Campus News

UK Researchers Use Imaging Technique to Predict Dementia Status in Adults with Down Syndrome

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 14:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2016) – Researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging found that magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a noninvasive imaging technique, might help distinguish between people with Down syndrome who have dementia and those who do not. The researchers describe their findings in an article published in the journal, NeuroImage: Clinical.


People with Down syndrome have a third copy of chromosome 21, and that chromosome is the same one responsible for the production of a molecule called amyloid precursor protein. Since amyloid overproduction causes the brain plaques that are a cardinal feature of Alzheimer's disease, virtually 100 percent of people with Down syndrome have Alzheimer's pathology in their brain by the time they are 40. But for unknown reasons, many who display this pathology show no traces of dementia. A method for detecting early neurochemical indicators of whether a given person with Down syndrome will develop dementia could ultimately help researchers find new ways to delay or prevent its onset.


"Typically, people develop Alzheimer's disease in their 60s, 70s, or 80s," said Elizabeth Head, Ph.D., a professor at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and a co-principal investigator for the Down Syndrome and Aging Study at Sanders-Brown. "It's a little easier to study Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome because of the predictability of the age at which this population develops signs of the disease."


The research team at Sanders-Brown, led by Head and Professor Frederick Schmitt, Ph.D., used MRS to measure the levels of key brain metabolites in 22 adults with Down syndrome. The team was able to identify specific metabolic deficiencies that were indicative not only of dementia status, but also of cognitive function, in study participants both with and without dementia.


“This is a great first study of its kind in Down syndrome,” said Head. “We hope to extend the study as we follow people over time. Ultimately, the technique may be useful in future clinical trials of dementia treatments in people with Down syndrome.”


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307

UK College of Dentistry starts Oral Medicine Externship

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 13:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2016) – The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry now provides students the opportunity to participate in an oral medicine externship. The unique opportunity blends clinical clerkships within the fully accredited Orofacial Pain Program, the dynamic activities of UKCD's Division of Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Oral Radiology.


The externship provides graduate level training in biological sciences, oral medicine, clinical and pathologic correlations as well as experiences unavailable to privately practicing dentists or typical Academy of General Dentistry residents. Participants will have the opportunity to learn and observe intravenous and conscious sedation, oral mucosal disease, orofacial pain management, general dentistry, and management of complex dental patients.


“The UK College of Dentistry Oral Medicine Externship is an outstanding opportunity for practicing dentists and young faculty members to learn about oral medicine through direct access to world renown leaders in a vibrant, state-of-the art clinical setting," said Dr. Craig Miller, externship director and chief of Division of Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology.


Throughout the externship, emphasis is placed on evidence-based diagnostic processes, dental management of medically complex patients, diagnosis and management of acute and chronic orofacial pain conditions, conscious and intravenous sedation techniques and the development of advanced diagnostic skills.


A significant portion of externs’ time will be devoted to observing comprehensive dental care with emphasis on diagnostic techniques and therapeutic skills in elderly populations. This patient pool is uniquely challenging as many patients have complex levels of medical compromise, diverse oral disease and already sought care from several practitioners without finding adequate relief. Here the benefits of having multidisciplinary a diagnostic approach is seen on a daily basis.


Completion of the program results in a Certificate of Clinical Externship in Oral Medicine awarded by the University of Kentucky. For more information on UKCD’s Oral Medicine Externship, visit our website or contact Dr. Craig Miller.


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy,, (859)257-1076



Lake Tanganyika Fisheries Declining from Global Warming

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2016) The decrease in fishery productivity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa's oldest lake, since the 1950s is a consequence of global warming rather than just overfishing, according to a new report from an international team led by a University of Arizona (UA) geoscientist that includes the University of Kentucky's Michael McGlue, who is Pioneer Professor of Stratigraphy in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.


The lake was becoming warmer at the same time in the 1800s the abundance of fish began declining, the team found. The lake's algae — fish food — also started decreasing at that time.


However, large-scale commercial fishing did not begin on Lake Tanganyika until the 1950s.


The new finding helps illuminate why the lake's fisheries are foundering, said study leader Andrew S. Cohen, a UA Distinguished Professor of Geosciences.


"Some people say the problem for the Lake Tanganyika fishery is 'too many fishing boats,' but our work shows the decline in fish has been going on since the 19th century," Cohen said. "We can see this decline in the numbers of fossil fish going down in parallel with the rise in water temperature."


Lake Tanganyika yields up to 200,000 tons of fish annually and provides about 60 percent of the animal protein for the region's population, according to other investigators.


The team acknowledges that overfishing is one cause of the reduction in catch. However, they suggest sustainable management of the Lake Tanganyika fishery requires taking into account the overarching problem that as the climate warms, the algae — the basis for the lake's food web — will decrease.


Cohen and his colleagues figured out the lake's environmental history 1,500 years into the past by taking cores of the lake's bottom sediments and analyzing the biological and chemical history stored in the sediment layers.


The team's findings have important conservation implications. The largest and deepest of Africa's rift lakes, Lake Tanganyika is famous for the great diversity of species unique to the lake.


"The lake has huge biodiversity — hundreds of species found nowhere else," Cohen said.

The warming of the lake has reduced the suitable habitat for those species by 38 percent since the 1940s, the team found.


"The warming surface waters cause large parts of the lake's floor to lose oxygen, killing off bottom-dwelling animals such as freshwater snails," Cohen said. "This decline is seen in the sediment core records and is a major problem for the conservation of Lake Tanganyika's many threatened species and unique ecosystems."


