Campus News

Send #AskACat Twitter Chat All Your Burning Move-In, K Week Questions

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 17:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) — Next Monday, the University of Kentucky will host an #AskACat Twitter chat for new and returning students moving back to campus that week. UK experts will be available to answer questions on K Week, parking and commuting alternatives, and residence halls. This back-to-school #AskACat Twitter chat will begin 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, on UK's official Twitter account.


This chat is especially timely as UK welcomes back to campus Living Learning Program residents Aug. 19 and general residents at the larger move-in (#BigBlueMove) Aug. 21-22. K Week, the university's official welcome week, begins after move-in and will run from Aug. 21-29.


Taking questions in this #AskACat Twitter chat will be Michael Danahy, communications coordinator of UK Housing; Joshua Jennings, graduate assistant in the UK Office of New Student and Family Programs, and Chrissie Balding Tune, senior marketing/promotions specialist of UK Parking and Transportation Services.


The back-to-school #AskACat Twitter chat will take place from 1-2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, via the university's Twitter account, @universityofky. Those interested in following and or participating in the chat can follow the university's account or #AskACat for questions posed and responses from our crew of experts.


While this #AskACat Twitter chat is geared toward new and transfer students, it is open to all students, parents, faculty and staff. Individuals interested in asking questions should send their questions to through 2 p.m. on Aug. 17 or on the UK Facebook page prior to 1 p.m., Aug. 17. Responses to questions will be shared with the university's followers and those following the hashtag #AskACat. 



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

Impact of Move-In on Campus

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 16:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) — Safety is always a priority at the University of Kentucky. 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.


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. 15

·      Wednesday, Aug. 19

·      Friday, Aug. 21

·      Saturday, Aug. 22


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 6,600 students moving to campus housing, about 1,800 students are expected to arrive on Saturday, Aug. 15; 1,400 are expected on Wednesday, Aug. 19; 2,100 on Friday, Aug. 21; and 800 on Saturday, Aug. 22.


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 during all four days.


ONE-WAY STREETS: (see map)

One-way southbound:  MLK Blvd. between Good Samaritan parking lot and Avenue of Champions

One-way southbound:  Lexington Ave. between Maxwell St. 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 St. and Limestone (No Thru Traffic)

One-way westbound:  Huguelet Dr. between University Dr. and Rose St.

One-way northbound:  Rose Street between Huguelet Drive and Washington Ave.

One-way eastbound:  Hilltop Ave. between University Dr. and Woodland Ave.

One-way northbound:  Woodland Ave. between Hilltop Ave. and Columbia Ave.

One-way southbound:  Sports Center Drive between Woodland Ave. and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility.


Streets will begin one way around 8:30 a.m. each day.  They are expected to remain one way until 3-5 p.m. each day with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 22, when fewer students are moving in.



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. 15; Wednesday, Aug. 19; Friday, Aug. 21; Saturday, Aug. 22:

UNIVERSITY DRIVE (BOTH SIDES):  from Cooper Drive to Hilltop Avenue

SPORTS CENTER DRIVE: between Woodland Ave. and the Employee (E) lot north of the Nutter Football Training Facility

AVENUE OF CHAMPIONS: metered parking in front of Roselle Hall

MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD.: between Maxwell Street and Avenue of Champions

LEXINGTON AVE.: area between the Employee (E) lot entrance and Avenue of Champions

E LOT BETWEEN KELLEY BUILDING and MED CENTER ANNEX #5: the 5 spots in the lane just north of Medical Center Annex #5

WOODLAND AVE.: between Hilltop Ave. and Sports Center Dr., no parking anytime



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

Rose Street Garage (PS #2): On Saturday 8/15 & Saturday 8/22 only

South Limestone Garage (PS #5): all 4 move-in dates listed above; 3-hour maximum

Sports Center Garage (PS #7): all 4 move-in dates listed above; 3-hour maximum

Orange lot at Commonwealth Stadium: all 4 move-in dates listed above   

Woodland Avenue Work Slated for August 13-14, 17-18

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 16:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) — In the coming week, roadwork will impact portions of Woodland Avenue. However, through traffic will be maintained at all times, and flagmen will assist with directing traffic during the impact.


The project will include milling, paving, and striping Woodland Avenue from Rose Lane to The 90 and from The 90 to University Drive on Thursday, Aug. 13 and Friday, Aug. 14. Speed tables will be installed Monday, Aug. 17 and Tuesday, Aug. 18. Speed tables are midblock traffic-calming devices used to reduce traffic speed, in this case associated with the mid-block pedestrian crossing from the Woodland Glen residence halls to the W.T. Young Library pedestrian walks.


Anyone who normally travels in the vicinity should allow extra travel time.



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

Chrissie Tune, (859) 257-3512;

UK Oral Health Offers Patient Help Rebuilding

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 14:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) — As a final step before leaving the United States to serve abroad, U.S. Army Logistical Chief Warrant Officer Four Josie Evans went for a routine medical exam at her base in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Expecting to be found medically fit for deployment, instead Evans was given much different news.


“They first thought it was a cyst,” said Evans. “After going to a doctor in Elizabethtown to have it cleaned out, a biopsy came back that it was odontogenic myxoma.”


Odontogenic myxoma is a rare abnormal growth in tissue, in many cases, seen in the lower jaw area. Young adults are more commonly diagnosed with odontogenic myxoma, although cases have been identified in patients ranging from ages 10 to 50 years old. While painless and benign, it is often referred to as “locally malignant.” If left untreated it grows aggressively, and is invasive and destructive.


“After seeing how extensive the problem was, and what all it entailed, Dr. Larry Cunningham at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry was the only surgeon my doctor in Elizabethtown would recommend.”


At the suggestion of her local doctor, Evans made the trip to UK to undergo an extensive surgery performed by Cunningham of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department and Dr. Daniel Stewart of the Plastic Surgery Division. Her first surgery, which lasted over 14 hours, involved the resection, or removal, of her entire lower jaw and the reconstruction of the area.


“I lost from the left side of my chin all the way down the right side completely. All my chin, my lower teeth, there was nothing. My left fibula bone was used to rebuild my face.”


After Dr. Cunningham and his team removed the tumor and rebuilt the area, Evans began her road to recovery. The tumor had been very invasive. With the amount of facial reconstruction preformed, Evans remained in the hospital for some time following the operation. Due to swelling, she relied on a breathing tube for one month and a feeding tube for two months during recovery.


