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By George Lewis


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"That we were chosen to award these scholarships proves what I've said all along -- University of Kentucky Students can compete with students anywhere."

--Lee T. Todd Jr.,
University of Kentucky

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Photo of Robin Petroze
Robin Petroze

Photo of Garrett Sparks
Garrett Sparks

April 8, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. was exuberant as he awarded undergraduate research scholarships from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Scholars Program to two UK students who excel in the chemical and biological sciences. The presentation held special significance, because UK is among the nation's top research universities selected to award the scholarships.

"That we were chosen to award these scholarships proves what I've said all along -- University of Kentucky students can compete with students anywhere," Todd said.

UK's scholarships, each totaling $17,600, will support the research of UK juniors Robin Petroze of Fort Mitchell and Garrett Matthew Sparks of Ashland.

Petroze will work in the lab of chemistry professor Allan Butterfield. Petroze's project is titled Amyloid Precursor Protein and Presenilin-1 Double Mutant Mice as a Model for Alzheimer's disease. Petroze is a double major in chemistry and biology. Sparks will work in the lab of biology professor Robin Cooper.

Sparks' project is titled The Role of the Sodium/Calcium Exchanger (NCX) in Synaptic Transmission. A double major in biology and English, Sparks is a Singletary Scholar and a Gaines Fellow.

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation spokesperson Kathleen Murphy said UK was invited to compete for the scholarships against 61 other major research universities. In addition to UK, other schools selected to award the undergraduate research scholarships this year include Boston, Duke and Washington universities, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

"That's company we don't mind keeping," Todd said.

UK will award four more Beckman scholarships over the next two years.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation makes grants to non-profit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences.

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