Campus News

UK Professor Wins Alfred C. Fones Award from ADHA

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 14:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2016) University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Professor Karen Skaff recently won the Alfred C. Fones Award from the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA). The Alfred C. Fones Award is given to someone who has made lasting contributions to the dental hygiene profession for more than 25 years. Skaff received the honor at the 93rd Annual Session of the ADHA Center for Lifelong Learning held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June.


Skaff is currently the chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. She was reappointed to her second term in 2010. She is also the director for the Division of Health Sciences Education and Research. In 2014, Skaff was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry. In 2011, she won the Richard Kingston Award for Teaching in the College of Health Sciences. Skaff has more than 30 published presentations, papers and other scholarly work.


Skaff started her oral health education in 1968 studying oral hygiene at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Dental Medicine. She earned her bachelor's degree in education from California State University, her master's degree in dentistry from Columbia University, and her doctoral degree in educational policy studies and evaluation from UK.


The ADHA strives to help dental hygienists achieve their full potential as they look to improve the public's oral health. ADHA ensures hygienists access to quality oral health care, promoting dental hygiene education, licensure, practice and research.


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




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

Kentucky Children’s Hospital Welcomes Music Therapist

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 13:40

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2016) – In past years, high-quality, part-time, music therapy has been provided to patients at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. However, in May 2016 the Music Therapy Program at UK HealthCare welcomed Katie Goforth as the first music therapist soley dedicated to patients in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Music Therapy position is funded by a gift from the Alexandra Simpson Fund in recognition of the need to care for all aspects of patients and their families.


Goforth, a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, earned her bachelor’s in psychology as well as a music minor from Western Kentucky University. She went on to earn her master’s in music therapy from Florida State University. She completed her music therapy internship at the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. Before joining the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, she served as a visiting assistant professor of music therapy at UK; she taught classes related to the foundations, principles and clinical skills of music therapy.


Goforth’s clinical experience includes the coordination of the music therapy program at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where she developed the music therapy internship program in partnership with the Florida State University. During her time at Wolfson, she was responsible for the implementation of the Pacifier Activated Lullaby device in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and received the Distinguished Caregiver Copper Pin Award for excellence in patient and family-centered care. In addition to her experience in medical music therapy, she has also worked extensively with children with special needs, leading group and individual music therapy session at Capital District Beginnings in Albany, New York, and at the Florida State University Multidisciplinary Center in Tallahassee, Florida.


Goforth currently serves on the Kentucky State Task Force for Government Relations, a joint effort of the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists and previously served on the Florida State Task Force for Government Relations. Her research interests include neonatal music therapy, pediatric music therapy and interdisciplinary collaboration.


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




UK Student's Diagnosis Leads to Life of Service, Presidential Recognition

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:09


Photos of Jessica Waters throughout her journey.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2016) When Jessica Waters was 11 years old, her young life changed. She could no longer go swimming on her own or ride a bike by herself. She even had to be careful watching television — it was a trigger for her seizures.


After being diagnosed with epilepsy, Waters, now a University of Kentucky sophomore studying integrated strategic communication, had little enthusiasm for what was ahead of her.


"It was right at that age where you're old enough to start doing things on your own," she said. "And I couldn't even go to the mall with my friends."


She didn't know yet the impact she would have on others' lives, or that she would be recognized nationally for her work. That would come years later.


In the meantime, her mom, Chastity Irwin Register, searched for something to make her feel like a normal kid again and found a camp designed specifically for adolescents with epilepsy.


"I saw worse cases there who were 10 times happier, while I was throwing myself a pity party," Waters said.


The camp changed Waters' outlook on life.


"She was a different child; the one we had before her diagnosis," her mom said.


But more importantly, it spurred her into action. Waters experienced firsthand the impact these camps have and she wanted everyone to have that opportunity.


"And I wanted to spread the message that epilepsy doesn't have them, they have epilepsy," she said.


So in 2010, she founded Cupcakes for Camp and began organizing the sale of cupcakes and other baked goods in her community with the hopes that she could pay camp fees for other kids.


She made $75 from the first bake sale. But the event garnered local news coverage in her hometown of Beavercreek, Ohio, and soon she had corporate sponsors and donations from bakeries flooding in.


Since then, Waters has raised well over $15,000, allowing numerous children with epilepsy to attend summer camps.


"If you have the means to help someone else, there's no question you should be doing it," she said.


Her mission to raise money, and awareness, for children with epilepsy set in motion events over the next few years that would establish Waters as a pillar of service in her community and across the nation. In addition to Cupcakes for Camp, she volunteered with countless organizations and shared her story at universities and health fairs.


So far, she has spent more than 4,300 hours in service to others and her overwhelming dedication hasn't gone unnoticed.


Waters was honored just last month with the Stars of Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold Medal, which included a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.


She is only the second person to ever receive the Stars of Service Award, which recognizes young people who have demonstrated outstanding examples of volunteering and service. President Obama established the award in 2014 as part of new commitments to improve pathways to employment for AmeriCorps alumni, encourage community service by young people and expand national service opportunities.  


"I didn't start this to get recognition, but I'm glad that it did," she said. "Now a little girl in Connecticut and a boy in Arizona are using Cupcakes for Camp as a model to help kids in their communities."


Throughout her years coordinating Cupcakes for Camp and other service projects, Waters also began emerging as a young leader. She has participated in the Reach Higher Summit with First Lady Michelle Obama, attended American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and served as a national ambassador for the Epilepsy Foundation of America.


