Groundbreaking projects will be on display at Capitol Graduate Research Summit

LAWRENCE – Eight University of Kansas graduate students from the Lawrence campus and five from KU Medical Center are putting their groundbreaking research on public display. Legislators and the public are invited to learn about the influence of research underway at KU during the 19th annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29 on the first-floor Rotunda in the Kansas Capitol in Topeka.

KU graduate students are working to develop solutions to societal questions and challenges. The findings and possible commercialization of these innovations can affect Kansans’ lives and potentially elevate the economic status of the state. Their research covers a broad range of topics, including:

  • Promoting a more active learning environment for students with autism
  • Engineering immune cells to eliminate breast cancer
  • Improving understanding or process to support soil fertility and function

“Graduate students at KU are at the forefront of research and innovation and are integral to the university’s commitment to conduct impactful research that addresses the key challenges faced by the state, nation and the world,” said Jennifer Roberts, vice provost for Graduate Studies and Academic Affairs. “I am especially excited to showcase the work of the students representing KU this year, as their research highlights innovative work being completed in key areas of the Research Rising initiative. As these students hone and advance their research skills, they will be contributing to work that drives innovations to advance educational and social approaches that address developmental challenges, develop new technologies that will help sustain the life of the planet, and advance treatments of human disease and new medical interventions.”

KU graduate students will join graduate students from Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University and Wichita State University at the summit. Each institution will provide one $500 award for the top presenter, and BioKansas will provide two $250 awards.

Founded by graduate students 19 years ago, the Capitol Graduate Research Summit brings attention to the innovative research conducted by students at state universities and emphasizes the public benefits of graduate students’ research. This free summit provides an opportunity for the public – as well as Deputy Secretary of Business Development Paul Hughes and state senators and representatives – to learn more about the important work of graduate students across the state.

KU’s participants are listed below by name, area of study and title of their research presentations.

From KU Lawrence

  • Jenna Frick, doctoral student in neurosciences, “Long-Term High-Fat/High-Sugar Diet Worsens Early Life Stress-Induced Obesity.”
  • Jacob Hodge, doctoral student in bioengineering in the MD-PhD MSTP Program, “Tailoring Stem Cell Therapies to Enhance Regenerative Wound Healing.”
  • Jess Kiblen, doctoral student in special education, “Propel Project: Promoting Self-Determination and Social Engagement for Students with Autism.”
  • Kyung Mi Min, doctoral student in educational psychology and research, “Developing Effective Self Regulation Skills in Early Childhood.”
  • Julia Russell, doctoral student in psychology, “Sleep, Health and Burnout in Career Firefighters.”
  • Rohit Singh, doctoral student in mechanical engineering, “A Novel Technology to Treat Blood-Vessel Related Disease through Space and Time Synchronized Ultrasound and Laser.”
  • Siddharth Subham, doctoral student in bioengineering, “Assembling Avengers ‘CAR T Cells’ to eliminate Breast Cancer.”
  • Micah Unruh, doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology, “Soil Aggregates, Organic Matter and Microbes: Improving Understanding of Processes that Support Soil Fertility and Function.”

From KU Medical Center

  • Samantha Cintron, doctoral student in nursing, “Understanding Obesity-Related High Output Health Failure and Policy Implications for Genomics Research.”
  • Max Fairlamb, doctoral student in biochemistry and molecular biology, “The DNA Repair Relay Race.”
  • Amy Herman, doctoral student in dietetics and nutrition, “A Single Diet Message Versus Traditional Healthy Eating During Pregnancy.”
  • Lauren Johnson, medical student, “Should Breast Cancer Patients Have Preoperative Biopsy of Borderline Abnormal Axillary Lymph Nodes?”
  • Elizabeth Thoenen, doctoral student in molecular & integrative physiology, “Stress Granule Inhibition Is a Novel Vulnerability of Mutant p53.”

Thu, 03/24/2022


Evan Riggs

Media Contacts

Evan Riggs

Office of the Provost