News

4/3/2019

The autism-related research of UK alum and neuroscientist Dr. Blair Braden was featured recently on social media outlets of the Society for Neuroscience. Blair worked in the lab of Dr. Mark Prendergast many years ago, and attended graduate school at Arizona State University, where she is now a professor.

"Telomere twist: Blair Braden, assistant professor at Arizona State University, and colleagues reported work showing that children with autism have shorter telomeres than their typical peers. The effect is particularly strong in girls with autism. The findings add an interesting twist to the literature on sex differences in autism. More importantly, if shortened telomeres are a risk factor

3/28/2019

By Carol Lea Spence

The University of Kentucky is hosting the third annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference for middle school girls and their parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 20. This day of hands-on workshops will inform young Kentucky girls and their parents about exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Women continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and they hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Many higher education institutions like UK struggle against the problem of poor retention of female undergraduates in a lot of science, engineering and math majors,” said Ellen Crocker, assistant professor in

3/7/2019

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

 

Erin Calipari, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, recently visited the University of Kentucky to give a talk about her work in addiction research.

The neuroscientist (who also happens to be the daughter of UK Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari), met with students and faculty in the UK Department of Biology before presenting her lecture. UKNow caught up with Calipari to get her thoughts on UK's focus on fighting the opioid epidemic. She noted that UK is a leader in opioid addiction research.

"UK is one of the biggest places for this kind of drug addiction work," Calipari said. "And one of the things that's kind of nice is that UK has a name for itself in sports, which gives these researchers a platform to communicate with people they wouldn't be able to communicate with otherwise. And

2/21/2019

By Ryan Girves

Eighteen University of Kentucky students are making their way to the State Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky, to present their research at the 2019 Posters-at-the-Capitol event. This one-day annual event is held to show Kentucky legislators the importance of undergraduate research and scholarly work in Kentucky. The governor proclaims this day to be Undergraduate Research Day across the Commonwealth.

"Posters-at-the-Capitol is a platform whereby undergraduates from across the Commonwealth’s eight public institutions proudly showcase their undergraduate research projects," said Evie Russell, assistant director at the Office of Undergraduate Research. "Each year, University of Kentucky students look forward to communicating their research achievements to Kentucky Legislators and their peers."

The work presented by students

1/24/2019

By Laura Wright

 

Regeneration is one of the most enticing areas of biological research. How are some animals able to regrow body parts? Is it possible that humans could do the same? If scientists could unlock the secrets that confer those animals with this remarkable ability, the knowledge could have profound significance in clinical practice down the road.  

Scientists at the University of Kentucky have taken this concept one step closer to reality, announcing today that they have assembled the genome of the axolotl, a salamander whose only native habitat is a lake near Mexico City.

Axolotls have long been prized as models for regeneration, said Randal Voss, a professor in the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and a co-PI on the project. 

“It’s hard to

1/17/2019

Professor Grace Jones
January 30, 1951-January 12, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that our friend and colleague, Professor Grace Jones, has passed away peacefully after a prolonged illness. She was a dedicated teacher, scholar and scientist and will be missed by all. She was in the loving embrace of her dedicated husband, Dr. Davy Jones, at the very end.

Dr. Jones was born in Hong Kong. She moved to the United States and studied Biology at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. She then received a Master’s degree from Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala., before moving to Auburn University, where she received an Ed.D. in Science with a specialty in Entomology in 1978. She conducted post-doctoral research at Texas A&M University (1979) and at the University of California at Riverside (1980). She then received

11/29/2018

 

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons

11/14/2018

By Ryan Girves

Last week, University of Kentucky graduate and undergraduate students competed in the final rounds of the 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition and the 3-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT). While two final winners prevailed, research also came out ahead.

Research is one of the foundations of the university — creating solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues. Research is also one of the great opportunities provided to students at UK. 

Often, when we think of research, a scientist with smoking beakers comes to mind, but that does not always have to be the case. The 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition, for undergraduate students, and 3MT, for graduate students, aim to change the stereotype surrounding research, while also providing students with an opportunity to present their research to an audience in a way that is brief and

10/25/2018

By Whtiney Hale

University of Kentucky biology and neuroscience senior Esther Putman, of Lexington, is having an out of this world year. This summer, Putman was named one of 2018’s 50 recipients of a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). In addition, Putman was one of 40 recipients of a Brooke Owens Fellowship, which matches its fellows with paid summer internships in the aviation and space industry.

The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). A nonprofit organization, ASF was established

10/18/2018

By Lindsey Piercy

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will induct six new members into the A&S Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 19. 

For more about each honoree, see their brief biographies below.

Alumni inductees:

Jennifer L. Garr, topical studies, bachelor's degree, 1986

Garr is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. Early in her sophomore year at UK, she chose the path of topical studies with an emphasis in art therapy. Garr’s activities ranged from a semester as staff artist for the Kentucky Kernel to public relations director for the UK Student Center Board. Garr has worked at some of the top advertising companies and management agencies, including Brown & Williamson International, Leo Burnett, J. Walter Thompson, Publicis,

10/3/2018

By Jenny Wells

Ann Morris, an associate professor of biology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has received $1.87 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue her cutting-edge research in retinal development and regeneration.