Today, the UK College of Communication and Information sophomore leads and serves as the assistant philanthropy chair for Delta Delta Delta sorority at UK, which she said wasn't originally on her list of schools to consider. But after attending a "see blue." Preview Night in Dayton, Ohio, Jessica decided to visit UK and explore Lexington.


That afternoon, she called her dad and said "I hope you like to wear blue!"


"As soon as I arrived I saw that people weren't just reeling me in," she said. "There are really some amazing programs, teachers, advisers and students here."


In between classes and her sorority, Waters has also interned at Susan G. Komen Kentucky. She said she's sure now more than ever that she's meant to work in the nonprofit sector, continuing to help others.


And she's happy to report that she has been seizure free for three years.



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,

UK Plant Breeder Develops New Tall Fescue Variety

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:36

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 26, 2016 University of Kentucky plant breeder Tim Phillips has developed a new tall fescue variety that is nontoxic to grazing animals.


The variety, Lacefield MaxQ II, is the result of selections Phillips, a member of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, made from endophyte-free Kentucky 31 and related lines. Phillips named the variety for UK Professor Emeritus Garry Lacefield upon his retirement to honor his numerous contributions to the forage industry and to the college.


Lacefield MaxQ II contains a novel endophyte developed by AgResearch in New Zealand. While active, the endophyte does not produce the ergot alkaloids that can cause fescue toxicosis, a disease that primarily affects cattle but can also negatively impact pregnant mares and milk producing goats. The active alkaloids in the variety give it drought tolerance, insect resistance and help with vigor.


“It has the persistence and performance of the endophyte found in Kentucky 31, but it doesn’t have the bad qualities of that endophyte,” Phillips said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”


The variety has been tested for 12 years in on-farm trials at UK’s research farms, private Kentucky farms and farms located from Michigan to Mississippi. Phillips said it has tested well in all locations for seeding vigor, high yield potential, grazing tolerance, live weight gains by stocker cattle and resistance to winter injury.


“It’s Kentucky born, Kentucky bred and Kentucky proven to excel,” he said.


When compared with Jesup, the first commercially available tall fescue variety containing a novel endophyte, Lacefield MaxQ II was later flowering in Kentucky, which would allow it to be available to animals for a longer period of time. Scientists in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forage-Animal Production Research Unit conducted the comparison study on UK’s C. Oran Little Research Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.


Lacefield MaxQ II is expected to be commercially available in 2017.



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;

UK CDAR Leads Research Investigating Progressive Therapies to Treat Opioid Addiction

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:25


Opioid addiction is a complex medical disorder that impacts the entire nation, but much of the problem is condensed to disparate regions of Kentucky. This is the third and final installment of a series of articles exploring the work of University of Kentucky researchers and UK HealthCare medical providers who are making progress toward solutions to the epidemic in our state and at large.


Video by Allison Perry, UKPR and Marketing.  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016) — Even with the assistance of detoxification and rehabilitation programs, 80 percent of people attempting recovery from opioid addiction will relapse.


The firm grip of opioid addiction on a person’s life necessitates sustainable therapeutic approaches proven effective through scientific trials and evidence.


“We increasingly recognize that opiate addiction is a complex medical disorder with significant psychosocial influences as well,” said Dr. Michelle Lofwall, an addiction medicine specialist and psychiatrist at the University of Kentucky Center on Drug an Alcohol Research (CDAR). “This is similar to other chronic complex medical disorders that are not amenable to a quick treatment.”


As a complex disease, opioid addiction involves biological, psychological and behavioral components, all of which must receive attention through holistic medical care. According to experts at the CDAR, the first step in any opioid treatment program is loosening the grip of physical dependency. Opioid maintenance therapies are medications designed to help suppress withdrawal, reduce cravings and block the effects illicit opioids produce, such as euphoria or feeling high. Opioid maintenance therapies stabilize the pharmacological addiction while providing a window of opportunity to address other complex needs. 


“Pharmaceuticals give patients a fighting chance to address the other parts of their addiction,” said Dr. Sharon Walsh, an addiction specialist and director of the CDAR. “They have a fighting chance to work on the recovery and focus on the behavioral and social issues that they may have.”


However, initiating an opioid maintenance therapy, especially for those patients the early stages of a recovery program, raises numerous concerns for health care providers and patients. For one, prescribing an opioid maintenance therapy like buprenorphine, an FDA-approved drug to treat opioid addiction, demands the patient’s absolute cooperation and adherence to the provider’s dosage recommendations. Maintenance drugs, such as Suboxone and Subutex carry some street value, so diversion is a common concern for health care providers.


Patients are also exposed to social and safety risks when prescribed standard forms of prescription opioid maintenance therapies. Capable of causing overdose, particularly when combined with other substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines, maintenance drugs may pose risks to members of the patient’s household, especially children. Patients possessing these medications can become victims of theft. The stigmatization of opioid maintenance prescriptions in society further muddles the patient’s circumstances, as these therapies are considered taboo or even illegal in certain settings. Patients can experience uncomfortable encounters and stigmatization when filling their prescription at the pharmacy counter. Traveling with an opioid maintenance prescription is also stressful as patients worry about having it stolen or lost in baggage.


