Program manager pivotal to success of KU research centers

Graphic shows Cady Bush as unsung hero of KU Research

Cady Bush | Program Manager | Ralph N. Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry and COBRE Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways

Gathering and consolidating the required materials for a 400-page proposal is no easy feat. But Cady Bush managed the massive task expertly for a recent submission — one of many accomplishments that chemistry professor Susan Lunte credits for the continued success of her research center.

Lunte leads KU’s National Institutes of Health-designated Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways (COBRE CMADP), which submitted an application in May for a third round of NIH funding focused on sustaining the core labs it established during its first two phases.

Bush, program manager for the COBRE CMADP and the Ralph N. Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry, compiled information that spanned 10 years for the submission.

“Her positive attitude and willingness to work 12 hours a day during the month of May to get the proposal in were inspiring,” said Lunte, Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Chemistry and director of both the institute and the CMADP.

Bush gathered the CMADP’s publications, grants and awards; tracked the careers of all 26 COBRE investigators, including faculty who have left the university; secured data from the COBRE’s core labs; and acquired 22 letters of support, including from department chairs, the Office of Research, the chancellor, and Kansas’s lieutenant governor.

Bush started as program manager in the middle of the COBRE’s first phase and helped compile its phase 2 application. She is a valuable liaison with other COBRE program managers, the Office of Research, the Higuchi Biosciences Center and other departments — frequently fielding questions and sharing her wealth of knowledge and best practices.

“Cady has a cheerful personality,” said Jenny Hackett, director of the Genome Sequencing Laboratory. “She always brightens my day when I stop by to talk to her.”

Bush is quick to assist researchers. She once helped Chamani Perera, director of the COBRE CBID and CMADP Synthetic Chemical Biology Core Facility, with a business card order. Perera said Bush had a sample ready within hours and sent the order to print the same day.

“Cady goes out of her way to make our lives easier so that we can focus on research projects,” Perera said.

“Cady is a diamond in the rough,” added Ryan Grigsby, director of the Ralph N. Adams Nanofabrication Facility. “In spite of her workload, she’s always eager to help or lend an ear.”