Topeka, Kan. - This past weekend, Jan. 14-15, Washburn University biology, chemistry and physics students and faculty presented their research at the 21st annual Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium.

      Washburn student Manish Bhatta earned one of the 10 Outstanding Poster Presentation Awards. Avinash Dhimal was selected to give one of the eight undergraduate student oral presentations and six other Washburn students presented in the poster session.

      “Doing the research, preparing for and presenting at conferences like this is a practical application of their education. This helps our students further prepare for their next steps after graduation,” said Dr. Sam Leung, professor of chemistry and K-INBRE campus coordinator at Washburn University. “Every year our students attend the Kansas INBRE Symposium to present their research side-by-side with students from other universities. This gives them experience in presenting at a major conference and opportunities to network with the students and faculty from other universities.”

      The following are Washburn University students and faculty who participated in the K-INBRE Symposium and their presentations.

- Alisha Bajracharya, senior: “Investigating LDH Gene in Colorectal Cancer from cBioPortal Database” (Research Mentor: Dr. Allan Ayella, assistant chemistry professor for Washburn University)
- Manish Bhatta, senior: “Development and Characterization of Malonic Acid Modified Gold Nanoparticles for Colorimetric Analysis of Lead ions (Pb2+)” (Research Mentor: Dr. Seid Adem, associate chemistry professor for Washburn University)
- Avinash Dhimal, senior: “Graphene-based Quantum Dot Synthesis for Bioimaging” (Research Mentor: Dr. Hoang Nguyen, assistant chemistry professor for Washburn University)
- Abigail Fette, senior: “Isolation and Identification of Microbes from Commercial Kombucha” (Research Mentor: Dr. Susan Bjerke, associate biology professor for Washburn University)
- Lauren Moore, senior: “Determining the Apoptotic Timeline During ALA-mediated PDT of Breast Cancer Cells in vitro via Digital Fourier Holographic Microscopy and Optical Scatter Imaging” (Research Mentor: Dr. Vince Rossi, assistant professor in physics and astronomy for Washburn University)
- Girish Paudyal, sophomore: “Micro Fabry-Perot Cavity for Chemical Characterization of Nanoscale Particles” (Research Mentor: Dr. Hoang Nguyen)
- Simran Shrestha, senior: “Lactate Dehydrogenase Gene Knockout Using CRISPR/CAS9 System in Colon Cancer Cells” (Research Mentor: Dr. Allan Ayella)
- Vince Rossi: “Digital Holographic Microscopy as a Tool for Non-invasive, Real-time Measurement of Cellular Dynamics”


      The symposium was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park, Kan. with about 340 attendees from 10 universities from Kansas and Oklahoma. The K-INBRE symposium is a professional research meeting with the goal of providing an opportunity for scientists to present their original research in both poster and oral formats. The symposium provides an authentic experience to students who may not have attended a major conference.

      At Washburn, the faculty and staff in the biology, chemistry and physics departments help students build a strong foundation to pursue a career in their chosen field. Students focusing on one, or more, of these areas of study will graduate confident in their skill, knowledge and ability as a scientist, critical thinker and ability to communicate complex information. It starts in the classroom and builds with experiences like research and presenting at symposiums like the K-INBRE.

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      Founded in 1865, Washburn University is a public institution with more than 6,000 students involved in more than 200 academic programs. Washburn’s programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master's degree or doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. The programs are offered through Washburn’s six primary academic units – College of Arts and Sciences, School of Applied Studies, School of Business, School of Nursing, School of Law and Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech).

    All programs are offered on either the 160-acre residential campus in the heart of Topeka, Kan., at Washburn Tech’s campus on Topeka’s west side or in the east Topeka facility. Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and many of the individual programs have additional accreditations.

    Washburn is ranked best public regional university in Kansas and 14th best public regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report 2022-2023.

For further information, contact:

Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Telephone: 785-670-2153
Cell: 785-230-1648


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