Research studies underway at the CDAR are transforming how opioid therapies are administered to patients to reduce risks and negative outcomes associated with the standard forms of opioid maintenance therapies. With a team of international authorities in the field of substance abuse treatment, the CDAR serves as a lead research site for projects investigating progressive and effective medication delivery systems. Lofwall and Walsh have collaborated with major pharmaceutical developers to test novel delivery systems for opioid therapies. The clinical trials conducted at CDAR have demonstrated the efficacy, safety and, in some cases, potential for superiority of new therapeutic delivery systems when compared to standard prescriptions in the form of sublingual tablets.


Walsh and Lofwall are leading two multi-site studies testing a subcutaneous sustained-release injectable buprenorphine therapy as a potential treatment for opioid dependent patients. These studies are evaluating the efficacy of monthly and weekly injectable buprenorphine known as CAM-2038 for opioid maintenance therapy and assessing efficacy of different doses. If approved by the FDA in the future, this therapeutic could represent a significant advantage over the daily sublingual formulations for patients new to treatment or for those already receiving treatment.


“These novel delivery systems may really mitigate a lot of the concerns and stigma about buprenorphine treatment because it is addressing the risks of abuse and diversion that are associated with the tablets and films,” Lofwall said.


In addition, product developer Braeburn Pharmaceuticals recruited Walsh and Lofwall to participate in a nationwide clinical trial testing the efficacy of an implantable opioid maintenance delivery system. Modeled after pregnancy contraceptives, Probuphine is an implantable therapeutic that slowly releases buprenorphine throughout a six-month period. The treatment involves a minor surgical implantation of four rods into the arm. The CDAR was selected to participate along with 21 sites conducting tests in patients who were considered clinically stable.


The results of the initial trial showed that Probuphine was as effective in controlling the symptoms of addiction and maintaining patient stability as the standard buprenorphine treatment. A secondary analysis of the data showed the new therapeutic delivery system was superior to the standard oral formulation in maintaining opioid abstinence during the six-month trial. The experimental group that received the implant was more likely to abstain from illicit opioids during a six-month period than the group receiving the oral formulation of buprenorphine. Of the Probuphine group, 86 percent were able to remain free of illicit opioid use for six months, compared with the 72 percent who were able to remain free from illicit use in the group receiving the standard therapy.


“This just streamlines the treatment from the physician to the patient,” Walsh said of the therapy. “The physician can be assured that the medicine has gone into the patient and that relieves any worries of misuse and diversion.”


Earlier this year, Walsh and Lofwall testified before a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel to present evidence in favor of the product’s efficacy and safety to treat addiction. Lofwall also presented the study at the American Society of Addiction Medicine annual conference. The product received FDA approval in May and the results were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


“This was exciting because it's not often you get to see a drug in development actually make it to the market and impact patients,” Lofwall said. “I think it's great that Kentucky, specifically UK and CDAR, were able to be a part of that.”


Opioid maintenance delivery systems investigated by the CDAR eliminate the myriad factors impeding successful and sustainable medical therapy for addiction. The innovative delivery systems obviate the possibility of diversion, theft, accessibility to others in the household and overdose. The products also relieve the health care provider of many uncertainties of their prescriptions. Dr. Jonathan Feddock, a radiation oncologist at UK Markey Cancer Center, volunteered as a collaborator with the CDAR and obtained licensure to train primary care providers throughout the nation on how to implant Probuphine in outpatient clinics.


“It’s going to ease concerns for physicians about patient safety, and it will ease concerns for patients about family safety,” Walsh said. “And it will make the delivery of treatment easier.”


Lofwall said experts at the CDAR and UK are upholding a decades-long tradition and duty to solve national substance abuse problems that in large part began at the Lexington Narcotics Farm, which was operated by the U.S. Public Health Service. CDAR faculty members are recognized internationally as authorities on opioid abuse liability, treatment and recovery. Other researchers at the CDAR and collaborators in the six health colleges at UK are conducting studies to understand the causes, consequences and intervening factors of opioid and heroin addiction. Lofwall said researchers at the CDAR are driven to find solutions to this epidemic because it hits so close to home.


“These are our patients and one of our No. 1 public health problems in the Commonwealth is opioid addiction,” Lofwall said. “And so it just makes sense that we are doing the best to help our population and the people that we treat here at UK.”


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,


Stoops Appointed Editor of American Psychological Association Journal

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016) – Dr. William Stoops, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been appointed editor of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, a journal published by the American Psychological Association. Stoops will serve in this role from 2018 to 2023. Beginning in 2017, he will serve as incoming editor, overlapping with outgoing editor Dr. Suzette Evans.


Stoops received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Kentucky and completed his postdoctoral work at UK in the Department of Behavioral Science. Following his education, he joined the University of Kentucky faculty in the Department of Behavioral Science. His research at UK primarily focuses on the behavioral and pharmacological effects of drug abuse. One of the goals of his research is to identify potential treatments for use in those diagnosed with stimulant use disorders.


The multi-step process that ultimately resulted in Stoops’ appointment as editor began with his being nominated for the position by colleagues. After several more steps, which included his identifying goals for the future of the journal, Stoops was selected for the position.


Stoops aims to maintain the strong reputation the journal  holds and to build upon its standing. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology publishes advances in translational and interdisciplinary research on psychopharmacology and drug abuse. The scope of research in these areas continues to expand and to benefit from collaborations across a broad range of disciplines, including behavioral science, brain imaging, genetics, neuroendocrinology, neuroscience and pharmacology.


Stoops said he hopes to bring new and different voices into the journal; he would like to see the inclusion of ethnic, gender, career stage and research area diversity of authors submitting to the journal.


