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Oklahoma State University


Katherine Janike, nutritional sciences junior from Lincoln Neb., has been named a Niblack Research Scholar at Oklahoma State University. Janike

The Niblack Research Scholars program provides support to OSU undergraduates to conduct research in one of the university’s research laboratories under the general guidance of a member of the research faculty and with day-to-day mentoring by a graduate student. Twelve students receive $8,000 each in scholarship support for one year.

With the assistance of NSCI Associate Professor Stephen Clarke, Janike’s research will focus on cell culture, isolating RNA within those cells and looking at gene expression changes in the cells that are iron deficient from cells that are not iron deficient.

Janike is familiar with the aspects of research, as she is also a Wentz Research Scholar and a Freshman Research Scholar in the College of Human Sciences. For her, the most valuable aspect of the research process is knowing how to ask and find answers to questions using research methods.

“Research has allowed me to learn hands on as opposed to in the classroom,” she said. “I learn better when I am doing something I am learning about. Research was the perfect opportunity for me to practice and learn.” While Janike came to OSU for a change of scenery, the College of Human Sciences has always had a special place in her family. Her grandmother, Dr. Patricia Kain Knaub, served as the dean of the College of Human Sciences from 1989 to 2007 and was the first person to get Janike interested in research.

“She pushed me to do freshman research, which initially sparked my interest,” Janike said. “She continues to support me in my research today by asking questions and going to research presentations. She checks in on how I am doing in courses, offers advice on how to succeed and gives me moral support and a positive perspective on where my hard work now will take me in the future.”

The Niblack Research Scholars is a prestigious undergraduate research program funded by a gift from OSU alumnus and former Pfizer Vice Chairman Dr. John Niblack. As Vice Chairman, Dr. Niblack was responsible for Pfizer's Global Research and Development Division and pharmaceutical Licensing and Development. As an active scientist from 1967-1980, Niblack rose in the company through a succession of positions in which he directed research into drugs for viral illnesses, cancer and autoimmune disorders.