When recalling the support of her family, local church, Army organization, and health care team, Evans says, “God put the right people in my life. I had to learn to do everything all over again. I had to learn how to speak with the breathing tube. I refused to leave the hospital in a wheelchair. Before I left, I learned to use a walker. I had to learn how to walk without the one bone in my leg. I didn’t eat solid food for months after the feeding tube was removed. It was all very difficult.”


Following the initial surgery, Evans visited Drs. Cunningham and Stewart regularly for check-ups to review progress. Several additional surgeries were needed in order to care for issues involving infection. Engineered bone was added to address damage caused by infection to the fibula bone used during the reconstruction process.


“After the final surgery to treat infection, my lips and face were swollen again. They were two times their normal size. It was another hard process to go through,” says Evans. “The swelling went down really fast. I’m at the point now where I can get dental implants.”


“The staff at UK, the doctors, everybody was just awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. It’s been a long road, a hard transition. When people see me, unless I tell them my story, they don’t know. That’s how great a job Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Stewart did on the resection and the reconstruction work.”


"Part of UK’s mission is to serve as a resource for community providers. Working as a multidisciplinary team, UK HealthCare providers are able to offer the support patients need in such complex cases, and assist community physicians in helping their patients reach a favorable outcome. Opportunities to make such a positive impact and take care of patients like Josey makes my work very fulfilling,” says Cunningham.


Just several months after the last surgery, Evans was able to return to teaching aerobics, running five miles or more every other day and go back to active status in the armed forces, where she has served for nearly 20 years.


“When you think you are in a bad place, you can look to your left and your right. There are people in worse conditions than I was in, so I thank God things are as good as they are for me. I just believe that God orchestrated it so I was put in the right place, at the right time, to get the right care. The University of Kentucky was the right care for me. I was absolutely blessed with the doctors I had. Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Stewart have blessed hands. They will always be a part of my life. They changed my life…I’m very grateful.”


“I met a lady at church that has been going through a similar process for about four or five years now. She had surgery somewhere else and things didn’t go well. When she saw me, and she learned my story, she asked for my doctors’ names. She’s now coming to UK after seeing me and hearing what great care I was given.”  


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

A First of its Kind: Kentucky African American Encyclopedia Celebrates State’s History

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 13:45



... var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_921ffeba-29be-4e7d-b0b0-9eda09d80c89"; cpo["_fid"] = "AwGAe3MZDEq9"; var _cpmp = _cpmp || []; _cpmp.push(cpo); (function() { var cp = document.createElement("script"); cp.type = "text/javascript"; cp.async = true; cp.src = "//"; var c = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; c.parentNode.insertBefore(cp, c); })(); Powered by Cincopa <a href=''>Video Hosting for Business</a> solution.<span>The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia</span><span>Images from The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, edited by Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel and John A. Hardin. Published 2015 by University Press of Kentucky.</span><span>The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia</span><span>Edited by Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel and John A. Hardin. Published 2015 by University Press of Kentucky.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1199</span><span>height</span><span> 1552</span><span>ANDERSON, NANCY “OLD BOSS” (b. ca. 1812, Jessamine Co., KY; d. 1888, Lexington, KY), orator and entrepreneur.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 900</span><span>height</span><span> 1133</span><span>BISHOP, STEPHEN (b. 1817, Glasgow, KY; d. 1857, Edmonson Co., KY), cave guide and explorer.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 899</span><span>height</span><span> 1068</span><span>Jockeys photographed at Morris Park in New York in 1891. Anthony Hamilton is in the front row. Isaac Murphy is in the middle row seated behind Hamilton and to the left of Willie Simms.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1050</span><span>height</span><span> 654</span><span>ROSENWALD SCHOOLS, nearly 5,000 schools built in the early 1900s to educate African-American students in the South. New Zion School in Scott Co., KY, ca. 1920.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 593</span><span>height</span><span> 615</span><span>SHAKE RAG, African-American community in Bowling Green, KY.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 639</span><span>height</span><span> 492</span><span>Mayo-Underwood School, Frankfort, KY, 1930.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1197</span><span>height</span><span> 597</span><span>WESTERN COLORED BRANCH LIBRARY (LOUISVILLE), the first library solely for African-Americans in the United States.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1050</span><span>height</span><span> 501</span><span>LYRIC THEATER, major business enterprise that provided entertainment opportunities.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 717</span><span>height</span><span> 370</span><span>SMITH, MARY SIMON (VINCENT), SVD, OCSO (b. 1894, Lebanon, KY; d. 1952, Piffard, NY), first KY-born African-American Catholic priest, one of first four African-American priests of Society of the Divine Word, first African-American Trappist monk in KY.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 206</span><span>height</span><span> 307</span><span>MARCH ON FRANKFORT, civil rights demonstration at the Kentucky State Capitol.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 1198</span><span>height</span><span> 869</span><span>STILL, VALERIE RENEE (b. 1961, Camden, NJ), the University of Kentucky’s all-time leading basketball scorer and rebounder (male or female).</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 544</span><span>height</span><span> 973</span><span>KIDD, MINNIE MAE JONES STREET (b. 1904, Millersburg, KY; d. 1999, Louisville, KY), businesswoman, politician, and civic leader.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 390</span><span>height</span><span> 541</span><span>Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members at the old Holiday Inn in Frankfort, KY, for a Founder’s Day celebration, ca. 1983.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 899</span><span>height</span><span> 1032</span><span>WALKER, FRANK X (b. 1961, Danville, KY), founder of the Affrilachian Poets and UK professor.</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>width</span><span> 899</span><span>height</span><span> 1016</span>

Images from The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, edited by Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel and John A. Hardin. Published by University Press of Kentucky.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2015) — From the earliest moments of Kentucky’s recorded history, the lives of African-Americans have been intricately woven into the fabric of the state.


The slave and bodyguard of pioneer Nathaniel Hart, often referred to as Captain Jack Hart, first entered what would become the Bluegrass State in 1774. Little is known of the life of one the first African-Americans to explore Kentucky’s frontier, though he was present the following year at the signing of the Sycamore Shoals Treaty in Tennessee, which resulted in the purchase of "Kaintucke" from the Cherokees. The sparse records that do exist indicate that Jack Hart played a central role in Daniel Boone’s early exploration of the state during the mid-1770s serving as the pioneer’s "pilot," or guide.


However, black settlers like Jack Hart did not migrate to Kentucky by choice — they came as slaves with no rights and no promises of a bright future. Yet even against this backdrop, many Kentuckians of African descent overcame the circumstances of the era, as well as the difficulties to come, to make their impact felt in Kentucky and beyond.