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 #uky4ky #seeblue


UKPR&M CONTACT: Olivia McCoy,, 859-257-1076


UK Launching New Curriculum Management System

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016)  The University of Kentucky is transitioning from the current eCATS curriculum system to a new online curriculum management system, Curriculog. This transition will be effective for fall semester 2016. 


Curriculog includes a transparent approval process which allows proposers and other interested users to track the progress of proposals as they move through the process. It also includes other features such as committee agendas, user-specific dashboards and various reports. 


Steering committee and project team who have been involved in the selection and development of this new curriculum management system include faculty and staff from the University Senate, Undergraduate Education, Graduate School and college administration. Curriculog was chosen following a Request for Proposal and structured evaluation and selection procedures to ensure the software solution was the best fit for UK.


Curriculog is a highly configurable system that will allow UK to maintain consistency among course proposals, systems of record and published bulletins. This solution was created based on existing curriculum forms and follows UK’s standard curriculum approval processes. 


Course proposals that are generated for clinical courses or those that are currently pending review in university curriculum councils will continue to be processed in eCATS in the interim. Councils will accept eCATS proposals until Oct. 3, 2016. At that time all proposals not already submitted to the councils will need to be resubmitted in the new system, which is scheduled to be available Aug. 15.


This project supports UK’s strategic plan by improving the process by which new and innovative curricular offerings are provisioned. More information will be distributed as the official launch of Curriculog approaches.



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,

UK Markey Cancer Center Launching New Undergraduate Training Program

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 14:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has received nearly $200,000 in funding for a new two-year training program designed to prepare UK undergraduate students from Appalachian Kentucky to pursue cancer-focused careers. Administrators of the program are now recruiting applicants.


Led by Markey Director Dr. Mark Evers and Markey Assistant Director for Research Nathan Vanderford, the two-year program will provide its students with research and clinical experience at the state-of-the-art facilities of the cancer center and the UK College of Medicine. Students will also participate in outreach activities to educate the residents of Appalachian Kentucky communities, who are plagued by disproportionately high cancer incidence and mortality rates, on cancer screening and prevention strategies.


“The program is geared toward getting undergraduate students interested in pursuing cancer-focused careers and then using their knowledge and passion to have an impact on their home communities,” Vanderford said. “The students can use their education to train others in their communities, and to provide meaningful research and clinical care innovations that can reduce cancer in Appalachian Kentucky.”


The UK Markey Cancer Center Training in Oncology Program will accept four students this year. Current UK freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are natives of one of the 54 counties of Appalachian Kentucky and are majoring in one of many life or health sciences subjects are encouraged to apply. Students are expected to commit two years to the program and will be paid for their work plus some tuition to cover the cost of taking a cancer-related course each semester.


Students can find more information (including which counties are eligible) or submit an electronic application at


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

What You Need to Know About Bladder Cancer

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 11:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016)  Bladder cancer accounts for 5 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. with nearly 77,000 new cases annually; 1,100 people died of bladder cancer in Kentucky between 2010 and 2014.


The bladder is composed of an inner lining called the urothelium and an outer muscle that contracts to empty urine.  Cancer cells that grow into tumors normally start within the urothelium. Generally speaking, these tumors are classified as low- or high-grade.  Low-grade tumors may recur but have a lower chance of invading the bladder wall while high-grade tumors can behave much more aggressively, invading the muscle wall and potentially spreading to the lymph nodes and throughout the body.


Risk factors: Cigarette smoking is one of the greatest risk factors that can contribute to the development of bladder cancer. Tobacco use in Kentucky is considerably higher than the national average.  Because of this, Kentucky is disproportionally affected by a large number of people who develop bladder cancer. Other risk factors include exposure to certain industrial chemicals, and bladder cancer has been associated with people of certain professions including mechanics, painters, miners, hair dressers, and truck drivers.


Caucasians are about twice as likely to develop bladder cancer when compared to African-Americans and Hispanics. Bladder cancer is also more common in men, and the risk for bladder cancer increases with age.


Symptoms: One of the most common symptoms is blood in the urine.  Often, patients do not have any pain so they delay seeking evaluation from a doctor.  Also, this blood may not be visible to the patient and can sometimes only be detected through specialized tests of the urine.  Other symptoms such as urinary burning and frequency can mimic a urinary tract infection.


Screening/Evaluation: Currently, there are no formal bladder cancer screening recommendations; however, patients at higher risk for developing bladder cancer may benefit from tests that check for blood in the urine.


If you have symptoms or blood in the urine and are at risk for bladder cancer, your doctor may recommend a procedure called a cystoscopy. During this procedure, a small scope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder, allowing the doctor to evaluate the inside of the bladder for tumors.


Treatment: The optimal treatment for bladder cancer is patient-dependent and can be influenced by the grade and stage of the original tumor, evidence of spread of cancer as seen on radiology studies such as CT scans, and certain patient specific factors. Low-grade tumors are often treated by a combination of endoscopic surgery and intravesical therapy (instilling medication into the bladder via a catheter).  High-grade, invasive tumors often require a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation treatment may be an option in select situations.


People diagnosed with bladder cancer often require life-long surveillance through imaging tests and cystoscopies due to the risk of recurrence of these tumors.


Dr. Andrew James is a urologic oncologist with the UK Markey Cancer Center. 


Media Contact: Allison Perry,

UK Study Suggests Dementia Diagnosis Could Have a Silver Lining

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 09:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016) — Results from a study of patients with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia indicates that their outlook isn't as dark as expected.


