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University Relations

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Feb. 11, 2005
Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

Research publication ranks KU in top 10 for best places for postdocs to work

LAWRENCE -- The Scientist, a life sciences trade magazine published in Philadelphia, announced today that the University of Kansas has made its top 10 U.S. academic institutions list for best places for postdoctoral researchers, or "postdocs," to work. KU ranked 10th and was the only university in the Big 12 Conference to make the list.

" KU is honored by this recognition," said David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor. "Under the leadership of faculty from many disciplines, KU's reputation as a premier research university has been building steadily. It is not surprising that many talented individuals want to come here to further their research by working with our faculty."

Postdocs are individuals who have earned their doctoral degrees and who have come to the university to conduct research in their field of expertise. Research is performed under the mentorship of a permanent faculty member, and postdoctoral research is considered the first step toward obtaining a faculty position at research universities like KU. There are 131 postdocs at KU.

More than 3,500 postdocs who responded to The Scientist survey rated a valuable training experience, access to research equipment and library resources, and a good mentoring relationship as the ingredients that make for a great workplace. Postdocs from 122 U.S.-based academic and private institutions and 66 foreign institutions were represented in the survey.

Since last July, postdoc Kim Honeycutt has worked under assistant professor Kristi Neufeld in the molecular biosciences department. Honeycutt, who earned her doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, has enjoyed mentoring under Neufeld. Honeycutt is assisting Neufeld's research in colonic stem cells and colon cancer.

" Kristi has a deep interest in my ideas and goals," Honeycutt said. "It's been a great experience working with her and at KU. The research environment at KU is very friendly and supportive with a variety of ongoing research. The grant-writing support is wonderful and is better than other places I've been."

Postdoc Numukunda Darboe researches protein structure and function under Russ Middaugh, distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, and Bill Picking, associate professor of molecular biosciences. Darboe has been at KU for two years and earned his doctorate from the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

" I came to KU to work under Russ Middaugh, and it has been a good experience," Darboe said. "My colleagues are very cooperative and nurturing. We receive a lot of benefits as postdocs."

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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