The Research Project Grant (R01), titled "Vertebrate Photoreceptor Development and Regeneration," will be funded over five years and supports Morris and her team's efforts to improve the understanding of cell differentiation in the retina, the photosensitive lining in the back of the eye. The project has the potential to lead to developments for treating human retinal degenerative diseases that can cause blindness, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

“I am grateful to the

8/24/2018

By Nick Harling

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences has named the first recipients of its Inclusion Fellows program, an initiative for faculty interested in actively orchestrating and advancing efforts to build a more inclusive campus.

Fellows can develop and implement scholarly, community-building, pedagogical, mentoring and networking events, initiatives or programming. The fellowship period serves as a professional development opportunity for the fellows, as it enables them to enhance their responsibilities and bring forth new ideas and measures that will positively affect students.

“The overall goal of the Inclusion Fellows Program is to draw on and support faculty to create sustainable change to enhance inclusivity within the college,” Cristina Alcalde, associate dean of inclusion and internationalization, said. “Over the

7/30/2018

By Whitney Hale and Jenny Wells

 

More than 45 of the University of Kentucky's students and recent graduates had the world's most prestigious scholarship, fellowship and internship organizations take note this year. The newest class of highly regarded scholars include UK’s 14th Truman Scholar and first Pickering Fellow.

Helping prepare these UK students and recent alumni to compete for and win such honors is the mission of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Under the guidance and leadership of Pat Whitlow, the office identifies and works with young scholars on the application process for large scholastic prizes awarded by regional, national and international sources.

This year UK students and alumni were recognized with the following awards:

5/29/2018

By Trey Melcher

The University of Kentucky Woman's Club (UKWC) awarded $30,000 in scholarships to three students for the 2018-2019 school year. The recipients are Angela Chester, Michelle Kuiper and Lauren Spencer. Each will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Angela Chester, recipient of the UK Woman's Club Scholarship

Chester is a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has made the Dean's List two times and is a member of both the National Honors Fraternity and Phi Sigma Pi. Chester has work-study responsibilities with the Veteran's Resource Center and serves as a tutor for Student Support Services, where she is also a teaching assistant.

Chester, a veteran, says she's grateful for her support network including, “my mother, Sherry; my granny

5/23/2018

By Jenny Wells

Evander Harris, who is now a physics teacher at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington, mixes compounds together with Henry Clay High School teacher and FCPS teacher partner Craig Schroeder at a 2016 Noyce STEM Summer Workshop.

The University of Kentucky wants to not only recruit more students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors, but also train those students to become STEM educators.

Through a collaborative effort led by the UK College of Education, the UK College of Arts and Sciences and the UK College of Engineering, the "UK Noyce STEM PLUS: Producing Leaders for Urban/rUral Schools" project aims to attract UK students, especially students

5/17/2018

By Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis

 

This spring the Office of the Vice President for Research sponsored Kaylynne Glover, a Ph.D. candidate in biology, and Alexa Johnson, a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant in the UK Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI), to go to Washington D.C. for “CASE: Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering.” This three-and-a-half-day program through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offered these young researchers a firsthand view of Congress, the federal budget process and effective science communication.

“I love the intersection between science and society. That's where I want to spend my life,” said Glover, “I want to be able to work with the public, but what else can I do other than write blogs or create a Facebook page that advocates for science? In my limited capacity, what

5/17/2018

By Jenny Wells

Catherine Linnen, an assistant professor of biology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The program will provide Linnen with $950,000 over five years to conduct research in evolutionary genetics and develop a teaching program to promote scientific research to students and the community. The two projects will be integrated to support the core goals of the grant. 

"Being chosen for a CAREER award is perhaps the biggest honor of my academic career," Linnen said. "The funds provided by this award will enable my lab to pursue cutting-edge research on the origins of biodiversity, while

5/2/2018

Congratulations ! Meghan Turner and Daimen Stoltz.

Neuroscience majors and minors, we congratulate two Neuroscience majors who will be honored this Friday from 3-4 pm in room 221 of the Jacobs Science Building.

Meghan Blair Turner will be recognized for her outstanding leadership and commitment to neuroscience outreach in the community. As the Founding President of NeuroCATS, Meghan has created the largest student-led organization on campus and has taken neuroscience into communities and schools across Kentucky, changing the lives of young people forever.

Daimen Stoltz will be honored for her outstanding research in neuroscience. Daimen has worked in the lab of Dr. Warren Alilain for the past several months and has been key part of a team that is investigating respiratory difficulties that result from spinal cord injury.

We will also recognize the

4/11/2018
Jeramiah Smith Photo

 

Jeramiah Smith, an associate professor of biology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, will deliver the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Early Career Investigator (ECI) lecture next week at the National Institutes of Health.

His talk, "Ancient Bloodsuckers, Disposable Genes, and What It All Means," will explore Smith's research on the genome of sea lampreys.

“Lampreys are representatives of an ancient group of vertebrates that diverged [from most other vertebrates — including humans] more than 500 million years ago,” Smith said. “Unlike most other vertebrates, they also eliminate 20 percent of their genome from most cells during early development. By studying the deep

4/11/2018
Everything is Science, April 26-28, 2018

Science is all around us, from the design of the buildings we drive by on our way to work, to the brewing of our favorite beverages, to the development of pharmaceuticals to help us live longer and healthier lives. But how much do you know about how these everyday commodities actually work?

A group of professors and students at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, along with community partners like Keeneland and AllTech are working together to introduce the Lexington community to the science around us. Everything is Science is a science festival that will be held at different locations all throughout the city, with concurrent events happening Thursday, April 26th through Saturday, April 28th.

Everything is Science aims to bridge the gap between scientists and the general public while making science accessible. Their mission is to demonstrate how

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