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The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is dedicated to funding research into the prevention and treatment of sight threatening diseases in children. Each year, the foundation invites proposals for funding of research related to pediatric ocular disorders. Dr. Sumanth Manohar, a postdoctoral research scholar working in the lab of Dr. Ann Morris in UK’s Department of Biology, was one of 25 scientists selected to receive this funding in 2023-2024. 

Manohar will be investigating the function of the CHD7 gene during retinal development and how mutations in CHD7 cause the ocular complications associated with CHARGE syndrome. Manohar hopes to elucidate the mechanisms of action of CHD7 in the retina using the zebrafish model; the results of this work could eventually lead to better therapeutic approaches for the vision problems of individuals with CHARGE syndrome.

 “Dr. Manohar is


By Brian Carrico 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2023) — The University of Kentucky recognized exceptional faculty and teaching assistants with the Outstanding Teaching Awards during the 2023 UK Faculty Awards Ceremony held Wednesday, April 26 in the J. David Rosenberg College of Law's Grand Courtroom.

The Outstanding Teaching Awards were established by the Provost to reward and encourage excellence in teaching. Selected via nomination, candidates were reviewed by a selection committee empaneled by the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching in the Office for Faculty Advancement.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant university, our teaching mission is critical to the success and well-being of the Commonwealth. And, given


By Susan CantrellCamille Harmon and Trey Conatser 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2023) — Transdisciplinary Educational approaches to advance Kentucky, or TEK, challenges faculty and students to engage with complex, multidimensional and context-specific issues. Some have described these issues as “wicked problems” that exceed the capacity of any one framework, approach or perspective to provide an adequate or lasting solution. Moreover, TEK leverages these issues for students to develop essential employability skills, including the highly valued abilities to engage multiple points of view, reflect on growth, communicate ideas


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Each year the College of Arts & Sciences presents faculty teaching, mentoring and service awards, including four Outstanding Teaching Awards in the divisions of Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural & Mathematical Sciences and one for lecturers. These awards recognize excellence and outstanding contribution both in undergraduate and graduate teaching.  

The recipients for 2023 are:  

Outstanding Teaching Awards 


Peter Kalliney, Department of English: Outstanding Teaching Award. 

Francie Chassen-Lopez, Department of History: Career Award. 

Natural and Mathematical Sciences: 

Bertram Guillou, Department of Mathematics: Outstanding Teaching Award. 

Behavioral and Social Sciences: 

Elena Sesma, Department of


By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research  has chosen 20 undergraduates for the 2023 Commonwealth Undergraduate Research Experience Fellowship program.

Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of the Vice President for Research, the CURE Fellowship program helps undergraduates to become leaders for their respective communities by providing opportunities to develop knowledge and skills through research within six of UK’s Research Priority Areas: cancer, cardiovascular health, diversity and inclusion, energy, neuroscience and substance use


By Lindsay Travis 

<br /> From left: Brian Murtha, Crystal Wilkinson, YuMing Zhang, Melinda Ickes, Bill Stoops, Matthew Hoch, Feng Li, Ron Zimmer, Allison Gordon, Luciana Shaddox, Ann Morris, Björn Bauer, Christopher Norris and Erin Haynes. Not pictured: Dieter Hennings Yeomans and Michael McKay.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2023) — On Friday, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved 16 University Research Professors for the 2023-24 academic year. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1976, the program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research at UK.

“The Commonwealth and university continue to benefit from the work and expertise of these dedicated


By Lindsay Travis 

Ashley Seifert

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2023) — Research at the University of Kentucky is looking to nature to understand cellular processes that allow lost tissue to regenerate in spiny mice — processes that might lie dormant in humans.

Ashley Seifert,  an associate professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, teamed up with scientists in Germany and the Netherlands to examine how identical injuries in two different rodent species lead to regenerative healing in one case but not the other.

The paper, published today in Science Advances, compared tissue healing in laboratory mice and spiny mice. Whereas


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society hosted its annual awards night on Tuesday, April 11, in the W. T. Young Athletic Auditorium. Among those recognized for the Maurice A. Clay award  was Kameron Kraus, a student in the College of Arts & Sciences. In addition, A&S student Nora Sypkens received a Jerry D. Claiborne Scholarship.

The Maurice A. Clay award was created over 30 years ago to recognize the outstanding graduating senior in each academic college. Winners are selected by the college and are expected to be exceptional leaders who have provided service to their college while maintaining a strong academic record. Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. The Maurice A. Clay Awards are one way in which the UK Nu


Elizabeth “Beth” Elliott

Elliott conducted research as a high school student in the MSTC program at Dunbar High School, working with Susan Odom and Aman Kaur in the Department of Chemistry. Her work focused on the synthesis of shelf-stable radical cation salts and served as her capstone research project. After that period, restructuring of that lab meant that she was looking for a new location to continue research, whereupon a chance encounter with Robin Cooper of the Biology Department led to her taking a position in his lab. 