A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging asked 48 men and women with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) a series of questions about their quality of life and personal outlook post-diagnosis.


Called the Silver Lining Questionnaire (SLQ), the instrument measures the extent to which people believe their illness has had a positive benefit in areas such as: improved personal relationships, greater appreciation for life, positive influence on others, personal inner strength and changes in life philosophy. The SLQ has been administered previously to patients with cancer diagnoses, but hasn't been given to MCI/dementia patients, according to Dr. Gregory Jicha, professor at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the study's lead author.


"The overall assumption is that this diagnosis would have a uniformly negative impact on a patient's outlook on life, but we were surprised to find that almost half of respondents reported positive scores," Jicha said.


Positive responses were even higher on certain scores, such as:


·      appreciation and acceptance of life

·      less concern about failure

·      self-reflection, tolerance of others, and courage to face problems in life

·      strengthened relationships and new opportunities to meet people.


"The common stereotype for this type of diagnosis is depression, denial, and despair," Jicha said.  "However, this study –while small – suggests that positive changes in attitude are as common as negative ones."


The next step, according to Jicha, is to explore the variables that affect outlook in these patients with an eye towards interventions that might help the other half find their “silver lining.”


Jicha presented the study data at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto on Monday.


The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH P-30 AG028383).


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


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






Connecting the Common Reading Experience to Research

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 09:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2016) — Every year, new University of Kentucky students are prompted to read a book selected for their cohort the summer before their first semester on campus. This program is referred to as the Common Reading Experience (CRE). 


The goal of the CRE is two-fold: first, to bring new students together for a common reading experience that introduces them to academic discourse prior to the start of classes; and second, to engage the UK community in a common intellectual experience through yearlong programming that encourages deeper thinking and discussion to further unite the campus community.


The CRE eases the academic transition to college of first-year students through small group discussion, curricular assignments and co-curricular programming based on a single book.


One way the CRE book is integrated into first-year curriculum is through various UK Core classes such as Rachel Farr's "Introduction to Psychology" course.


Farr began her career at UK in the summer of 2015. As a developmental psychologist, her research is focused on adoptive families and families headed by sexual minority parents.  


The 2016-2017 CRE book, "Orphan Train," relates directly to Farr's research as it tells the story of personal upheaval and adoption. The main character in the novel is orphaned as a child, taking her on a journey of living with several families. After growing up in an early form of foster care, she eventually faces adoption again as an adult.


"I like that 'Orphan Train' highlights some aspects of adoption history in our culture to a wider audience that might not know anything about this and have ever heard of it, so it can stimulate some interest in that," she said.


Farr plans to incorporate lessons and themes from "Orphan Train" into her teaching. Her diverse family systems seminar, for example, will spend two weeks focusing on adoptive families and the foster care system.


"I think it is helpful for students to make connections across the research and the book and then also real world scenarios," she said.


Farr's personal connection to adoptive and diverse families sparked her interest in this field of study.


"Although I am not adopted, my sister is from India. She is a couple of years younger than I am and was adopted into my family when she was nine months old," said Farr. "The most intimate way in which I saw another kid coming into the family actually was adoption."


"Above all, my personal connection to my research gives me a lot of motivation for continuing in this work." 


For more information about the 2016-2017 CRE book, "Orphan Train," visit the Common Reading Experience website.



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: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

New UK Course Explores Confidence, Creativity Through Hip-Hop Dance

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 17:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2016) This fall students will have the opportunity to explore hip-hop dance through a new course offered by the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Fine Arts. TAD 447-001: Hip Hop Dance, will be taught by new faculty member Anthony Alterio in the new Creative Arts Living Learning Program.


The class is multifaceted and covers a wide range of topics. "We will be covering different styles of hip-hop. From pop and locking, boogaloo, fresno, free-style to commercial, the goal will be not only for students to work on movement phrases, but to also gain a level of confidence to improv on their own," Alterio said.


When asked what he wanted students to take away from the course, Alterio shared an interesting philosophy. "We are going to move a lot, and fail a lot. Dance is about failure: failure to stand, failure to be vertical, failure to look cool. With this in mind, I hope people in this class fail so that they can learn new things about their own bodies, rhythms and the communities around them. If you succeed in all you do, how much are you really learning or pushing yourself?"


Alterio continued by adding that dance is rewarding for the mind, body and soul. By assisting students in gaining a better understanding of the techniques of hip-hop dance, Alterio aims to encourage confidence beyond just dance.


TAD 447 will be offered from 2-3:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday this fall and is open to all UK students, regardless of major or minor. And, for those who can't get in the popular course this August, the class will be offered again next spring.


Alterio earned his bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and his master's degree from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan. He began teaching dance in 2007 and has worked with students ages 6 to 50. Alterio has experience choreographing numerous styles of dance including ballet, tap, lyrical, studio hip-hop, jazz and modern. 


The Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from the renowned professional theatre and dance faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional 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;


Gatton's Troske Appointed to Federal Policymaking Commission

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2016)  University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Outreach Kenneth R. Troske has been appointed to serve as a member of the newly established Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, part of the executive branch of the federal government.


Troske was appointed to the 15-member commission by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Among other responsibilities, the commission is charged with conducting a comprehensive study of the data inventory, data infrastructure, database security, and statistical protocols related to federal policymaking.


"Ken is highly qualified for service on this new commission," said McConnell. "He is a well-recognized researcher in the area of evaluating the effectiveness of government programs, or lack thereof. His research and experience at the University of Kentucky and his previous work at the Census Bureau make him well suited for this commission’s mission. I look forward to monitoring the activities of the commission and know that Ken’s leadership will be a welcomed addition to the commission’s work."


