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Biosciences symposium honors university students for research posters, presentations

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — Eighteen undergraduate students were honored for their scientific research presentations at the 18th annual Kansas IDeA (Institutional Development Awards) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium, which took place Jan. 18-19 in Wichita.

The annual symposium is part of the K-INBRE initiative to prepare undergraduate students for careers in the biosciences. Ten campuses in Kansas and Oklahoma participate in the collaborative network, which is led by the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“K-INBRE aims to keep the biosciences in Kansas growing and thriving by offering training and professional development resources for students, young faculty and established researchers,” said Doug Wright, principal investigator for K-INBRE and professor and vice chair in anatomy and cell biology at KU Medical Center. “The annual symposium is an opportunity for these student and faculty researchers to come together to showcase their research and see what others in Kansas are accomplishing.”

The program provides undergraduate students opportunities to work in research laboratories or conduct field research in their communities under the guidance of faculty mentors. Students are expected to develop unique research projects to gain skills in design, technique and presentation to better inform their future career choices in the biomedical sciences.

The annual symposium brings together the network of students, faculty and staff from KU Medical Center, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, KU, Washburn University, Wichita State University and Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. More than 150 posters were presented by students, postdocs, faculty and staff.

The following KU students received cash prizes for their oral and poster presentations:


  • Nicole D’Souza, “Optimization of Sucrose Cushions to Improve Efficiency of Exosome Isolation” — poster presentation.
  • Colby Spiess, senior in molecular, cellular, & developmental biology from Kansas City, Kansas, “Overexpression of the RNA Binding Protein HuR Promotes Chemoresistance by Binding to AKT mRNA in Colorectal Cancer Cells” — oral presentation.
  • Hunter Woosley, sophomore in biochemistry and physics, presented “The Role of the Hepatocyte Growth Factor-regulated Tyrosine Kinase Substrate (Hrs) on HSV-1 Infection” — oral presentation. His parents are David and Janet Woosley from Leawood.


KU Medical Center

  • Edziu Franczak, “Investigating the Impact of Exercise on Hepatic Mitophagy Utilizing the Autophagy Inhibitor Leupeptin” — poster presentation.
  • Priyanka Radadiya, senior in biochemistry and psychology, presented “Ciclopirox-olamine Alters Ferritin Trafficking and Plays a Protective Role in Polycystic Kidney Disease” — oral presentation. Her parents are Dr. Shashank and Manisha Radadiya from Overland Park.
  • Zaid Umar, sophomore in molecular, cellular, & developmental biology, presented “In-frame Genetic Disruption of SPECC1L Microtubule-Interaction Domain Caused Neural Tube, Palate, Ventral Body Wall and Optic Fissure Closure Defects” — poster presentation. His parents are Shahid and Fatima Umar from Overland Park.
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