"Sometimes the truth is painful, but it must be told," said Gerald L. Smith, the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar in Residence and Theodore A. Hallam Professor at the University of Kentucky Department of History.  


Now, a first-of-its-kind reference, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, a foundational guide to the black experience in the Commonwealth has been assembled to do just that. The book, published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK), was compiled by three editors: Gerald L. Smith; Karen Cotton McDaniel; and John A. Hardin. Capturing the earliest frontier years to the present, the encyclopedia chronicles the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements and institutions that have shaped the state’s history.


Researching Kentucky's own African-American history was an obvious progression for Smith, who chose his university studies in urban and African-American history based on a passion and interest in learning more about his own community's role in the state.


"Growing up in this community, I was very interested in the African-American experience because I found very little about blacks in Kentucky or blacks in Lexington." Smith said.


That passion and his studies in the field would place him on a trajectory that would make him leader of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia project, which began at UK in 2008. "Kentucky got hold of me and I just looked at all the work that needed to be done and the possibilities looking at the Kentucky African-American experience."


Across the remarkable accounts painstakingly detailed by the editors and a team of more than 150 contributing authors, what is perhaps most impressive, is the breadth and scope of the history that is revealed. As the more than one thousand entries make clear, Kentucky African-Americans have played pivotal roles in every facet of our state’s community as athletes, builders, coal miners, doctors, entrepreneurs, educators, lawyers, nurses, organizers, religious leaders and more.


Among the individuals included in The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia are those whose impacts have been felt both at home in Kentucky and across the nation, from Mae Street Kidd, an outspoken civil rights advocate and champion of the poor who was first elected to Kentucky’s House of Representatives in 1968, to Willa Brown Chappell, the first African-American female to receive a pilot’s license in the United States. Also counted are those not born in Kentucky but whose imprint on the state has been undeniable, from Virginia’s Thomas Fountain Blue, a pioneer librarian in Louisville who was the first African-American to head a department in a free public library, to South Carolina poet and former UK professor Nikky Finney, whose work has not only won a National Book Award but who has also been instrumental in the founding of the Affrilachian poetry community.


While the most obvious goal of the encyclopedia is to highlight the presence, effects, and importance of African-Americans across Kentucky and throughout the state’s history, there is also another objective: to highlight African-American agency. In this way, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia and its contributors shed light on what African-Americans did for themselves in their respective worlds. It reaches outside and beyond the traditional narrative of Kentucky’s past to capture hidden and forgotten stories which deserve their place in Kentucky and American history.


Even still, this encyclopedia makes clear that the rich history of African-Americans, like so much of the black experience, remains to be told. As more of these stories are readily available in the Commonwealth, perhaps this work will inspire those in other states to do the same.


The new release, winner of the 2015 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book, will be celebrated at a panel discussion presented by the Filson Historical Society and the Muhammad Ali Center. Larry Muhammad, a playwright and former Courier-Journal reporter, will lead the discussion with the encyclopedia's three editors. The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia event will begin 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Ali Center. This event is free and open to the public but reservations are requested, due to limited seating. For more information or to RSVP, call the Filson Historical Society at 502-635-5083.


Gerald L. Smith, an alumnus of UK as well as a professor of history there, is the author of "A Black Educator in the Segregated South: Kentucky's Rufus B. Atwood and Lexington, Kentucky" and coeditor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948–1963, Volume VI. He has appeared in historical documentaries which have aired on CBS, NBC, KET, the CBS Sports Network and TruTV. Smith pastors the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington. In 2014, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Personnel Cabinet presented him with the annual Charles W. Anderson Laureate Award, its highest award given to individuals recognized for significant contributions to equal opportunity in their communities.


To see Gerald L. Smith talk about his work on The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, watch the video playlist above. Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing.


Karen Cotton McDaniel, professor emeritus at Kentucky State University (KSU), was a tenured full professor and director of libraries at KSU. She has also served as a law librarian at the Kentucky Department for Public Advocacy, as well as an archivist at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. She has more than 20 publications on black Kentuckians, including chapters in books such as "Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times," articles in journals and encyclopedic essays. McDaniel has also taught at Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College. She is a charter member and an officer of the African American Genealogical Group of Kentucky and has served on the Kentucky Historical Society Executive Committee Board.


John A. Hardin, professor of history at Western Kentucky University (WKU), has served as assistant to the provost for diversity enhancement in the WKU Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and as assistant dean of the Potter College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In addition, he has taught at Eastern Washington University, Kentucky State University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Spokane Community College, UK and University of Louisville. Hardin is the author of two books, "Fifty Years of Segregation: Black Higher Education in Kentucky 1904–1954" and "Onward and Upward: A Centennial History of Kentucky State University 1886–1986"; the coeditor of "Community Memories: A Glimpse of African Americans in Frankfort, Kentucky"; and the author of several journal articles.


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The editorial program of the press focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.



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

UK Researcher Awarded Grant to Study Link Between Obesity and Cancer

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2015) – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently awarded a $750,000 grant to University of Kentucky researcher Fredrick Onono to study the potential link between obesity and breast cancer.


Obese women are four times more likely to develop treatment-resistant breast cancer, but the exact mechanism for this observation is still largely a mystery. The link between high-fat diets and cancer development provides a clue that fats themselves may somehow be responsible for causing cells to malfunction.


Onono, who recently became an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, will work with fellow UK researchers Andrew Morris, Ashwini Anand Professor of Cardiology; Dr. Susan Smyth, Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology; Kathleen O’Connor, professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry; and Andrew Lane, professor of toxicology and cancer biology.  


This research is made possible by an award from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1K01CA197073-01 and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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

UK HealthCare Exploring Ways Big Data Analytics Can Improve Patient Care

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2015)  You finish some online window-shopping for a new pair of Nikes and move on to check your Facebook feed.  Something to the right of the feed catches your eye:  it's that same pair of Nikes you haven't yet bought, with a link to a website that has it in your size.


Big Brother?  No, Big Data.


In The Digital Doctor, big data's daunting definition is:  "High volume, high velocity and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery, and process optimization."


But Joe Labianca describes big data in simpler terms.


"Our use of computers, smartphones and other devices generates massive amounts of data, much of which can be used to customize your shopping experience and make life easier," he said.  "For example, with Google, perhaps the world's leading corporate user of big data analytics, users can download their smartphone app that tells you how long it will take you to get home (taking traffic into account) and whether the books you ordered from Amazon have arrived on your doorstep."