The paper, "Climate warming reduces fish production and benthic habitat in Lake Tanganyika, one of the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystems," by Cohen, McGlue and their co-authors, was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Aug. 8. A complete list of authors and funders is at the bottom of this release.


Previous research by Cohen's colleagues found Lake Tanganyika began warming in the mid-1800s and that the lake had warmed in the latter part of the 20th century faster than any similar time period since the year 500.


The lake's fish production had also slumped in the latter part of the 20th century. Cohen has been studying the paleoenvironment of Lake Tanganyika and the surrounding region for decades. He wondered whether the drop in fish productivity was from increased fishing or because the lake was getting warmer.


In tropical lakes, increases in water temperature reduce the seasonal mixing between the oxygenated top layer of the lake and the nutrient-rich but oxygen-free bottom layer of the lake, Cohen said. Fewer nutrients in the top layer mean less algae and therefore less food for fish.


In addition, as a tropical lake warms, the mixing doesn't reach as far down into the lake. As a result, the oxygenated top layer becomes shallower and shallower. As the top layer gets shallower, the oxygenated area of the lake bottom shrinks, reducing habitat for bottom dwellers such as molluscs and arthropods.


The remains of fish, algae, molluscs and small arthropods are preserved in the annual layers of sediment deposited in the bottom of Lake Tanganyika. By examining cores from the bottom of the lake, Cohen and his colleagues reconstructed a decade-by-decade profile of the lake's biological history going back 1,500 years.


The team found that as the lake's temperature increased, the amount of fish bits, algae and molluscs in the layers of sediment decreased. Based on instrumental records of oxygen in the lake water, the scientists calculated that since 1946 the amount of oxygenated lake-bottom habitat decreased by 38 percent.


"We're showing the rising temperatures and declines in fish food are resulting in a decrease in fish production — less fish for someone to eat. It's a food security finding," Cohen said.


"We know this warming is going on in other lakes," Cohen said. "It has important implications for food and for ecosystems changing rapidly. We think that Lake Tanganyika is a bellwether for this process."


Other co-authors are Elizabeth Gergurich, now at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma; Benjamin Kraemer and Peter McIntyre of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; James M. Russell of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Jack D. Simmons, now at Weston Solutions Inc. in Austin, Texas; and Peter W. Swarzenski, now at the International Atomic Energy Agency of Monaco.


The National Science Foundation, the Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation-Geoscientists Without Borders Program, the Packard Foundation and the Nature Conservancy funded the research.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

Big Blue Move to Impact Traffic

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2016) — Safety is always a priority at University of Kentucky and especially now when thousands of new students are transitioning to campus at a time when vehicle and pedestrian traffic are heavy and streets are re-routed. UK Police will be out in full force to assist with Move-In, and everyone is urged to be patient and travel safely.


UK Move-In is an exciting time for our campus community and an important time to begin fostering student success — our top priority at all levels in everything that we do.


This year, we will welcome students and their families during four major Move-In days over the next week:

  • Saturday, Aug. 13
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17
  • Friday, Aug. 19
  • Saturday, Aug. 20

Move-In — combined with current construction occurring on campus — will impact parking and transportation routes throughout the campus at various times. Among the more than 5,600 students moving to campus housing, about 2,300 students are expected to arrive on Saturday, Aug. 13; 2,000 are expected on Wednesday, Aug. 17; 780 on Friday, Aug. 19; and 550 on Saturday, Aug. 20.


Those participating in Move-In are encouraged to use the WAZE app in conjunction with the Big Blue Move map. Area drivers are also encouraged to use the WAZE app for real-time road closures and other traffic information.


UK thanks all community members in advance for their patience and help during this process. Below is information regarding student move-in traffic flow and parking impacts over the next week, including important information about one-way streets, no parking areas, and high traffic locations.


ONE-WAY STREETS: (see map)

  • One-way southbound: Martin Luther King Boulevard between Good Samaritan parking lot and Avenue of Champions
  • One-way southbound: Lexington Avenue between Maxwell Street and Avenue of Champions
  • NOTE: Employee (E) lot entrance north of the Joe Craft Center CLOSED at Lexington Avenue; enter and exit only at Rose Street
  • One-way westbound: Avenue of Champions between Rose Street and Limestone (no thru traffic)
  • One-way westbound: Huguelet Drive between University Drive and Rose Street
  • One-way eastbound: Hilltop Avenue between University Drive and Woodland Avenue
  • One-way northbound: Woodland Avenue between Hilltop Avenue and Columbia Avenue
  • One-way southbound: Sports Center Drive between Woodland Avenue and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility.



Due to the need to quickly unload vehicles near residence halls, several areas of campus will be NO PARKING zones from 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each of the Move-In days. Additionally, several streets on and bordering campus will have closures or other changes to traffic flow to accommodate Move-In. Watch for NO PARKING signs and bagged meters in these areas.


Vehicles parked in the NO PARKING areas listed below will be TOWED. Owners will be responsible for all tow-related charges.


