2018. 
    • Nicole Ellis, PhD student in Freudenthal Lab, has been selected to receive a Biomedical Research Training Program Fellowship for FY19 in recognition of her excellent research record.  The BRTP encourages a strong scientific research environment at KUMC.
    • Dr. Alexy Ladokhin has been named as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Membrane Biology starting April 1, 2019.  He has previously served as Managing Editor of JMBi.
    • Victor Vasquez-Montes, PhD student in Ladokhin Lab, presented a talk at the 2018 Gibbs Conference on Biological Thermodynamics on October 9th.
    • Mallory Smith, PhD student in Freudenthal Lab, was featured in the KUMC News Students of KUMedical Center
    • Gissel McDonald is the recipient of the 2018 Tom Stedman Teacher-Research Opportunity Award
    • Dr. Christy Hagan won the IGPBS "Instructor of the Year" award for 2018-2019
    • Dr. Amy Whitaker, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bret Freudenthal's lab, was recently notified that the American Cancer Society will fund her grant entitled "APE1 cleansing of oxidatively damaged DNA ends".  The award includes a salary stipend and travel allowances.
    • Biochemistry Faculty members Dr. Mark Fisher, Dr. Alexey Ladokhin and Dr. Bret Freudenthal participated BioNexus KC's 2018 Science to Art Program.  View the article in the Kansas City Biz Journal.  You can also view the video here.
    • Dr. Joe Fontes has been awarded a Chancellors Club Teaching Professorship.  This award recognizes sustained excellence in teaching and is awarded only to persons who have demonstrated outstanding teaching competence over an extended period of years.
    • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Students made a great showing at the 2018 Student Research Forum:
      • Alex Machen (Fisher lab) received 1st place in her section for oral presentaion, 2nd place for the best overall oral presentation, and the WIMS award for the best woman's oral presentation.
      • Nicole Ellis (Freudenthal lab) received 1st place in her section for oral presentation
      • Pierce O'Neil (Fisher lab) received the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Kimmel Award
      • Miranda Machacek (Slawson lab) received the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Grisolia Award
    • At the 2018 Grande Affaire, held on January 20th, Dr. Chad Slawson was recognized as an Outstanding Lecturer for the First-Year class.
    • Dr. James Calvet was named a University Distinguished Professor on August 17, 2017.  Distinguished Professors are faculty who have made significant and sustained contributions to research, scholarship and teaching at the emdical center.  He will be honored with program and reception on February 22, 2018.
    • Dr. Brett Freudenthal was selected by the 2016-17 IGPBS students as the top instructor for their class.
    • Nicole Ellis, graduate student in Dr. Brett Freudenthal's lab, was named the top student in the 2016-17 IGPBS class by the IGPBS faculty and IGPBS Advisory Board.
    • Max Fairlamb, graduate student, Dr. Brett Freudenthal's lab, was one of three graduate students who was awarded the Madison & Lila Self Graduate Fellowship.
    • Alexandra Machen, graduate student in Dr. Mark Fisher's lab, was awarded first place in the poster session at the Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics Workshop held at the University of Nebraska Medical Center on July 13, 2017.   
    • The Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) has selected both Dr. Amy Whitaker and Mallory Smith, Dr. Bret Freudenthal's lab, to receive the EMGS Student and New Investigator Travel Award for 2017 to attend the EMGS annual meeting. This is a merit-based award in recognition of the excellence of your research, your research progress, and your promise as a long-term contributor to research in topics related to the mission of EMGS.
    • Dr. Amy Whitaker, Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Freudenthal's lab, placed second amongst postdoctoral scholars at the recent RPF Research Forum for her oral presentation titled "Capturing a mammalian DNA polymerase extending from an oxidized nucleotide".
    • A  department retreat was held on May 15, 2017. 
    • Jackie Thompson, graduate student in Dr. Gerald Carlson's lab, and Alexandra Machen, graduate student in Dr. Mark Fisher's lab, both won awards for their presentations at the 2017 Student Research Forum.  Jackie is the 2017 winner of the Joe R. Kimmel award and also won second place in her oral platform session.  Alex won first place in her oral platform session.
    • Alexandra Machen, graduate student in Dr. Mark Fisher's lab, was awarded a 2017 M&M Student Scholar Award for her paper entitled Single Particle CryoEM of the Anthrax Toxin Initial Engagmenet Complex. This award is sponsored by the Microscopy Society of America (MAS) and the Microanalysis Society (MAS).
    • At the 2017 Grande Affair, BMB faculty received 3 of the 7 Student Voice Awards voted by the M1 Students.  Honored as First Year Outstanding Lecturers were Dr. Joseph Fontes, Dr. Chad Slawson and Dr. Liskin Swint-Kruse.
    • Dr. Amy Whitaker, Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Freudenthal's lab, was nominated and elected to be the Co-chair of the 2019 Gordon Research Symposium of Mammalian DNA Repair.
    • Dr. Bret Freudenthal was the winner of the Environmental Mutagensis and Genomics Society 2016 Young Scientist Award Competition. As a result he will present a plenary talk at their meeting and received support for his lab to be able to attend. Dr. Freudenthal's entry video may be seen here.
    • An undergraduate student, Tony Flynn, who has been mentored in Dr. Bret Freudenthals's lab, was recognized as a Top Poster Presenter at the University of Saint Mary's Science and Math Undergraduate Research Forum for his structural studies of a polymorphism associated with cancer.
    • Dr. Kenneth Peterson was announced as a recipient of the Chancellors Club Research Award on October 1, 2015.  Dr. Peterson's reseach has given hope to patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease and other genetic blood disorders.  Dr. Peterson has also had an active role in leadership at KUMC.
      Video from the ceremony may be seen here.
    • Santiago Grisolia, M.D., Ph.D., a former chair and professor emeritus of the department, was recently recognized by the King of Spain.  He is now the Marquis of Grisolia.  Juan Carlos I recognized Dr. Grisolia for his long and commendable career of teaching and research, and his contribution to scientific knowledge. 
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