According to Labianca, Gatton Chair in Management at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics, companies around the world are rushing to adopt big data analytics as a means to streamline product delivery, improve the shopping experience and boost sales. And that, in turn, is catching the eye of the health care industry, where the health records of a single patient can easily top thousands of pages and a larger health system, processes about 10 million computerized transactions a day — twice the number of transactions that takes place every day on the NASDAQ.


Dr. Mark Williams, interim chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine and director of the Center for Health Services Research, is one member of the team committed to explore how UK HealthCare can use big data analytics to make the patient experience better.


"Health care is a contradictory enterprise, generating terabytes of data in the course of a month but still requiring a high level of human touch," Williams said. "The challenge for us is to find ways to use that data to help patients get better faster while maximizing efficiency and lowering costs — all without compromising the human element of the patient experience."


A visit to one of UK Chandler Hospital's Intensive Care Units (ICU) illustrates Williams' assertion. A single patient can be connected to as many as 12 machines monitoring blood pressure, IV drips, dialysis, ventilators and so forth.  The nurse assigned to that patient must watch each and every one of those monitors for signs of trouble and coordinate care with each element in mind. Though technology has made health care better, it has also fostered new challenges for the people who are responsible for delivering it.


The greater UK health care enterprise already has big data analytics available. Jeff Talbert, professor in the UK College of Pharmacy, runs the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Enterprise Data Trust, a repository of health care data from a number of sources, including links to the state's Medicaid program, the Kentucky Cancer Registry and health data from the insurance industry.  He sees data as a strategic asset with enormous opportunity to inform policy and change the way patients are treated, and points to patient research participation as a prime example.


"We can cull through the data to find patients who have a certain disease and might be eligible for a clinical trial, which can increase research participation and collect feedback about new treatments on a faster timetable," said Talbert.





But there are large pieces of it scattered around campus, and none of it thus far directly addresses the enabling technology for big data and patient experience. To tackle that, UK has recently brought acclaimed computer scientist and informatician GQ Zhang to campus to lead the newly formed Institute of Biomedical Informatics. Zhang is charged with integrating and leveraging large data systems across the academic and medical enterprises to improve patient care, research and education, creating what is increasingly known as a "Learning Health System."


"Many people refer to volume, velocity and variety when discussing big data, but I like to add two extra 'Vs' — vision and value," said Zhang.  "If someone doesn't have the big idea that will help leverage the data in the right way to answer a relevant question or provide a new way to solve a problem, the untapped potential of big data will not be realized."






As an example, Zhang tells the story of a program developed by the mayor of the city of Boston to improve the driving experience in an unusual way:  by fixing potholes.


Bostonians can download a free app to their smartphones and let the app run in the background while driving through town. The jolt of a pothole is sensed by the phone, which then transmits georeference data to the city's databases, requiring no active input from the driver. As increasing numbers of drivers bump through the same pothole, the accuracy of the pothole's location increases significantly and road crews are dispatched to the area to repair the pothole with pinpoint precision.  Saves time, saves money and makes countless drivers happy. 


The same principle can be applied to critical care, said Zhang. Currently, nurses collect basic data about an ICU patient from the monitors at periodic intervals and enter it into the patient's chart.   


"A trend can be more important than an absolute value and this sporadic recording of data may not be responsive enough in spotting subtle trends that predict whether that patient is in need of immediate attention," said Zhang. "If that equipment recorded data second-to-second, we could potentially develop a real-time index or score for each patient in the ICU that would allow us to monitor subtle changes in vitals that are predictive of real trouble and respond accordingly."


Furthermore, says Zhang, because this data would be stored cumulatively, researchers may use the data to develop analytics that look at outcome trends for large populations of patients and provide new ways to improve patient care. Like the Boston pothole app, data gathered over time in a larger setting can help provide important information useful to improve real-life experience.


Dr. Peter Morris, chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at UK HealthCare, embraces Zhang's ideas, saying big data capture and analysis is crucial to process improvement in ICU management. Morris and Philip Eaton, DNP, director of Nursing -Medicine Service Line, will apply Zhang's techniques in the ICUs to simultaneously improve health outcomes while lowering the costs of expensive ICU care.


"If we can use data to, say, predict how flu season will spread and peak in Kentucky, we can anticipate the ICU resource allocation needs — for both staff and equipment — and have all the necessary personnel and equipment on standby and ready to deploy as needed," said Morris. "The same is true for day-to-day operations: we have learned patients admitted to the Medical ICU from outside hospitals peak between 2 p.m. and midnight, so we have adjusted staff levels to meet that demand."


Morris ticks off other opportunities: GPS locators on gurneys, for example, might help track wait times for imaging and other testing.  "We need to look at ourselves every minute of every day to get patient care optimal and cost-efficient," he said. "Big data analytics will help us get the right care to people at the right time."


Media Contact:  Laura Dawahare,

SAB Provides a Variety of Involvement Opportunities

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2015)  Director and committee chair applications for the Student Activities Board are now available. Applications can be printed from the SAB website or picked up in the new SAB office, located in Room 365 of Blazer Hall. Committee chair applications can be filled out and submitted through the website. Director applications can be printed from the website, but must be delivered to the SAB office. All applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. 


The director of concerts, director of market research and director of engaging issues positions are available for application. Job descriptions and further information can be found on the applications.


Students can also apply to be a committee chair for a variety of committees, including Promotions, Market Research, Cultural Arts, Engaging Issues, Traditions, Campus Life, Concerts and Multicultural Affairs. Committee chairs work closely with a number of members of the entire board, such as the executive team, the promotions team, the director of their committee and their fellow committee chairs. Chairs will be given tasks to complete during individualized office hours that utilize their strengths and expand their knowledge of the committee in which they work.


Applicants for the director positions will go through an interview process from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2  and from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.  Applicants for committee chair positions will go through an interview process from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Wednesday, Sept. 9, and from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. 


“SAB is excited to release chair and director applications for the upcoming fall semester," said Becca Boom, vice president of internal affairs. "It is a great way to get involved and do something meaningful for your campus and community all while having fun.  We have a great list of events planned for the upcoming semester and we can’t wait to welcome new members to our board!”


Involvement is an important part of any student’s experience and growth at the University of Kentucky. The Student Activities Board provides a place for any student to become involved through a variety of positions. Committee chairs will be celebrated, utilized and challenged through their positions on the board. They will receive a hands-on experience of the diverse and engaging events the board offers.


SAB brings more than 60 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the university annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community.