She started out her first year of college with a pre-nursing major, but changed it to a Biology-major, Chemistry-minor path to allow more time for extracurriculars and more freedom in course load. Given her beliefs that academics should be well-balanced with community involvement — as well as the empirical side of learning through research — the


By Whitney Hale 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2023)  Two University of Kentucky seniors — Kayli Bolton and Kayla Horne — interviewed this year for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and Bolton was awarded one of only 23 Gates Cambridge Scholarships presented nationally to students hoping to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge in England.

Bolton, a University of Kentucky biology and Lewis Honors College senior, is the third Wildcat to receive the honor. She also received the Astronaut Scholarship and the 


By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

Kaitlyn Brock, left, a neuroscience and psychology major, and Hena Kachroo, a chemistry major, are the recipients of UK's Beckman Scholars Program.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2023) — Two undergraduates have been selected as recipients of the University of Kentucky’s Beckman Scholars Program, titled Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship.

The Beckman Scholars — Kaitlyn Brock, a neuroscience and psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lewis Honors College, and Hena Kachroo, a chemistry major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lewis Honors College — will begin their


By Elizabeth Chapin

The University of Kentucky is hosting its fifth annual Substance Use Research Event (SURE) April 24 in the UK Gatton Student Center. This free event showcases translational research conducted at UK focusing on substance use and substance use disorder.

Cannabis research is a focus of this year’s event, which will include an update on the new UK Cannabis Center, a breakout session on emerging cannabis research, and a keynote from a national cannabis expert.

“This annual event was created five years ago to highlight the depth and breadth of substance use and related research happening all over campus, and it provides an opportunity to bring together experts from many different backgrounds to build networks and continue to spur future collaborations,” said William Stoops, Ph.D., 


Cagney Coomer

Cagney Coomer, a postdoctoral trainee in the Halpern Laboratory in Molecular and Systems Biology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, has been selected as a 2022 Hanna H. Gray Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Coomer is one of only 25 biomedical researchers chosen across the U.S. this year as a Hanna Gray Fellow through a highly competitive selection process, and she is the first scientist from Dartmouth to receive this honor, which focuses on recruiting and retaining individuals from gender, racial, ethnic, and other groups that are underrepresented in the life sciences, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program honors the contributions of Hanna Holborn Gray,  an inspiring leader and one of the founding trustees


By Richard LeComte 

A NeuroCATS student shows a brain to schoolchildren.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Everybody knows University of Kentucky students use their brains. What some people may not know is that a group of UK students keep their brains in a College of Arts & Sciences cabinet — and they frequently take them out to show at area schools. Spinal cords, too. 

Meet the NeuroCATS: These students are on a mission to spread the word about the excitement of neuroscience to kids, one lobe at a time. The club has reached out to more than 5,000 students in the Fayette County area and about 1,700 students each year.  

“There's a bit of a shock factor, but the kids tend to really enjoy it,” said Lilly Swanz, a senior neuroscience major and psychology minor from Paducah, who’s the club’s president. “They love to take pictures and show their friends and family. They’re


By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research recently announced the 21 undergraduate winners of the 58th annual Oswald Research and Creativity awards. Chad Risko, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Research Ambassadors were on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards.

Established in 1964 by then-President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Competition encourages undergraduate research and creative activities across all fields of study.

Categories are:

Biological Sciences. Design (architecture, landscape architecture and interior design). Fine Arts (film, music, photography, painting, and sculpture), Humanities (from

By Richard LeComte 

David Westneat discusses birds with Take Flight students.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Taking Flight — Next Level, a program run by The University of Kentucky’s Ecological Research and Education Center; the Red Oaks Forest School in Stanton, Kentucky; and Kids MakeIt has received the Kentucky Academy of Science Excellence and Outreach Award for 2022. 

Taking Flight — Next Level teaches concepts of science, technology, engineering, math and art to students 14 and older, focusing on those with limited access to science activities outside the classroom. The program allows

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By Richard LeComte 

Ashley Seifert

LEXINGTON, KY. -- Ashley Seifert’s expertise lies in animals that can regenerate body parts — African spiny mice are something of his specialty. 

But Seifert, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has also worked with salamanders, which can tackle scar-free healing as well as limb and skin development. His work with salamanders has led him to co-edit a book on how to use salamanders, not so much as pets but as animals that contribute to humans’ understanding of regeneration. 

The resulting book, “Salamanders: Methods and Protocols,” came out in October and is published in the Springer Protocols series by Humana Press. He co-edited the volume with Joshua Currie of Wake Forest University.  

Lyman T. Johnson Award Recipient

Each year, UK’s academic colleges and units select one African American alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These units also choose an African American student within their respective colleges/departments whose academic achievement and ability to impact the lives of others warrant them the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award.

  College of Arts and Sciences

Alexa Halliburton 
 Torch Bearer 
Alexa Halliburton is from St. Louis, Mo., and first toured the University of Kentucky when she was 16. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in pharmacology. Halliburton is attending Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill.,


By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Kentucky -- Erich Jarvis, a professor and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Rockefeller University, will be one of the guest speakers in the 2022 Ribble Seminar Series offered by the Department of Biology in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

Jarvis uses song-learning birds and other species as models to study the molecular and genetic mechanisms that underlie vocal learning. He is interested in how the brains of humans and birds evolved to produce complex vocal behavior. Learn more about Jarvis and his research