Established by congressional legislation passed earlier this year and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking is empowered to hold hearings, take testimony and receive evidence. The commission must submit a comprehensive report of its findings to the president and Congress within 15 months.


“Ken is an excellent choice,” said David Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College. “Both as an economist and as a leader on campus he promotes making important policy decisions — either by government or by the university — based on scientific evidence and good data. Further, he has examined the effectiveness or the potential impact of public policy through his academic research and as a consultant to government and industry. He is one of the leading economists in Kentucky and is very well respected across the economics discipline.”


Troske, the William B. Sturgill Endowed Professor of Economics at UK since 2005, previously served as a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to evaluate the U.S. Department of the Treasury's efforts under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, commonly referred to as TARP.


Troske, who earned his doctoral degree in economics from the University of Chicago, has served as a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, since 2002. He also is in his seventh year as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Lexington Business Advisory Council.


"I am pleased that Sen. McConnell has chosen me to serve on this commission," Troske said. "My academic career has been focused on producing research that is designed to help policymakers make more informed decisions about the most effective ways to use taxpayer dollars. It is something I am passionate about, so I am excited to serve on a commission whose purpose is to increase the amount of policy research being conducted and to amplify the impact this research will have on government policy."


Troske's research consistently appears in leading academic journals and he is frequently quoted in the local, regional and national news media.


A 2014 recipient of the William T. Lyons Award for outstanding service to the university, the community and the Commonwealth, Troske is a member of the American Economic Association, the Southern Economics Association and the Society of Labor Economists.



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 CONTACTS:  Carl Nathe,, 859-257-3200; Jay Blanton,, 859-699-0041

UK Poultry Specialist Stresses Sanitation in Combatting Salmonella Outbreaks

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 25, 2016)  Salmonella outbreaks associated with contact with live poultry in backyard flocks that began in early June are now affecting people in 45 states, and Kentucky appears to have the highest number of illnesses. University of Kentucky poultry specialists are stressing the importance of preventing bacteria for backyard flock owners.


“The most important thing poultry owners can do is review their sanitary measures,” said Jacqueline Jacob, UK poultry extension project manager for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Many of the cases in the current outbreak are linked to backyard flocks, so we want to remind folks of simple things they can do to protect themselves.”


In the initial outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported seven multistate outbreaks in 35 states with nearly 300 people infected. The CDC reports that now more than 600 people in 45 states are ill amid eight separate outbreaks. In Kentucky, 35 people have confirmed salmonella infections. According to the CDC, poultry handlers need to remember all chickens can carry salmonella, regardless of where owners purchase them. They can carry the bacteria even if they look clean and healthy.


The CDC emphasizes that all poultry owners should always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live birds or anything in the area where they live. They should not bring live poultry into the house or let young children handle chicks, ducklings or other live poultry without supervision. In the current outbreaks, 88 of the ones infected are children younger than 5 years of age.


"Any contact with live poultry puts you at risk for salmonella infection," Jacob said. "Salmonella germs can be in the birds’ droppings and on their bodies and also on their cages, coops, hay, plants and the soil where they live and roam."


Anyone handling poultry should keep the birds away from their noses, mouth and eyes. Shows and fairs with birds and chicks on display should have a way for people to wash their hands or provide sanitizer with 99 percent or higher bacteria kill rate.


“Remember to be careful when you wash equipment or eggs in the kitchen sink,” Jacob said. “You don’t want to cross contaminate food. Always use a good disinfectant to clean up in the kitchen when you’re finished.”


Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. It usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, very young children, older adults, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a serious illness. Those who suspect they have been infected should contact their health care provider as soon as possible.


For more information about the current outbreak, visit the CDC website at


For more general information about raising small poultry flocks, visit the UK Poultry Extension website 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: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707

Mentoring a Key Factor in Spinal Cord Researcher's Success

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 13:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2016) — In ivory towers all over the world, experts ponder the factors that foster career success and overall well-being in their college graduates.


Gallup tried to answer the same question. In a 2014 poll of more than 30,000 graduates, the polling juggernaut tried to find connections between the college experience and long-term career and personal "wellness." In other words: did graduates feel they had achieved personal and career success? And if so, what college experiences contributed to that?


What the poll found was that the three most powerful elements linked to long-term success for college grads were about emotional support: Did they have a professor who made them excited about learning? Did their professors care about them as a person? Did they have a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals? If graduates strongly agreed with these three things, it doubled the odds that they were engaged in their work and thriving personally.


Jenna VanRooyen knows this first-hand. In Professor Sasha Rabchevsky's lab at  the University of Kentucky's Spinal Cord and Brain Research Center (SCoBIRC), mentoring is a group affair, and Jenna – and her research – have benefitted hugely from the experience.


VanRooyen came to UK in 2011 from Texas. The UK Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science Program to which she was admitted required a rotation through four different labs. Her first rotation happened to be in Rabchevsky’s lab.


"After my first rotation with Sasha, I knew that was where I wanted to be. His excitement about his work in neuroprotection and repair after spinal cord injury is infectious."


Consequently, VanRooyen was offered a graduate studentship in the Rabchevsky lab – but it came with a challenge. The research project offered her was high-risk/high reward – a tough proposition for a young graduate student.


"To my knowledge, no one else anywhere is looking into this idea for spinal cord injury," Rabchevsky said. "Students don't want to graduate based on negative data, so Jenna's willingness to work on something completely novel is a testament to her tenacity."