Connect with SAB at, follow them on Twitter at or like them on Facebook at For more information about SAB and events, email Jazmine Byrd at



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, 859-257-1909;; Rebecca Stratton, 859-323-2395;










Integrative Approach to Chronic Pain Management Gives New Hope for Patients

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 16:29



Video produced by UK Public Relations & 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. 11, 2015) — The debilitating pain of tophaceous gout, a chronic form of arthritis, has shackled William TIncher from a decent quality of life since he was a young man.


Eager to serve his country, 18-year-old Tincher enlisted in the Marine Corps only to be sent home because of his chronic medical condition. After participating in Future Farmers of America as a teenager, Tincher bought a small farm in Carlisle, Kentucky, where he owned horses, cattle and chickens.


“I used to pick up a 100-pound sack of peas and bale of hay and off I’d go,” Tincher said.


Eventually, the excruciating pain, manifested in the form of nodules on his hands and feet, prevented him from performing regular farm duties or working any job. He once enjoyed walking down to his fence line to watch the baby calves, but even walking short distances became unbearable. Today, with massive nodules on the bottom of his feet and swelling in his legs, Tincher can’t wear shoes and rarely leaves his house.


As the pain intensified through the years, Tincher continued to receive higher doses of anti-inflammatories and opioids. Fifteen years ago, surgeons removed three-quarters of Tincher’s stomach because of an ulcer attributed to years consuming high dosages of the drug. He’s suffered from many other serious medical conditions, including blood clots, and had surgeries to replace his hip and remove cartilage in his knees.


Then, two years ago, Tincher met the “man who saved” his life. After seeing countless pain specialists through the years, Tincher was referred to Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, the chief of the Division of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. While Cardarelli couldn’t completely erase the pain of an incurable and late-stage disease, he knew of interventions to improve Tincher’s quality of life that weren’t limited to writing a prescription.   


“He is the only one who’s ever sat down, looked me in the eye, and talked me to me and helped me,” Tincher said of Cardarelli.


Rather than examining a single organ or treating a definitive disease, Cardarelli focuses on addressing his patients’ whole being, taking into account many environmental, physical and lifestyle factors influencing wellness. This holistic approach to managing pain relies on a team of multidisciplinary health professionals and involves adjunctive therapies, such as medical massage, behavioral medicine and physical therapy. Cardarelli puts his patients in control of their wellness decisions, allowing them to take the lead during conversations regarding their care. The integrative health care team supports patients suffering from chronic pain by helping them set realistic goals and providing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to optimize their function and comfort in daily life.


In addition to gout, Tincher suffered from a number of secondary health complications, including high blood pressure, kidney disease and a swelling in the legs caused by lymphedema. Cardarelli prescribed a regimen for Tincher accounting for all the complexities of his physical body, as well as mental and emotional state. He eliminated all medications for one month to delineate each of Tincher’s symptoms and the trace the cause of those symptoms. Through this holistic wellness evaluation, Cardarelli discovered Tincher’s blood pressure medication was causing inflammation exacerbating the pain from the gout. Instead of raising his dosage of opioids to fight the pain, Cardarelli included a non-opioid medication to relieve the inflammation caused by the other drug.


“Having everything balanced and controlled contributes to him and his overall wellbeing, but also helps him feel better knowing that his physical health is balanced,” Cardarelli said. “We are trying to take care of his whole being.”  


As part of his treatment philosophy, Cardarelli strives to keep care as close to home for his patients. Cardarelli and his team arranged for a local home health service to visit Tincher on a daily basis and provide physical therapy services. Cardarelli also found a health care provider locally to change bandages on Tincher’s legs. Tincher performs exercises in his home and keeps a journal of all the activities he completes during a day. Working with Cardarelli and the entire health team, Tincher has gained a renewed sense of hope.  


“I told the doc, they aren’t going to close the lid on me because of you,” Tincher said.


Cardarelli and Dr. William Elder, a faculty member and behaviorial specialist in Family and Community Medicine, have worked with colleagues around the region to develop a training program based on the pain management principles effective in helping Tincher. The Central Appalachia Inter-Professional Pain Education Collaborative (CAIPEC) provides educational resources centered on chronic pain management for heath providers in the Appalachian region. Divided into several online modules, the program addresses important pain management questions, including when to prescribe opioids, how to reduce the risk of opioid abuse, when to incorporate adjunctive therapies and more.


Funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, CAIPEC is a collaborative effort uniting the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Ambulatory Network, West Virginia University, Kentucky All Schedule Prescriptions Electronic Reporting Agency (KASPER), West Virginia RxDataTrack Controlled Substance Automated Prescription Program (CSAPP) prescription monitoring agencies, Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kentucky and West Virginia Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), and various Kentucky and West Virigina professional organizations.


CAIPEC is offered through the University of Kentucky’s CECentral website (, which provides free continuing education for health professionals. Emphasizing the interdisciplinary team approach, the trainings are targeted to a variety of professionals including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, behavioral scientists, massage therapists, and physical therapists. The modules address topics such as managing the risks of opioid addiction, psychosocial factors influencing chronic pain, involving the patient in care decisions, and applying the team-based approach to clinical workflow. The program highlights the benefits of non-pharmacologic adjunctive therapies, which are scientifically proven to help mitigate pain in patients.


Cardarelli has led the implementation and distribution of the toolkit, hosting live roundtable sessions and talks on chronic pain management in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Since the program launched in February, more than 350 health care providers have participated in conference trainings. The online modules are available to any health care professional around the nation.


According to the Institute of Medicine, chronic pain affects 100 million Americans and costs the U.S. government more than $635 billion annually. More Americans suffer from chronic pain than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.


Tincher attests to the effectiveness of the integrative approach to pain management implemented by Cardarelli and his colleagues. For the first time in years, he’s regained his strength and is able to do 25 pull-ups. He said he feels like “Hulk Hogan.” He acknowledges some level of pain from his disease will always be with him, but he’s relieved it’s under control with the help of Cardarelli and his medical team.  


“I’m not healthy, but I’m in a whole lot better shape than I was,” he said.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

Parking and Transportation Services to Offer Saturday Office Hours During August

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 16:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) — This month University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services will be open Saturday, Aug. 15, Saturday, Aug. 22 and Saturday, Aug. 29 to accommodate students arriving on campus who wish to obtain a bicycle permit, purchase a motor vehicle parking permit or ask questions.


The Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) office, located at 721 Press Avenue (Parking Structure #6), will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the dates listed above.


