News

8/6/2019

By Madison Dyment

Sometimes it’s the path we least expect that brings us the most reward. This is certainly the case for University of Kentucky Biology Professor Pete Mirabito, who was recently honored for his long-time involvement with the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching.

Originally, Mirabito was just a kid like many others with dreams of being a professional football player. Although talented, school was more of a necessity than a passion.

“I had math and science skills in high school, but I wasn’t really paying attention to any of them,” Mirabito said. “When I stopped growing, it ruled out my pro football plans, so I had to figure out what else I could do.”

After some advice from peers, Mirabito found himself going to college at the University of Florida with a major in food science, as a first-generation college student. Even still,

7/23/2019

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Lewis Honors College presented two new college awards — the Diachun Scholar Award and the Evans Scholar Award — to two graduating seniors at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Meghana Kudrimoti, who graduated with degrees in biology and political science in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, was the recipient of the Diachun Scholar Award. This award is given to a graduating senior in a science or related field who has the highest academic achievement among their peers.

While at UK, Kudrimoti was a Gaines FellowChellgren Fellow and director of UK's Big Blue

7/9/2019

By Jenny Wells

Jeremy Van Cleve, 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 Van Cleve with $780,000 over five years to conduct research in evolutionary biology and develop a teaching program to promote scientific research to students of all ages. The two projects will be integrated to support the core goals of the grant. 

With the CAREER award, Van Cleve will develop new mathematical and computational tools to study the history and function of genes that affect social behavior and group living in organisms.

Animals, plants and microbes that live

6/19/2019

By Autumn Miller

The University of Kentucky is always looking for ways to ensure students have access to the best course material. With textbook prices on the rise, some students have decided to forgo buying textbooks. As an active contributor to student success, the UK Libraries started the Alternative Textbook Grant Program in 2016 to help faculty offer free or affordable course material. For the upcoming year, 10 grants are being awarded.

The Alternative Textbook Grant Program provides UK instructors with assistance in finding or creating educational material that best suits their pedagogical needs and effectively reduces their students’ financial burdens. In past years, the

6/13/2019

By Madison Dyment

One of the most rewarding aspects of higher education is the chance to train the next generation of leaders and workers. Every so often, students are lucky enough to find opportunities that go above and beyond to give them practical experience in preparing them for their future. Mark Prendergast’s BIO 199 class is one of those opportunities.

Prendergast’s class is designed for freshmen neuroscience majors. The course is part of the STEMCats Living Learning Program at the University of Kentucky in the College of Arts and Sciences, with its students either in that program or the Lewis Honors College. There are many existing sections of the course, each being taught by a different faculty member who conducts different types of research related to biology.

The STEMCats Living Learning Program was founded in 2014 and receives funding

6/3/2019

By Lindsey Piercy

Although students are excited to start their journey in higher education, there is often a feeling of apprehension. One of the most anxiety-producing tasks? Registering for classes.

Choosing from a variety of professors, scheduling your courses and getting enough credit hours can be extremely stressful. That's why the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky has spent the last three years rethinking and restructuring the process.

Dean Mark Kornbluh takes great pride in offering innovative core classes — courses that were originally designed with freshmen in mind. “We want to make sure our incoming students start their college career on the right foot, with all of the

5/31/2019

By Lori Adams

The University of Kentucky has released its Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester. A total of 6,562 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance. 

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes. Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting: www.uky.edu/PR/News/DeansList/.

5/30/2019

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that seven recent UK graduates and four doctoral students have been offered Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among approximately 2,000 U.S. students

5/17/2019

By Whitney Hale

Emily Hedges (far left) and  Hannah Thompson (far right) were joined by faculty sponsor Miriam Kienle, Interim Dean of UK Libraries Deirdre Scaggs and faculty sponsor Janice Fernheimer. Mark Cornelison l UK Photo.

Last night, University of Kentucky Libraries awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Scholarship to art history and visual studies senior Emily Hedges and biology and Lewis Honors College junior Hannah Thompson at the UK Libraries Spring Gala. The awards recognize exceptional, original scholarship and excellent research conducted by UK undergraduates making substantive and creative use

5/13/2019

By Jennifer T. Allen

Oliver Voecking, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts & Sciences, recently received a Knights Templar Eye Foundation Career-Starter Grant for his retinal research with zebrafish. The Knights Templar presented Voecking with a check on the University of Kentucky campus in April 2019. 

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is committed to support research that can help launch the careers of clinical or basic researchers committed to the understanding, prevention and cure of vision threatening diseases in infants and children. With the grant, Voecking will focus his research on analyzing the development of POM cells in zebrafish hoping to drastically increase the understanding of POM development, ultimately developing screening for anterior segment associated diseases, such as corneal dystrophy,

5/7/2019

By Whitney Hale

Lewis Honors College member Angela Jones, of Attica, New York, is a junior majoring in biology and chemistry.

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that juniors Angela Jones and Tom Shelton and senior Eura Shin have been awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The three UK students are among 496 students nationwide selected to receive the 2019 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,223 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 443 of the nation's colleges and universities.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education

5/6/2019

By Whitney Hale

Ben Farmer will travel to Key Largo, Florida, to begin a summer internship in marine conservation.

Ben Farmer, a graduating University of Kentucky biology senior and member of Lewis Honors College, has been awarded the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Dr. Jamie L. King Marine Conservation Internship from Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. Following graduation, Farmer will travel to Key Largo, Florida, for the summer program.

REEF conserves marine environments worldwide. Their mission is to protect biodiversity and ocean life by actively engaging and inspiring the public through citizen science,

4/29/2019

By Whitney Hale, Ellie Wnek and Hannah Edelen

Senior Dealla Samadi discovered a missing piece of the book "La Reine Albemarle," which was published posthumously without the segment. Her discovery has led to an article published in a French philosophy journal.

Seven interns in the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Learning Lab will represent UK at the second World Conference of Undergraduate Research (World CUR).

These students will travel to Oldenburg, Germany, May 23-25, to present their research, discuss global issues and create an international research partnership. Funding for their travel is provided through the 

4/23/2019

By Ryan Girves

Award winners are from left, front row: Jennifer Osterhage, Rachel Carr, Anna Voskresensky, Benjamin Braun, Suzanne Smith. Back row: Abraham Prades-Mengibar, Luc Dunoyer, Shane Clark and Sarah Wilson. Not pictured: Amy Taylor. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

The University of Kentucky recognized exceptional faculty and teaching assistants with the Outstanding Teaching Awards during the 2019 UK Faculty Awards Ceremony held Thursday, April 18.

The Outstanding Teaching Awards annually recognize faculty and graduate teaching assistants who go above and beyond what is expected and demonstrate outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory. Selected via nomination, candidates were reviewed by a selection committee empaneled by the Office for Faculty Advancement 

4/22/2019

By Ryan Girves

The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence honored the 2018 class of Chellgren Fellows and announced five Chellgren Endowed Professorships at an event that took place Saturday, April 20. 

The Chellgren Center works to advance UK's commitment to student, teaching and program excellence. Created in 2005 with a gift from Paul Chellgren, a UK graduate, and his family, the Chellgren Center creates unique educational opportunities for outstanding undergraduate students and professors at the university. Chellgren's commitment to undergraduate education at UK has created a countless number of opportunities for UK students, staff and faculty, impacting thousands.  

Contributing to the university's goal

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

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