Saturday, Aug. 13; Wednesday, Aug. 17; Friday, Aug. 19; Saturday, Aug. 20:

  • UNIVERSITY DRIVE (BOTH SIDES): from Cooper Drive to Hilltop Avenue
  • SPORTS CENTER DRIVE: between Woodland Avenue and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility
  • AVENUE OF CHAMPIONS: metered parking in front of Roselle Hall
  • LIMESTONE STREET: The nine parking spots on the east side between Avenue of Champions and the sidewalk north of Holmes Hall
  • MARTIN LUTHER KING BOULEVARD: between Maxwell Street and Avenue of Champions
  • LEXINGTON AVENUE: area between the Employee (E) lot entrance and Avenue of Champions
  • E LOT BETWEEN KELLEY BUILDING and MED CENTER ANNEX #5: the five spots in the lane just north of Medical Center Annex #5
  • WOODLAND AVENUE: between Hilltop Avenue and Sports Center Drive, no parking anytime



Students and parents participating in Move-In will be permitted to park in the following designated parking areas:

  • South Limestone Garage (PS #5): all four move-in dates listed above
  • Sports Center Garage (PS #7): all four move-in dates listed above
  • Blue Lot at Commonwealth Stadium: all four move-in dates listed above
  • Red Lot at Commonwealth Stadium: all four move-in dates listed above
  • Green Lot at Commonwealth Stadium: Saturday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 20
  • Orange Lot at Commonwealth Stadium: Saturday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 20
  • Memorial Coliseum Lot: Saturday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 20



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

UK Libraries Hosts International Session on Digitization of News

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 09:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2016) University of Kentucky Libraries is hosting the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) 2016 News Media Satellite Session, Aug. 10-12, at the Hilton Downtown Lexington. Keynote speakers include Patrick Fleming, of the British Library at St. Pancras Campus, and award-winning newspaper columnist Tom Eblen, of the Lexington Herald-Leader.


The session will look at how different news preservation players serve news content creators through digital curation and preservation support, with emphasis on examining strategies toward legal deposit and preservation on local, state and national levels.


UK Libraries has played a major role in newspaper preservation and digitization. One of the first institutions to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) United States Newspaper Project (USNP), UK catalogued and microfilmed more than three million pages of historic Kentucky newspapers over 20 years. In 2005, UK Libraries was again on the cutting edge of newspaper preservation, as one of the first six institutions awarded the NEH-funded National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant. UK Libraries was awarded four consecutive NDNP awards, the last of which concluded in 2013. In addition, UK developed meta|morphosis, a film-to-digital institute that brought people from around the world for hands-on training in newspaper digitization. 


IFLA keynote speaker Patrick Fleming, a journalist and former newspaper editor, is head of Business Change at the British Library's St. Pancras Campus. The British Library serves business and industry, researchers, academics and students in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Every year, six million searches are generated by the British Library’s online catalogue and more than 100 million items have been supplied to users.


Tom Eblen, the second keynote speaker, is the metro/state columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was the Herald-Leader's managing editor from 1998 to 2008. Eblen returned to his hometown in 1998 after 14 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he was a regional/national reporter, a business reporter and editor, and an Olympics reporter and editor. Eblen is a former board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors and a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.


IFLA is the leading international body that represents the interests of library and information services and their users. As the global voice of the library and information profession, IFLA has more than 1,300 members in approximately 140 countries. 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;



Pittard's 'Listen to Me' Still Impressing Critics

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 17:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2016)  Hannah Pittard, University of Kentucky assistant professor of English and creative writing, continues to impress the literary world with her third novel, “Listen to Me.”


Designated as “an emerging voice,” Pittard’s “Listen to Me” was on Buzz Book’s list of must-read books in 2016. On July 5, Washington Post’s mysteries and thrillers reviewer Patrick Anderson called “Listen to Me” a “captivating” novel. In Saturday’s New York Times, critic Erica Wagner said Pittard “creates…the feeling of emotional truth.”


Pittard’s thriller/mystery is about a young couple who fear their marriage is driving them both crazy. The young wife hasn’t recovered from a terrifying mugging; her husband thinks she’s taking it all too seriously. The husband is horrified when she begins collecting deadly weapons; his wife surrenders to obsessive, paranoid Internet surveillance. Such is their marital status when they embark on a cross-country road trip with their neurotic dog Gerome in the back seat and a “storm of the century” on the horizon. And what could possibly go wrong on the back roads of West Virginia?


As the Post’s reviewer writes, “All anyone has to do to rediscover the existential anxiety of the frontier in the 21st century is to get into a car and drive.”


Pittard’s first novel, “The Fates Will Find Their Way,” was an O, The Oprah Magazine, selection, an Indie Next pick, a Powell's Indiespendible Book Club Pick, and a "best of" selection by The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Details magazine, The Kansas City Star, Chicago magazine, Chicago Reader and Hudson Booksellers. Her second novel, "Reunion," garnered Pittard several honors, including a Millions' Most Anticipated Book, a Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice, a BuzzFeed Top-5 Great Book, a Best New Book by People Magazine, a Top-10 Read by Bustle Magazine and LibraryReads, a Must-Read by TimeOut Chicago, and a Hot New Novel by Good Housekeeping. She is the winner of the 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellow. 


Pittard’s fourth novel, “Atlanta, 1962 will be published by Houghton Mifflin in 2017.


Jeffory Clymer, chair of UK's English department, said, “Hannah Pittard is a literary star whose third novel cements her reputation for writing elegant, provocative fiction. She is a key member of a new generation that is taking our well-established creative writing program to the next level of national prominence.” 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302,


Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall Open Their Doors to the Community

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 17:18


Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2016) — Two new residence halls located at the corner of South Limestone and Avenue of Champions will open their doors today. Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall are part of a nearly $2.1 billion campus transformation — a project that includes new residence halls, classrooms, research facilities, dining facilities and athletic venues.


The community is invited to attend a reception in Holmes Hall and tour Boyd Hall from 4-6 p.m. today (Tuesday), Aug. 9. 


Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall will add more than 1,500 beds to the more than 5,200 built within the last four years — a project made possible through UK's public-private partnership with Education Realty Trust (EdR).


Holmes Hall will be home to 645 residents throughout seven floors. Students will reside in two-bedroom suites, in which each students has his or her own private bedroom. Holmes Hall will also house two Living Learning Programs (LLP) — the Creative Arts Residential College and the LEXengaged Community. A full list of LLPs can be found here.


Boyd Hall will be home to nearly 500 residents throughout seven floors. Students in this residence hall will live in a two-bedroom deluxe suite or a four-bedroom suite.


Both residence halls will provide common areas designed to build community, study spaces and classrooms to allow students to learn where they live.


"Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall are part of a campus transformation that is changing more than our landscape and physical space, it's changing the way we educate students at the University of Kentucky and prepare them for life beyond our campus," said President Eli Capilouto. "While these spaces will provide vibrant, 21st century living-learning communities, the names that adorn our new residence halls honor the history of two significant women who were deeply committed to student success in their time."


The opening of Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall complete Phase II of the UK's housing transformation.


Phase III will progress accordingly:

  • Phase III-A: University Flats

o   To be completed in August 2017

o   771 upperclass, professional and graduate student beds

o   $74 million investment


  • Phase III-B: Lewis Honors College

o   To be completed fall 2017

o   346 beds and home to the new Lewis Honors College

o   $37.1 investment


Parking for guests attending the open house is availabe in the South Limestone parking garage (Parking Structure #5).



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Registration Now Open for UK Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2016)  The opportunity to learn how to become an entrepreneur is available to everyone at the University of Kentucky.


If you have ever dreamed of creating a startup, or wanted to see if your idea could be the next big thing in technology, product design or web-based services, then Bootcamp is for you. This program is free and is open to all faculty, students, staff and community members.


The Entrepreneurs Bootcamp Program is organized by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, part of UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics. The bootcamp lasts for 14 weeks, beginning with the opening session 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Gatton College building, and continuing each Thursday at that same time thru Dec. 1. The program is divided into weekly sessions tailored to company creation. Bootcamp is designed for highly motivated individuals interested in becoming an entrepreneur, and is not offered for academic credit.  


For more information about Bootcamp, what it's all about, how to apply, and a complete schedule, go to


Registration will be limited to the first 80 applicants. Applications and new projects will be accepted through Aug. 26. All applicants and new project ideas will be screened for acceptance into the program.


If you are interested in joining a project team, you can review the complete list of Bootcamp Projects at


Please direct all inquires to Mariam Gorjian, at



UK is  the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200,; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750,



Calipari, Johnson Speak at Annual Southern Orthopaedic Association Meeting

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 14:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2016) – This year’s Southern Orthopaedic Association meeting brought a lot of the Big Blue Nation to gator country. The annual meeting gives orthopaedic and sports medicine doctors the opportunity to meet and learn about advancements in the field. The meeting took place July 27-30 in Naples, Florida.


Dr. Darren Johnson, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, is currently serving as the president of the association, the first orthopaedic surgeon from Kentucky to be elected to the position. “It’s exciting for our state, its nice to be recognized, said Johnson. Dr. Scott Mair, UK professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, also served as the association program chair; and UK men’s basketball Coach John Calipari was the presidential guest speaker at the meeting.


Calipari’s speech was titled, “Players First.” His emphasis on leadership and getting players to focus on working as a team inspired Johnson’s speech, titled, “Patients First, Doctoring from the Inside Out.” Johnson emphasized that care should be patient focused. In addition to listening to Calipari, attendees were given copies for his book, Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out.


Johnson has been working in sports medicine for 23 years and came to work at UK in 1992.


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy,, (859) 257-1076




National Archives, UK Libraries to Present Earle C. Clements Award to Scott County Educator

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 13:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2016) The National Archives and the University of Kentucky Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center will present the second Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award to UK College of Education doctoral student Margaret Lynn Brewer, a world civilization teacher at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky. The award will be presented by U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero at a ceremony to be held 4 p.m. today (Tuesday), Aug. 9, at the Special Collections Research Center Great Hall, in the Margaret I. King Library Building. A reception will immediately follow the event.


The Clements Award honors the life and career of the Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. Clements’ political career included service as a county sheriff, clerk and judge; terms in the state senate and as governor; and terms in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to future President Lyndon Baines Johnson.


Selected from high school history and/or civics (social studies) teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Brewer was selected by an independent review panel for the Clements Award for demonstrating a teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service; expertise in civics and history content and the ability to share it with students; impact on student success; and evidence of creativity and innovation.


Originally from Worthington, Ohio, Brewer holds a bachelor's degree from Transylvania University and a master's degree in secondary education and social studies from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Prior to working at Scott County High School, where she teaches arts and humanities and advanced placement human geography, as well as world civilization, she taught at West Jessamine Middle School, Mercer County High School and Boyle County High School.


Brewer, who has been teaching for 16 years now, is currently working on her doctoral degree in instruction and administration with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction at the UK College of Education. Content area literacy is one of the educator's passions, and she spends a lot of time working with the Writing Projects at EKU and University of Louisville, as well as the National Writing Project. In addition, Brewer works with the Kentucky YMCA and helps sponsor the Y-Club at Scott County High School.


Many students, colleagues and supervisors praised Brewer for her work in and out of the classroom, including one student who wrote, "Ms. Brewer is far and away the most thoughtful and caring teacher I have had the pleasure of having class with."