For more information, call the PTS office at 859-257-5757 or email



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

UPK Book Finishes 80-year WPA Project

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) — On Aug. 29, 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, the Federal Art Project (FAP) opened its doors under the auspices of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program’s primary goals were to provide work for unemployed artists and to create narrative art for government buildings, such as post offices, courthouses, schools, libraries and hospitals. In addition, the project was charged with training new artists in surveying and recording the history of American material culture.


The research culminated in the Index of American Design, which sought to discover what was uniquely "American" in decorative arts. Thirty-seven states, including Kentucky, participated. Hundreds of artists produced illustrations of thousands of objects in museums and private collections, focusing on vernacular designs in utilitarian objects like furniture, textiles, pottery and ironwork. The index was intended for broad public distribution, but it was never published, leaving it little remembered today.


Now, 80 years after the project began, "Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture," sponsored by the Frazier History Museum and published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK), has at last compiled Kentucky’s contributions to the index. Editor Andrew Kelly has gathered the contributions of experts from across the Commonwealth and around the nation, cataloging prime examples of the state’s decorative arts that were featured in the index, pairing the original FAP watercolors with contemporary photographs of the same or similar artifacts.


In "Kentucky by Design," Kelly provides information surrounding the history and current location (and often, the journey in-between) of each piece, as well as local or familial lore surrounding the object. In addition to a wealth of Shaker material, the objects featured include a number of quilts and rugs as well as a wide assortment of everyday items, from powder horns and candle lanterns to glass flasks and hand-crafted instruments. An exhibit of many of these artifacts along with the original illustrations from the Index of American Design is planned at the Frazier History Museum in 2016.


In addition to the detailed catalog, Kelly provides context for the original project. He includes interviews with Adele Brandeis, the FAP administrator for Kentucky; National FAP Director Holger Cahill; and art dealer and FAP advisor Edith Gregor Halpert, which give insight into the minds of key thinkers behind the project. Essays by scholars Erika Doss, Jerrold Hirsch and Jean M. Burks place Kentucky within the larger context of the index, address folk art in the Commonwealth, and explore the Shaker renderings in the collection. Kelly also reprints a classic essay by FAP national editor Constance Rourke which poses the question, "What is American design?" The inclusion of the "Index of American Design Manual" of 1938, provides an understanding of "the aspirations and the constraints" of the FAP, and a checklist of all the Kentucky examples in the index completes the collection.


Kelly’s work brings to fruition the final goal of the FAP, but only in part. By at last making these works available to the public, Kelly has realized an objective of the long-abandoned project — presenting prime examples of Kentucky decorative arts and documenting the Commonwealth’s contribution to an American aesthetic. The original vision, however, encompassed more than just Kentucky. With the path forged by "Kentucky by Design," other states that participated in the index now have a model to follow. Kelly has opened the door for the FAP’s original vision to finally be realized in its entirety and showcase uniquely American design to the nation.


Andrew Kelly, trained at Sotheby’s New York, is a Helena Rubinstein Fellow of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has authored and edited numerous monographs and catalogs on the fine and decorative arts. He has worked in association with many institutions, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, McNay Art Museum, Harry Ransom Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lisbon Ajuda National Palace Museum, Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation Palma de Mallorca, Russian State Museum at the Marble Palace, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum and Tate Gallery London.


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The editorial program at the press focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at University of Kentucky, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.



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


Creative Programs in Food Deserts Teach Kids Valuable Lessons

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 15:54




NEWPORT, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2015) — Traveling eight miles to the nearest grocery story doesn’t sound too bad, unless people have to make that trip without a car. Many who live in inner city areas on limited resources don’t have cars, and that makes providing a fresh, healthy meal a real challenge.


The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the UK Cooperative Extension Service have been partnering with local agencies in Campbell County to find ways to help people overcome these obstacles.


The Boys & Girls Club is an after-school and summer program for children ages 5 through 18. The club emphasizes graduating from high school, getting fit for life and being ready to serve others. Cooperative Extension believes that a big part of all of these objectives is for kids to learn to grow and eat healthy fruits and vegetables.  


Recently Melissa Pilcher, nutrition education assistant in Campbell County offered a program for children in the Boys & Girls Club branch in Newport. She used UK’s Superstar Chef Goes to the Farmers Market curriculum for the six-week program.

“Kids in Newport don’t have a lot of opportunity to get fresh fruits and vegetables where they live,” she said. “There have been a lot of community garden projects going on in the city, so I wanted to incorporate the Ann Street Garden as a way of showing the kids that their food comes from the earth.”


For one of the lessons, Pilcher led the students on a walk to the Ann Street Community Garden where they were able to see 96 fruit and vegetable plots, meet one of the local gardeners and even harvest a few items.


Campbell County Extension’s horticulture program assistant Sarah Stolz talked with the students about what kinds of crops they saw, composting and harvesting food from the garden.


Stolz explained how much heirloom tomatoes sold for in the store and then compared the cost to a package of heirloom tomato seeds to show the students how much money they could save by planting their own tomatoes.


Pilcher went through the Master Gardener program before she took her current position and said she’s always had a passion for gardening. She wanted to bring that passion to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club.


“I want them to know where their food comes from and what they can do with a little bit of time and effort and just a few seeds,” she said. “I hope they learn that it’s doable; it’s affordable and it’s a healthy way to eat.”


After the garden outing, Pilcher took the students back to the Boys & Girls Club and set up a salsa bar with fresh tomatoes, corn, onions, cilantro, black beans, green chilis and even a little hot sauce and cumin. Many of the students were brave and mixed all the ingredients together, while others were a little more cautious and only tried a few things.


Pilcher was pleased at their willingness to try new things.


“It does my heart good to see kids try things for the first time and really like them. Our ultimate goal is that they develop a taste for these kinds of foods,” she said. “We’d like for them to give up prepackaged, processed foods in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables.”


For a video containing more on this story, click here




MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 859-257-7707.

UK Study Will Explore Novel MRI Techniques Safe for Patients with Kidney Failure

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 15:18


Lexington, Ky.  (Aug. 11, 2015)  Moriel Vandsburger, PhD, assistant professor of physiology in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, was awarded a five-year, $1.9 million R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study new MRI techniques that don't use contrast agents and are safe for patients with kidney failure. These patients experience increased risk for heart failure, but the chemical contrast agent used in current MRI technology is unsafe for them due to their compromised kidney function.


Dr. Steve Leung, associate director of advanced cardiovascular imaging, and Dr. Hartmut Malluche, chief of the division of nephrology, bone and mineral metabolism, also serve as a co-investigators on the grant.


