Our Assets: Kansas State University

Kansas State University

For more info, visit the Kansas State University website

Technical Expertise

Eduard Akhunov, PhD

Dr. Akhunov compares the genetic code of ancient wheat varieties to that of modern varieties with a goal of improving wheat for different growing conditions throughout the world.  He compares variation in the DNA sequence between ancient and modern wheat varieties to detect the variants of genes that were selected by breeders to make wheat cultivars that can be grown from Argentina to Norway and Russia.

Susan Brown, PhD

Dr. Brown is the Director of the Bioinformatics Center at Kansas State University.  Her research interests include evolution of gene regulatory networks, using segmentation in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum as a model system. Genomics and Bioinformatics, focusing on genome sequence analysis Tribolium.  Dr. Brown has developed a variety of genetic and genomic tools that have established Tribolium as a genetic model organism. These include molecular recombination maps, DNA libraries and other molecular resources, RNAi, and the use of transposons in genome-wide insertional mutagenesis.

Doina Caragea, PhD

Dr. Caragea is the Associate Director of the Bioinformatics Center at Kansas State University.  Her research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery, visual data mining, link analysis, ontologies and information integration, semantic web, bioinformatics.

John Fellers, PhD

Mapping and cloning genes in wheat for resistance to Karnal bunt, leaf rust, stem rust, scab, septoria, Hessian fly and viruses. Genomics approaches to identify new markers and expressed sequence tags for plant disease and insect resistance genes.

Karen Garrett, PhD

Dr. Garrett studies the ecology and ecological genomics of plant disease and other plant stressors. In agricultural systems, she works to improve plant disease management in US and tropical farming through resistance gene deployment and sustainable cultural practices. In natural systems, she studies plant-pathogen-environment interactions in tallgrass prairie and tropical forests. Some of her projects emphasize statistical and/or bioinformatic approaches and ecological modeling.

Jesse Poland, PhD

Dr. Poland serves as Associate Director of the Wheat Genetics Resource Center and Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics.  His research is focused on wheat genetics and germplasm improvement.  His laboratory is currently developing new marker technologies for use in breeding and association genetics. He is also focused on developing new breeding lines with resistance to important diseases of wheat; stem rust, stripe rust and leaf rust and abiotic stress tolerance to heat and drought.  In collaboration with public breeding programs, his laboratory is exploring the use of genomic selection methods in wheat breeding.  Dr. Poland is developing field-based high throughput phenotyping platforms to accelerate basic and applied genomics and breeding research.

Chris Toomajian, PhD

Areas of research include population and evolutionary genetics and genomics of plants and plant pathogens. Dr. Toomajian analyzes genome-scale DNA polymorphism datasets in order to infer the relative importance of processes such as mutation, recombination, genetic drift, migration, and natural selection in creating observed patterns of polymorphisms. He develops methods to infer recent instances of natural selection at the DNA level in order to identify adaptive genetic variation. He is interested in methods and datasets that allow for the statistical mapping of quantitative trait loci (complex traits) back to the genome in samples of unrelated individuals.

Frank White, PhD

Dr. White utilizes molecular genetic and genomic techniques for functional analyses of plant disease and mechanisms of resistance. Complete genome sequencing of plant pathogenic bacteria is used for gene discovery. Targeted mutagenesis techniques are  subsequently used for functional analysis. Transcriptional profiling is for gene discovery in rice, sorghum and wheat. RNA-meditated gene silencing and insertional mutanagenesis techniques are employed in the analysis of host/pathogen interactions. His principle organisms are rice and sorghum with related work in other species including wheat.


Beocat/Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science
Daniel Andresen, dan@ksu.edu, 785‐532‐7914

One of the largest academic research clusters in Kansas, Beocat consists of approximately 2PB of storage and ~3100 processor cores on machines ranging from dual‐processor Xeons with 128GB RAM to six 80‐core Xeons with 1TB RAM connected by 40Gbps QDR Infiniband. Beocat acts as the central computing resource for multiple departments across campus, and heavy users can “buy in” through adding computational or personnel resources for the cluster. Any researcher in the state of Kansas can access Beocat for free.

KSU Bioinformatics Center
Sue Brown, Sjbrown@ksu.edu, 785‐532‐3935

Provides training and support for genomics, transcriptomics, and NGS approaches to address biological questions. As the US‐certified service center for BioNano Genomics, we produce genome physical maps based on imaging of ultra‐long DNA molecules.