Brewer will be presented with the Clements Award by National Archivist David S. Ferriero. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on Nov. 6, 2009. Previously, he served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries and held top library positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. Ferriero earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science. He served as a Navy hospital corpsman in Vietnam.


UK President Eli Capilouto and Provost Tim S. Tracy will also participate in the award presentation, as well as Bess Clements Abell, Earle Clements' daughter and a member of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board. Bess and her husband, Tyler, made a gift to the National Archives to support the award.


Created in 1934, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for preserving and providing access to the records of the U.S. Government. NARA has 43 facilities across the country, including 13 Presidential Libraries, containing approximately 13 billion pages of textual records; 42 million photographs; miles and miles of film and video; and an ever increasing number of electronic records. For more information, visit


UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Former Olympic Team Doctor Serving Athletes at UK Sports Medicine

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 16:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 8, 2016) – Every four years, we gather around the television and spend two weeks watching a lifetimes worth of work play out. For the hundreds of athletes that make up Team USA, the result of their blood, sweat and tears makes us feel pride, in our country and in our fellow countrymen. While the athletes take center stage there’s a team of people in the shadows treating pain, nursing illnesses and in some cases consoling athletes.


The team physicians at each Olympic games are often the unsung and invisible heroes. They provide all types of treatment to the 600 athletes they care for. From food poisoning to cortisone shots, doctors and athletic trainers see athletes for a host of issues.


In 1992, at the Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Mary Lloyd Ireland was selected as a team doctor by the United States Olympic Committee. Ireland primarily worked with members of the women’s basketball team and the gymnastics team. While the experience was rewarding Ireland said it could be difficult at time because the staff doctors “don’t know the person very well and you have to make decisions quickly.” Ireland’s connection with the Olympic games doesn’t end with her time as a team doctor. Mark Hutchinson, a current member of the Team USA medical team, trained with Ireland.


A native of Lexington, Ireland grew up playing sports. During her time as a student at Sayre School she played field hockey, basketball and swimming. In 1972 and 1976, Ireland competed for the chance to join the United States swim team. Although she missed making the team by two-tenths of a second, Ireland said “the third time, when I tried out as a doctor, I made it.”


She returned to Lexington and built a sports medicine program in private practice and served as a team physician for the University of Kentucky for 12 years. She was the first female to serve as team physician for a Division I football team. Ireland  joined the University of Kentucky Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in 2008. Her experiences as an athlete and doctor for Olympians provides her with a unique perspective that makes her better able to relate to patients, she said. “Having been an athlete and knowing how important athletes are to young people, I’m better able to empathize.”


Dedication and perseverance are the key to success in athletics, but listening to your body is also important, she said. Small issues become big issues when they go untreated and ignored and can get in the way of athletic performance. Ireland’s advice to Olympic hopefuls is “to hit the mark you have to aim a little above it.”


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy,, (859) 257-1076



Community-Based Farm Theater Dinners Spark Conversations About Occupational Safety and Health

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 16:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016) — Third-generation farmer Marjorie Hunter never fretted about sunscreen or covered up with long sleeves while picking blueberries or moving Angus beef cattle on her 240 acres of farmland. 


Then her primary physician pointed out an irregular spot on her skin, which ended up testing positive for carcinoma. She learned the diagnosis was not uncommon in her farming community — many other farmers had received a diagnosis of skin cancer. Now Hunter makes sure her husband, children and stepchildren are all wearing long sleeves while working long hours in the middle of the day.


Skin cancer, the affects of aging and dementia, farming equipment injuries, heat exhaustion and depression are a few of the real health and safety risks for workers on Kentucky's 80,000 farms. As an actor in her local Farm Theatre Dinner last March, Hunter portrayed safety and health scenarios affecting members of her East Tennessee farming community. The play sparked conversation about real threats and risks on the farm, empowering farmers to incorporate safer practices and prevention in their day-to-day work.


“Our farming community is a fairly tight-knit community people who are always helping each other,” Hunter said. “It’s just being aware of what’s going on in your surroundings.”


Farm Theater Dinners entertain Kentucky and Tennessee farmers with a meal and a farm-friendly theater performance embedded with important health and safety messages. But more than just a date night off the farm, these casual events are also influencing behaviors, with results of a study showing that farmers are thinking more about occupational safety and implementing precautions as a result of attending the forum-style dinners.


Organized by researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, the Farm Theater Dinners feature a 10-minute play performed by local volunteer actors. The scripts are based on interviews and stories from real Kentucky and Tennessee farmers. The plays also contain implicit messages about occupational safety and health risks specific to the farming profession. While enjoying a collegial atmosphere and a night off the farm, farmers are presented with realistic safety and health topics on the farm, which they discuss as a group at the conclusion of the performance. 


Deborah Reed, a professor in the UK College of Nursing, designed the Farm Theater Dinner intervention with the goal of getting more farmers to think about occupational health, safety and disease prevention on the farm. Raised on a Kentucky farm 15 miles outside of Lexington, Reed understands farmers’ attitudes toward traditional forms of occupational safety education. She has conducted community-based research on Kentucky’s farms for more than 25 years. Her research has shown farmers aren’t persuaded by lectures and pamphlets and don’t have time in their demanding work schedule to attend educational meetings.


“What we are trying to do with these plays is empower the local community to change their work behaviors in a way that’s acceptable within the community,” Reed said. 


Farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Equipment, environmental hazards, stress, dangerous equipment and constant physical labor contribute to work-related safety and health risks in farming. An aging workforce, farmers suffer from the highest rates of occupational injury and fatality in people 50 and older.


By nature, the farming profession presents a number of ergonomic risk factors, with prolonged periods of pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying, which increase the risks of musculoskeletal injuries. One in 10 farmers have undergone an amputation. Farmers are regularly exposed to air contaminants, such as manure and fertilizers, which can result in respiratory distress or respiratory illness. Farmers are also more likely than the average person to develop melanoma because of their frequent sun exposure.


In addition to the physical risks on farms, Reed said farmers suffer from psychological and emotional stress related to pressures of competing and producing in competitive marketplaces. The modern farmer receives public scrutiny for production practices and must meet government standards. The labor-intensive and deadline-driven nature of the modern farming industry has led to widespread mental and emotional instability in farmers. The agriculture industry leads the nation in occupational suicide.


Reed’s research attempts to inform farmers and influence their thought processes about health and safety through methods and tactics that they find acceptable. With her farming background, Reed knew farmers have historically relied on storytelling to pass down the practices and knowledge of their trade to the next generation. She harnessed this tradition in the farming community to develop the reader’s theater component of the intervention. Reader’s theater is an acting method that involves a casual but expressive reading of the script with minimal preparation.


The dinners are advertised at farm community events, markets and association conferences. Reed has hosted dinners in Casey and Russell counties and Bowling Green, Kentucky, and in Sullivan and Cooke counties in Tennessee.


The post-performance discussion phase of the intervention prompts farmers to propose ways to overcome heath and safety topics addressed in the play. Farmers come up with their own solutions, such as using walking sticks to prevent falls on the farm or taking a vacation to escape the daily pressure of running a farming operation. Other measures to prevent accidents included take a nap to prevent fatigue and wearing a rubber wedding ring to avoid a finger getting caught in equipment.


“Farmers are probably the best group for solving their own problems,” Reed said.


Reed has examined the effectiveness of the intervention by collecting and analyzing post-intervention questionnaires. A follow-up questionnaire disseminated two weeks after the intervention suggests farmers continue contemplate and adopt safety measures after the intervention.


Hunter said participating in the Farm Theater Dinner has changed how she and her husband think and talk about safety on the farm. Since the event, they have stopped work to review safety practices and observe safety precautions. She said the intervention has encouraged her to emphasize farm safety to her children and grandchildren, who are fourth- and fifth-generation farmers. 


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


UK School of Music Adds New Graduate Certificate in Eurhythmics

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 15:57
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky School of Music now offers a new Graduate Certificate in Eurhythmics. While the certificate has little to do with the popular 1980s British music duo Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart, it does focus on Dalcroze eurhythmics, which trains the body to respond kinesthetically to rhythmic and dynamic concepts as one of a three branch approach to music education created by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze.


With few institutions in the United States offering Dalcroze eurhythmics training, UK School of Music's program answers a demand for professional development opportunities for artists in this region and has even attracted program participants from overseas, especially from Asia where eurhythmics is very well received. The newly created American Eurythmics Society is growing the approach nationwide and UK's program will be considered on the cutting edge.


"The Dalcroze approach expands musicianship exponentially," said Martina Vasil, director of the Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Summer Institute at UK. "You do not have to be an expert in piano playing to participate in Dalcroze, nor do you have to be a music teacher. A love of music and a desire to engage the people you work with in musical activities is all that is required.”


The UK graduate certificate's main target is school music teachers, but eurhythmics training benefits all musicians and many others such as dancers, music therapists and actors. To earn the certificate, students will:

· take three online Dalcroze classes (offered during the fall, spring and second summer sessions),

· participate in at least two 10-day summer training workshops, and

· complete a capstone project.

Courses are led by two master teaching artists, New York City educator, researcher and UK alumnus Todd Anderson and Hamline University Professor Kathy Thomsen


For more information on the graduate certificate or the Dalcroze Institute at UK School of Music, contact Martina Vasil, at


The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Health and Safety Professionals Aren’t Immune to Mental Health Conditions, Suicide

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 15:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016) — Health care professionals and emergency responders confront the brutality of injury and illness on a daily basis.


Too often we assume these heroes can block out the horrors and heartbreak of their jobs — that they are superhuman. But the idea that doctors, nurses, officers and EMTs are impervious to mental illness is untrue.


Studies show health care and emergency professionals suffer from immense psychological and emotional distress related to their jobs. Suicide rates are rising in the health care profession. Every year, 150 medical students and 400 doctors take their own lives. Female nurses are four times more likely to commit suicide than the average woman. Despite the everyday dangers of the policing profession, suicide is the top killer in law enforcement.


Health care workers and law enforcement officials need psychological and emotional support to handle the stress of their professions. In the aftermath of national emergencies and attacks on citizens and law enforcement, we must recognize that health care workers and emergency responders are possibly recovering from significant psychological damage. As concerned colleagues, family members and friends, we can do more to help our rescuers cope with the stressful nature of their jobs.



First, leaders must acknowledge the psychological strain of the health care and emergency professions. They are subjected to the same or greater statistical odds of suffering from a mental health condition as others in society. Leaders in these professions should make personal wellness a top priority and stop to reflect after stressful events.



Colleagues can also do their part by reminding co-workers of their worth as a member of the team. Individuals who isolate themselves are more likely to ponder suicide. Invest in a co-worker’s life by asking them questions and listening to their stories.