"This opens a new window of opportunity to understand heart failure in the setting of patients with kidney disease," Vandsburger said.


For the past two years Vandsburger has been working to develop MRI techniques that can identify scar tissue in the heart without using a chemical contrast agent. He initially developed the technique in mouse models during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.  Since joining the UK faculty in 2013, he has translated the findings into the human clinical setting with the support of the KL2 Career Development program from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


"In an earlier study that we finished last year, we compared our technique to the method that uses the contrast agent and we found very close agreement between our method and the standard method," Vandsburger said.


The R01 project will focus on validating the new method against the current standard of care. Vandsburger and his team will use MRI to explore and compare the morphologies of scar tissue in the hearts of two populations: patients who have had a heart attack and therefore have dense scar tissue in the heart, and patients with diabetes who are more likely to have diffuse scar tissue not caused by an acute cardiac event.


Previous research indicates that patients with kidney failure develop scar tissue in their hearts, but there has been no way to track changes in the scar tissue--and monitor risk of heart failure--because they can't be screened using standard MRIs which require a chemical contrast agent.


"The real crux will be applying this technique to study patients with renal failure," Vandsburger said. "The renal failure field has advanced so much that people on hemodialysis might not die from kidney disease, but an overwhelming number die of cardiac causes. So there's a growing recognition that we need to understand what causes heart failure in these patients. And hopefully we can look at these patients with kidney failure to see if the scar tissue is the product of hemodialysis."


The research could also potentially identify an easily measurable blood biomarker to monitor scar tissue at the point of care, without biopsy or scans, as well as a signaling pathway that could be pharmaceutically targeted to reduce death from cardiac causes.


This is Vandsburger's first R01 award. He was 32 when it was awarded (he's since turned 33), a full decade younger than the average age of first-time R01-funded investigators who have PhDs. Also remarkable is that the grant was funded on the first submission. Vandsburger points to the support of the KL2 program and UK's culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, from clinicians to basic scientists at the Center for Muscle Biology, as factors in his successful application.


"I think that's really in large part due to the constant mentorship and environment established through the K Program," he said. "It helped me get the preliminary data that I needed for this grant. I submitted nine grant proposals in the first year and a half at UK, and most of them were on this or similar subjects. I workshopped every single grant and aims page at K Club, and it was really the constant feedback of people that overtime helped me improve the quality of grant writing, improve the focus, improve the outcomes."


Collaborating with clinicians has been equally critical to the research. By working directly with Leung, Vandsburger was able to engage with and recruit patients to participate in the study. Dr. Susan Smyth, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, served as Vandsburger's primary mentor in the KL2 Program, providing expert feedback from the perspective of a seasoned physician scientist. Vandsburger will also collaborate with Malluche to help recruit patients and understand the findings in the heart's scar tissue with respect to kidney function.


"I really benefit from that kind of culture of inclusiveness—where people at the Gill Heart Institute really want people to succeed—and I think that's part of why I got the grant funded so quickly," Vandsburger said.


While relatively young for an R01 awardee, he traces his research interests back to a childhood love for Legos and photography.


"If you put Legos and photography together, you get MRI," Vandsburger said. "Where I grew up there was nothing to do. So I got a Pentax camera and went around shooting black and white photography."


Similarly, his current work combines disciplines and tools.


"My research brings together some of the most exciting parts of science - the physics behind MRI, the engineering of designing new methods and tools for analysis, and the biology of heart failure. It lets me have access to the best of every world," he said. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,






Kentucky REC Helps Six Kentucky Health Care Organizations Receive National Recognition

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 15:01


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) – Kentucky Regional Extension Center (Kentucky REC), based at the University of Kentucky, has announced six Kentucky health care organizations participating in Kentucky REC’s inaugural Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Cohort, have received national recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a well-respected, non-profit organization that has been a central figure in driving improvement throughout the healthcare system. PCMH designation by NCQA is an indicator that healthcare practices and clinics are providing high-quality, patient-centered care to their clients and in their communities.


Recognized are:
UK HealthCare Family and Community Medicine – Lexington - Level 3
Georgetown Pediatrics – Georgetown - Level 3
Central Internal Medicine - Lexington – Level 3
Bluegrass Community and Family Practice – Bardstown – Level 3
Family Medicine Clinic of Danville – Danville, KY – Level 2
Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky – Hazard – Level 2


The pioneer provider organizations, representing more than 75 primary care providers, joined Kentucky REC’s inaugural group of PCMH practices in early 2014 and have worked diligently to improve patient care in their practices and communities. 


"This is a major accomplishment for these practices. These six practices worked with us over 15 months, dedicating the time and resources needed to transform their practices to this patient-centered care model," said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, executive director, Kentucky REC. "The hard work by everyone involved allowed the practices to achieve the highest levels of recognition and improve the quality of care for their patients." 


Kentucky REC provides coaching and assistance to support practices and clinics as they transform from a traditional sick care model to new models focused on comprehensive, coordinated care that keeps patients healthier and reduces complications. At the center of the PCMH model is a primary care physician office, where healthcare professionals work as a team to provide care that is individually determined to meet each patient's specific need.


This approach fosters an environment in which patients develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with their primary care physician and a healthcare team focused on enhanced care coordination and office-based disease management planning. As such, the practice becomes the patient's "home" for preventive, chronic, and ambulatory care.


The Kentucky REC PCMH Cohort focused on helping the practices demonstrate that they meet nationally recognized NCQA PCMH standards. Practices that achieved recognition worked with Kentucky REC to demonstrate the practice is able to:


·         Provide access during and after business hours and communicate effectively with patients

·         Use readily accessible, clinically useful information to assist in comprehensive care

·         Collaborate with patients and families to pursue goals for achieving optimal health

·         Improve effectiveness of care, safety, and efficiency by accessing timely information for tests and results, measuring and reporting performance, giving physicians regular feedback, and taking actions to improve, and maximizing use of electronic communications to facilitate coordination of care


Care provided by primary care physicians in a PCMH is consistently associated with better outcomes, reduced mortality, fewer preventable hospital admissions for patients with chronic diseases, lower utilization, improved patient compliance with recommended care, and lower Medicare costs.


“UK congratulates these pioneer practices for becoming nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes,” stated Trudi Matthews, managing director, Kentucky REC.  “UK and its Kentucky Regional Extension Center are pleased to provide support for innovative approaches to improving care for Kentuckians.”



