Archive for Thursday, March 12, 2009

Summit shows off research being done at state’s largest universities

Shuang Cai, of the department of pharmaceutical chemistry at Kansas University, was at the sixth annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, where students from KU, Kansas State and Wichita State shared information on their research projects. A team of researchers, including Cai, are working on developing drugs that can more efficiently concentrate chemotherapy in cases of breast cancer.

Shuang Cai, of the department of pharmaceutical chemistry at Kansas University, was at the sixth annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, where students from KU, Kansas State and Wichita State shared information on their research projects. A team of researchers, including Cai, are working on developing drugs that can more efficiently concentrate chemotherapy in cases of breast cancer.

March 12, 2009

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— From better treatments of cancer to uncovering the causes of hearing loss, Kansas University students showcased their research projects Thursday during the Sixth Annual Graduate Research Summit.

More than 30 presenters from KU, Kansas State and Wichita State were on hand for the event at the Docking Building.

The summit raises awareness of the work being done at the state’s largest universities.

Shuang Cai, a doctoral student in pharmaceutical chemistry at KU, explained her team’s research into more efficient and less invasive drug treatments for advanced breast cancer.

“This research is very promising,” she said. It is now being tested in animals.

The research is important because radiation therapy often has dangerous side effects, she added.

James Stoutenborough, a doctoral student in political science, explained his research into what policies are most effective in promoting wind energy.

Based on his research, he said, Kansas should consider adopting production incentives, rebates and state-backed loans. He said corporate and property tax exemptions have proven not to be as effective in promoting wind energy.

The following KU research and presenters were featured at the Graduate Student Research Summit:

• What can be learned from autism from Fragile X Syndrome, the most common cause of inherited mental impairment, by Audra Sterling, Lawrence doctoral student in psychology.

• Development of more effective drug therapies and less invasive treatments to target sites of advanced-stage breast cancer, by Shuang Cai, Tianjin, China, doctoral student in pharmaceutical chemistry.

• Evaluating the effectiveness of the state’s renewable energy incentives to promote wind energy, by James Stoutenborough, Lawrence doctoral student in political science.

• Trying to find the underlying causes of migraine headaches, specifically those classified as menstrual migraines, in order to find better ways to target drug therapies, by Nicholas Stucky, Spokane, Wash., doctoral student in pharmacology at KU Medical Center.

• Measuring the combined effect of a high-fat diet and estrogen loss on insulin resistance, by Brittany Gorres, Raytown, Mo., doctoral student in molecular and integrated physiology at KU Medical Center.

• Evaluating sedimentation in Kansas reservoirs with reference to the Kansas Analytical Method for Natural Channel Design, by John Shelley, Mesa, Ariz., doctoral student in civil, environmental and architectural engineering.

• Uncovering the cause of hearing loss, by Brian R. Earl, Mission doctoral student in audiology at KU Medical Center.

• Ways workplace issues can impact adverse patient outcomes, by Carol Ann Kemper, Prairie Village doctoral student in nursing at KU Medical Center.

• Research to develop processes to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released in the chemical process of making two commonly used chemicals, propylene and ethylene, by Madhav Ghanta, doctoral student in chemical and petroleum engineering from Hyderabad, India.

• Studying how cancerous brain tumors metastasize with the goal of developing pharmaceuticals that can be used to treat a deadly disease, by Natalie Ciaccio, doctoral student in pharmaceutical chemistry from Champaign, Ill.

• Measuring emissions from heavy-duty engines fueled by biodiesel blends, by Jing Guo, doctoral student in environmental engineering from Jiazou, China.

• Monitoring patterns of how children acquire bilingual language skills, by Leah Kapa, doctoral student in child language from Cedartown, Ga.

• Finding the mechanism of liver injury in cholestatic liver disease in order to develop drugs to target its treatment, by Katryn Allen, doctoral student in toxicology at KU Medical Center, from Kansas City, Kan.

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