The project explores the therapeutic possibilities of transplanting healthy mitochondria into injured spinal cord tissue. Colonies of mitochondria reside in every one of our cells, functioning as a sort of battery to power various cellular functions.  When enough of them are damaged, the cells die. VanRooyen would be looking into whether transplanting mitochondria into the injured spinal cord could reduce or repair damage, promoting long-term functional recovery.  Put more bravely: could this help prevent paralysis?


"I was given the lead with full creative freedom to explore this hypothesis," VanRooyen said. "It was scary and exhilarating all at once."


Luckily, VanRooyen was in the right place at the right time. Rabchevsky had explored microglial transplantation into spinal cord tissue after injury and Samir Patel, a research assistant professor and a member of Rabchevsky's lab, had vast experience in mitochondrial function. VanRooyen could use their merged expertise to help complete the project. Other SCoBIRC faculty had relevant experience that further informed her work. 


"Sasha's mentoring style is based on open communication, clear expectations and a supportive environment.  He reminds me that it's OK to fail and he knows when to push and when to help me up in those situations," she said.


"There's a lot of distraction when you're not sure where the science will lead you. Each answer raises four new questions. Sasha helps rein me in and think about the logical next step in the experiment."


VanRooyen adds that Patel has done quite a bit to mentor her as well.


"I get direct mentorship from Sasha, but Samir is guiding me through a lot of the experimental aspects of my training," she said. "I credit him for much of what I've learned in that area."


According to Rabchevsky, Jenna is disciplined, patient, and willing to listen to others to gain insight into her own work, all qualities that strengthen her potential as a successful scientist.


Her efforts have recently earned her a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. The grant is intended to foster career development for young scientists.  There must be "sound science" in the grantee's application, but the grant also requires that there be resources in place to help the student learn the other skills required for success as a scientist, including hypothesis development, experimental design and analysis, manuscript/grant preparation, and presentation/defense skills. Rabchevsky's mentorship style suits the award – and VanRooyen – perfectly.


"I've always ascribed to the philosophy of 'See it. Do it. Teach it,'" Rabchevsky said.  "Sharing my learning and experience with everyone in the lab from top to bottom sparks collaboration and fosters creativity. It doesn't matter where you sit in the hierarchy. In my lab, everyone can contribute and everyone can learn."


Clearly, VanRooyen's experience in the Rabchevsky lab has paid off. Her poster, presented at the National Neurotrauma Society's (NNS) annual meeting last month, garnered the Michael Goldberger Award – the top honor in the trainee poster competition. 


Since its inception in 1982, the NNS symposium has served as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Fortuitously, this year's symposium was in Lexington, which meant that many of her colleagues were in attendance.


"There were more than 300 posters submitted, and Jenna was one of the top 20 posters selected to showcase her work. The fact that she got top honors with competition from places like Washington University, Drexel, Penn and UVA speaks volumes about her skills," said Rabchevsky. 


"It felt like forever as they read through all the awards," VanRooyen remembers.  "When they got to the last award, I thought to myself, 'well, it's all or nothing.' Then they called my name, and all the SCoBIRC people made quite a ruckus in the back."


Rabchevsky, who mentors seven students plus lab techs, is particularly impressed with Jenna's growth as a scientist.  "I think she can write her own ticket," he boasts of her. "I wish we could take more credit, but this is truly her accomplishment."


Jenna mirrors Rabchevsky's words.  "If I didn't have this time in Sasha's lab I would not be where I am today."


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


Summer Partnership with UK CAER and Kentucky State University

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2016) — Kazi Javed, associate professor of chemistry at Kentucky State University (KSU), has always been committed to bringing science to life for his students. This summer, he is doing just that thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).


Javed, who teaches an analytical instrumentation class at KSU, is volunteering in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group at CAER this summer. With a focus in the classroom on instrument design and method development, Javed is bringing KSU students to CAER’s lab this summer to introduce and train them on instrumentation not available at KSU.


Joining Javed are four students: Ma’Kaylah Garrett, a biology student from Indianapolis, Indiana; Steven Hall, a mechanical engineering student from Frankfort, Kentucky; Andrew Lentini, a mechanical engineering student from Shelbyville, Kentucky; and Siraj Ramsey, a mechanical engineering student from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The mechanical engineering students are taking part in KSU and UK’s joint program, where the students attend KSU for three years and UK for two years. Participants receive a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from KSU and a bachelor's degree in engineering from UK.


This collaborative work was made possible thanks to National Science Foundation grants titled “MRI: Acquisition of a Gas Chromatograph with Dual Detection Capabilities to be Used in Sustainable Energy Research” (award number 1531637) and “SusChEM: Promotion of Nickel Catalysts for the Conversion of Biomass-derived Oils to Fuel-like Hydrocarbons” (award number 1437604).



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: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

Nominations Open for 2017 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 09:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2016) Nominations are being sought for the 2017 University of Kentucky Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement. Nominations for the honor will be accepted through Aug. 19. 

The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement, one of UK's most prestigious awards, was first awarded in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by Kentuckians and to encourage education and promote creative thought. Final selection of the medallion recipient is determined by majority vote of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board

Individual candidates may be nominated with completion of the application and a nominating statement that describes the intellectual achievement realized in a scientific, artistic, literary, social, or humanitarian field; significance of the achievement; and endorsements or verification of the work. To be eligible, nominees must be a Kentucky native or had more than three years of study, work or residency in Kentucky.