Cultural Change

The cutthroat culture in many health care and medical education settings must cease. Instructors and faculty members must communicate a culture of positivity and denounce bullying behaviors. If a student is falling behind, listen and provide guidance to make a career-saving — or even life-saving — difference.


Stigmatization of mental health disorders is deeply rooted in society. Health professionals are reticent to receive treatment for mental health conditions due to fear of being stigmatized or possibly losing their valuable careers.  


The health care community has an important role in ending mental health stigmatization. Leaders should make resources and treatment for mental health conditions easily accessible. After receiving treatment for a mental health condition, we should embrace workers back into their professional community.


Mental health problems aren’t faults in character — they are diseases requiring treatment. The simple rule of acting in kindness and concern for our colleagues can help reduce the stigma of having a mental health condition that could lead to suicide.


Janie Heath is the Dean of the UK College of Nursing. Jan Findlay is an assistant professor of psychiatric/mental health nursing in the UK College of Nursing.  


Media Contact: Elizabeth Adams,


UK Industrial Hemp Research Field Day is Aug. 11

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 14:33

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 8, 2016)  The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host an industrial hemp field day Aug. 11 at UK’s Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington.


The field day begins at 8 a.m. with donuts and coffee provided by Sunstrand. At 9 a.m., UK’s industrial hemp research team will introduce themselves to participants and a series of updates will follow. Tom Keene, UK hemp extension associate, will give a UK hemp extension update. Doris Hamilton, director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program, will present a department update. Nicole Ward Gauthier, UK extension plant pathologist, and Josh Hendrix with the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association will discuss hemp diseases.


UK researchers and extension specialists will highlight their latest hemp research projects in tours that run from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. Transportation to research areas will be provided.


The field day will conclude at noon with lunch.


Field day participants should enter the farm from Agronomy Road off Ironworks Pike and follow the signs to the field day. Those with a GPS should use the address of 3250 Ironworks Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.



UK is  the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT:  Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774,

Columbia Terrace Roadwork Planned for Aug. 9-10

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 09:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016)  Columbia Terrace will be closed on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and Wednesday, Aug. 10, due to road milling and paving. The work will take place between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. Traffic will be limited to emergency vehicles only.


The R5 parking areas will not be accessible for the duration of the project; R5 permit holders will temporarily be allowed to park in the Linden Walk Employee Lot, located at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Linden Walk. A map of the project can be found at


Members of the university community with valid E permits who normally park their vehicles in the Linden Walk E Lot may notice an increase in demand during the two days of construction. Should the lot reach capacity, they may park in other E lots on campus. E lots in the vicinity include the Linden Walk Lot, the King Alumni Lot, the Career Center Lot, the Coliseum Lot and the College View Lot. Go to to view a campus parking map.

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Previews Big Blue Move

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 18:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  More than 5,000 new and returning students will move in to campus residence halls between Aug. 13 and 20. On today's show, Godell talks to Sarah Nikirk, executive director for auxiliary services, who is overseeing Big Blue Move 2016. 


To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

Visual Arts Study Provides Dementia Participants With a Gift for Life

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:30


Photos courtesy of UK School of Art and Visual Studies. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2016) “This is the greatest gift you ever gave me.”


Those are the very touching words of just one of several changed patients who participated in the University of Kentucky's first visual arts study for patients with dementia held last spring at the School of Art and Visual Studies. The comment, shared with his spouse and caregiver, was all the confirmation she needed to know about how valuable the experience was to not only her husband but their family.


That couple was not alone, the majority of the eight-week study's 12 participants echoed that praise.


From new ideas to new confidence, patients felt they benefited in a multitude of ways. "I gained self-confidence from the research study," said a second patient. "Allan (Richards) and Ann’s (Christianson-Tietyen) encouragement helped excite me about my art. I met others and their caregivers who are going through the same things I’m starting to experience. It was comforting to spend time with them. It felt good being around people that are in a similar situation to me and we all wanted to be helpful to each other. The class was much more than art. I learned new techniques that I will use in my own hobby of gourd painting.”


And yet another patient, who was worried about losing his own current artistic skills, found solace in the opportunity to create again, albeit in another art medium. “Participating in the visual arts study occurred at a good time for me. I just became aware and was realizing, as well as acknowledging, my cognitive and physical failures. I previously held an interest in arts and crafts (wood turning and inlay) which had to be curtailed due to using potentially, dangerous tools. The possibility of a safe craft gives me hope and appears it will not cause me to be a worry and burden to others.”


But patients were not the only ones who treasured the experience. The study was also very interesting to their caretakers, who saw changes, and more importantly, hope in their loved ones.


“It is so difficult for someone with this horrible disease, Alzheimer’s, to have the confidence to do anything, especially new things," one caregiver said. "So with the help, guidance, encouragement and understanding of Dr. Richards and Ann and the support of the others in the class it became easier for all of them to once again succeed in something. The joy this gave them would not have been possible without the continued encouragement, inspiration and love shown by Dr. Richards and Ann. They made this wonderful, fulfilling experience possible. To see the joy and hear the laughter and see the accomplishments from all the participants, especially my husband, was worth our four-hour round trip drive from Russell Springs to Lexington every week.”


Another patient's adult child, who serves as her mother's caretaker wholeheartedly agreed and was thankful for an outside outlet. "This art class was a wonderful experience for my mother and I. My mother is currently living a very isolated life. The eight-week art class provided her with socialization that she had not been receiving. The class gave us both something to look forward to attending on Fridays. Art education was something we both had always wanted to participate in and UK's class gave us the opportunity to fulfill a goal.’


Researchers Allan Richards and Ann Christianson-Tietyen were extremely happy with the study's initial response. “The spring program was valuable to many and lots of fun for everyone involved. The participants enjoyed creating beautiful works of art. Many expressed a desire to continue pursuing art projects past the duration of the program,” Christianson-Tietyen said.


Funded by a grant from the U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers and based on the study's initial success, Richards and Christianson-Tietyen will present a second study this fall. Like the first study, the eight-week program will include groups of 12 (six people with dementia and their partner caregivers) who will participate in various visual arts activities, including painting, sculpture or collage to explore the effects of visual arts activities on quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers.


“Our study is focused on providing mentally stimulating and enriching activities in the visual arts for persons with dementia in order to engage cognitive processes, emotions, and motor skills, perhaps slowing cognitive decline and improving quality of life,” Richards said.


The second study will begin Saturday, Sept. 10, and will be held once a week on Saturday or Sunday at UK College of Fine Art's new Art and Visual Studies Building, located at 236 Bolivar St. The location allows study participants to peruse other artwork by UK students and faculty through its windowed classrooms and gallery spaces letting them see similar art lessons at work and find inspiration for their own art.


“It was a lot of fun coming to UK and seeing the different art exhibits in the workshops and hallways every week, and exciting to see what kind of assignment the professors had for us. It was a weekly outing we both looked forward to each week," said one participant with dementia.


Each study session will last about an hour and a half. All art supplies are free to study participants and free handicapped-accessible parking is available next to the building.


For more information about the study or to see whether you are eligible, call Richards at 859-361-1483 or Christianson-Tietyen at 859-312-4553.


With the second study just weeks away, the researchers hope once again to hear words like these from their participants. “It was a blessing to meet both of you, and for the gift of art. I think this will make a difference in the way I live and see the rest of my life.”



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

UK Researchers: Gut Bacteria Have Own Circadian Clock

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2016)  The circadian rhythm, or circadian clock, is an internal mechanism that drives the 24-hour cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep, wake and eat — and now, new research has found that bacteria living within the gut also have a clock.


"We are the directors of that clock, much like the sun directs our own circadian rhythms!" said Jiffin Paulose, UK post-doctoral scholar and co-author of the study in PLOS ONE.


Paulose and Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology Vincent Cassone found that a certain class of bacteria found in the human gut, Enterobacter aerogenes, expresses circadian patterns because of its sensitivity to melatonin, the hormone produced at night and stimulating sleep.


While melatonin is made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain, it is also present throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) system. In addition, many foods contain melatonin. The GI system's circadian clock is coordinated to both light and the timing of eating.


Paulose said the effect of melatonin on this bacterium is remarkable: when exposed to melatonin at levels similar to those found in the gut, the individual cells begin to communicate with each other and coordinate periods of swimming and dividing in a phenomenon known as swarming. 


"This swarming in the presence of melatonin occurs every 24 hours and keyed us toward finding the circadian clock," he said.


This is the first demonstration of a circadian clock in a prokaryote outside the phylum Cyanobacteria, and the researchers' findings suggest that the cyanobacterial and E. aerogenes clocks share common evolutionary ancestors.


"If our future work demonstrates this is true, then the evolution of circadian organization predates the emergence of oxygen generating photosynthesis some 3.5 billion years ago," Cassone said.


Their findings also point to the overall circadian organization in vertebrates as being an arrangement of multiple circadian pacemakers organized in a hierarchical system of clocks. Paulose said now they must consider the bacteria that coexist within the body as part of that hierarchy.


"Not only are we sending signals (like melatonin) to the bacteria in our guts, mouths, skin, etc., but they are also sending signals back that affect us; from the molecular level all the way up to our behavior," he said. "The biological and clinical significance of this grand scale of circadian coordination will be important to discover in the very near future." 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder,, 859-323-2396

College of Public Health Establishes National Center for Research in Underserved Rural Areas

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2016) — A new research center operated within the University of Kentucky College of Public Health will investigate and inform health policies and services affecting impoverished rural communities around the nation.


The Center for Rural and Underserved Health Research at the University of Kentucky received a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Health Research Center Cooperative Agreement grant program. The Center became one of seven federally funded centers in the nation dedicated to health policy and services research in rural populations. The award, supported by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will provide an annual $700,000 in funding to operate the center for four years. The Center is situated to address health services and systems in impoverished and underserved areas of Appalachia.


Research conducted at the Center will expand the breadth of knowledge available about the organization, coordination, strategizing and efficiency of health services and policies in impoverished and underserved rural communities. The Center was founded with the objective of building a portfolio of translational research to inform and influence policy makers, managers and other rural health stakeholders. The data collected by the Center will reach both local and national stakeholders.


According to Ty Borders, the director of the Center and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy, few research studies focus on health care delivery systems and policies in underserved rural areas of America. Researchers within the Center aim to this fill gap in public health scholarship. Their studies will address topics including hospital and public health system collaborations, financial viability of rural hospitals, patient-centered medical care and treatment, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act.


“It really helps to validate our status having expertise in rural health research,” Borders said of receiving four-year renewable funding for the Center. “This center is really focused on doing research on rural health issues, including how we can better organize care and improve access to services nationally.”


While the Center is located within the College of Public Health, it represents a multidisciplinary collaboration among UK health researchers and experts. Researchers from the College of Pharmacy, College of Agriculture and the College of Medicine will contribute to research projects. The Center will also work in conjunction with the American Board of Family Medicine, which is headquartered in Lexington.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,