Last year's recipient of the Medallion for Intellectual Achievement was historian James C. Klotter.

The general public is welcome to submit nominations for the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement. More information can be found online at, along with the 2017 nomination form



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;

Performing Arts Troupe High Note of Teen's 4-H Experience

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 22, 2016) — Music has been Halie Sawyers’ passion since she first started belting out tunes as a child. But it was not until she joined the Kentucky 4-H Performing Arts Troupe and Leadership Board that the Todd County native learned how her passion could transform her into a leader and guide her to a future career path.


“Becoming a member of the troupe was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Sawyers said. “It has helped me grow as a leader, a musician and a person.”


Sawyers was a high school freshman when Lee Ann McCuiston, Todd County 4-H agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, encouraged her to try out for the troupe in 2012.


“When Halie entered the Todd County 4-H Variety Show as a 9-year-old, she stole the show with her big voice and amazing stage presence. She won every year she entered,” McCuiston said. “When the 4-H Performing Arts Troupe was created, I knew I had to get her on the board.”


That was the first year for the Performing Arts Troupe and Leadership Board, which formed due to the popularity of the Talent Track at 4-H Teen Conference. Kentucky 4-H’ers in grades eight through 11 can apply and audition to become a member of the statewide troupe. Those selected perform at a variety of 4-H and other UK Cooperative Extension events. They also attend a music camp, advise the state 4-H staff on performing arts projects, teach younger 4-H’ers about the arts during 4-H Summit and learn about careers in the arts.


The first troupe had six members. Sawyers was the only freshman.


During the next four years, Sawyers involvement with 4-H and her community grew. Not only was she traveling with the troupe, but she also attended 4-H Issues and Teen conferences as a participant. She became the host of the Todd County 4-H Variety Show and began seeking out service opportunities to serve and better her community.


“I’ve always been interested in leadership, but being part of the troupe gave me the confidence, skills and resources I needed to become a leader in an area I’m passionate about, so I can help others discover their passion for it,” she said.


In May, Sawyers graduated as the valedictorian of Todd County High School, and in June, she ended her time with the troupe.


“People often talk about performers having ‘it.’ Halie Sawyers has ‘it,’ and she is going to use her talent to make the world a better place,” said Jennifer Tackett, 4-H youth development specialist and troupe director.


While her stint in the troupe has come to a close, she credits the troupe with helping her find her next adventure. Sawyers had always wanted to use her musical talents to impact children, particularly those with special needs. After meeting with professional musical therapists on a troupe field trip, she knew how she could combine her passions into a career. She will begin pursuing a degree in musical therapy this fall.



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.

UK College of Dentistry’s Dental Assisting Program Will Begin in September

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 16:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 22, 2016) – According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between the years 2014 and 2024 the demand for dental assistants is expected to grow 18 percent. Beginning in September, the UK College of Dentistry (UKCD) will offer a six-month Dental Assistant Program to help interested individuals gain valuable experience and training for this vital role on the dental team.


Program Director Dr. Kenneth Nusbacher described what those who complete the program can expect in their professional lives, “The day to day work for dental assistants will vary between dental offices. It may involve various patient care tasks, office duties, or even lab functions. By completing our program, a person gains real experience in a variety of areas, helping them be better prepared for their first day at a dental office,” Nusbacher went on to say,  “I’m very proud of the unique balance our program offers in regard to overall program length, cost and the number of hours students will spend learning by working in our dental clinics.” 


Program participants will benefit from hands-on experience as approximately 70 percent of students’ time will be spent in the dental clinic assisting with procedures, working side by side UKCD dental students, clinical faculty and staff. While serving a large patient pool with a variety of needs across multiple areas of dentistry students will also get exposure to a variety of dental specialty areas. Additionally, they will gain familiarity with auxiliary dental services such as radiology, sterilization and dental labs. Program extras include certification in basic life support such as CPR, coronal polishing and radiation safety.


The UKCD Dental Assisting Program consists of lecture courses, pre-clinical courses and clinical experiences in multiple UKCD clinics. Students will train with experienced UKCD professors and staff who also train current UKCD dental students.


A minimum of high school diploma or GED is required for acceptance to the program. The next start dates for the program are Sept. 15, 2016 and Feb. 15, 2017. To learn more or apply to the program, visit our website here.     


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

Vanderford Featured in New Issue of Science

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 14:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 22, 2016) – In a commentary published in the July 22 issue of Science, Nathan Vanderford, assistant director for research at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, describes his path to landing a nontraditional faculty position at UK. Science is one of the world’s most prestigious research journals.


Many new doctorate recipients are unaware of their nontraditional career options and of the challenges they may face when pursuing them. Vanderford, who applied for dozens of non-research jobs after earning his doctorate, knows this all too well. In his commentary, he recounts some of the obstacles he encountered during his own job search, and the realization that helped him to ultimately attain the position he holds today.


In 2009, Vanderford secured his initial opportunity at the Markey Cancer Center as a science writer and editor and, from there, he took on leadership roles that contributed to his transition into a unique tenure-track faculty position. Along the way, he made it a personal goal to help other scientists learn what some never do.


“It's important for the science community, and especially the trainees in the community, to understand all the career options available to Ph.D.s," Vanderford said. "Too often, Ph.D.s think it's a straight shot between training and landing a job, but there's usually a lot of twists and turns. If they remain vigilant, they can build rewarding careers in many different fields.”


Media Contact: Allison Perry,