Kentucky REC

Kentucky Regional Extension Center is a trusted advisor and strategic partner for healthcare providers in their efforts to improve care and patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and improve the overall health and well-being of the Commonwealth and beyond. The Kentucky REC offers a comprehensive set of transformation services include: Meaningful Use Assistance, EHR Implementation & Optimization, HIPAA Privacy & Security Risk Analysis, Patient-Centered Medical Home Consulting, ICD-10 Training, and Quality Improvement Support. For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit  Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

Receiving NSF CAREER Award, Seo Will Enhance Physics Research, Education

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 10:10

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2015) — Sung S. Ambrose Seo, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky, has received the prestigious five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award totaling $672,981.


The CAREER award is given in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of the university.


Funds from the award will allow Seo to investigate iridium oxides and unveil exotic collective phenomena, such as nontrivial topological states that are latent in bulk crystals, but emerge in dimensionally confined superlattices.


"My research is like building atomic-scale LEGO blocks to study their physical properties," Seo said. "These 'atomic LEGO blocks' will be used in future electronic devices, which cannot be achieved by current semiconductor-based technology."


The outcome of his project, "Two-Dimensional Superlattices of Epitaxial Pyrochlore Iridates," will fill existing gaps between physics theories and experiments, and lead scientists to an innovative, fundamental understanding of strongly correlated, spin-orbit coupled electrons in low-dimensional materials.


Another important component of the project is its impact on UK undergraduate and graduate students.


"In the United States, we are in dire need of physicists with strong expertise in materials synthesis and characterization, for both academia and industry," Seo said.


Participating graduate students will receive training in state-of-the-art materials synthesis and characterization, as well as opportunities to collaborate with scientists at national labs.


Beyond that, Seo and his team will also improve the physics curriculum at UK by developing an applied materials physics course, available to both graduate and undergraduate students and aimed at integrating cutting-edge materials research topics with basic physics coursework. Focused on raising awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers in underrepresented areas, Seo is also developing an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program for pre-service teachers.


Since he joined UK as an assistant professor of physics in 2010, Seo has been focusing on building a state-of-the-art laboratory for epitaxial materials syntheses and characterizations. Recently, he and his team have successfully carried out challenging research of various iridium oxide thin-films by using their unique techniques of multiple in-situ characterizations.


He credits several pilot grants from the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation in allowing him to "tackle the more challenging, and very exciting, project of iridium oxide superlattices with this NSF CAREER grant."


Seo's long-term goal is to develop functionally integrated, rationally designed heterostructures using novel electronic materials such as complex oxides.


"This NSF CAREER grant will allow us to run a highly competitive research program on new material systems, and to advance that long-term goal," he said.




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

Reminder About Campus Moped, Scooter Regulations

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 16:27


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2015) — As the new academic year approaches and much of the Universty of Kentucky family returns to campus, it is important to keep in mind some basic information and regulations while traveling to and throughout campus.


While some walk, bike or drive to campus, other students and employees elect to ride motor scooters.


According to University of Kentucky Police Department Capt. Kevin Franklin, "The university has seen an increase in the inappropriate and illegal use of mopeds on campus."


There are a few important things to keep in mind if you choose to use this mode of transportation.


Scooters, mopeds and motorcycles are required to obtain a parking permit from Parking and Transportation Services and utilize motorcycle parking areas on campus. These areas are conveniently located throughout campus and are marked by the presence of signage, green lines or both. Mopeds may also park at moped-only parking racks, which are located in front of Memorial Coliseum and between Funkhouser Building and the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC).


Scooters, motorcycles and mopeds are not authorized to park at bicycle racks, or in any area that is not listed above. Additionally, scooters, motorcycles and mopeds are not permitted to drive or travel on sidewalks, bike paths or lawns.


Director of Parking and Transportation Services Lance Broeking said that it is important for moped and scooter users to understand why these policies exist.


"These policies are designed to encourage safe operating and parking procedures for these vehicles, as well as free up areas for bicycle-only parking." He further explained, "It is essential to remember that no matter how you choose to get to work or class, we are all members of the UK community and should be safe and respectful in traveling and parking on campus."


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

UK's Yang Receives Microsoft Award to Develop Real-time Tele-collaboration

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 15:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) — Ruigang Yang, professor of computer science at the University of Kentucky, has received a Microsoft Surface Hub for Research award totaling $25,000 to develop tele-collaboration/presence using the Surface Hub.


The Microsoft Surface Hub is a new large-screen pen and touch device designed to advance team collaboration and productivity. Microsoft is currently developing business productivity and collaboration apps, but to explore the potential of the Surface Hub in education, the company has awarded grants to 10 researchers across the world.


Funds from the award and a complimentary Surface Hub will allow Yang and a UK graduate student to develop a real-time detailed motion capture system that is able to generate complete and water-tight 3-D models of humans in motion, providing a more convincing experience for tele-conferencing.


While the primary objective of the project is to provide this experience using the Surface Hub, the underlying techniques can also be used with other visualization hardware, such as the HoloLens to provide a fully immersive 3-D tele-presence experience.


Prior methods deploy an array of cameras to first reconstruct the 3-D model of someone and then render virtual views, but these approaches require dedicated setup and careful calibration. Yang's project seeks to limit the input to a single camera so it can be integrated into the Surface Hub as a single piece of equipment, without the need for calibration and a large footprint.


Yang's research interests include computer graphics and computer vision, specifically in 3-D reconstruction and data analysis. He has published more than 100 papers, which, according to Google Scholar, has received close to 7,000 citations with an h-index of 38 (as of 2015). He has received a number of awards, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in 2004 and the Dean's Research Award in 2013. 




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

Markey's D'Orazio Receives Funding to Further Skin Cancer Research

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 13:57



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & 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. 10, 2015) – The University of Kentucky's Dr. John D'Orazio recently received grant funding totalling $375,000 over three years to further his research on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.


Three organizations provided an equal share of the funding: the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research; the Markey Cancer Foundation; and DanceBlue, the University of Kentucky's student-run fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Additionally, much of the preliminary data used in the MRA grant application was facilitated by pilot funding from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. 


D'Orazio's research focuses on the hormonal pathways that protect the skin from sun damage and how efficiently the skin's DNA may be able to repair itself. In a previous study, D'Orazio's team discovered a genetic defect in the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R) leads to a reduced ability to repair DNA, making people more susceptible to developing melanoma.

The new project will focus on the specific hormones that appear to "turn off" MC1R signaling, also leading to an increased likelihood of developing the cancer.


Melanoma of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States and among the top 10 causes of new cancer cases. In the United States each year, more than 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and it is one of the most common cancers for young women. While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 92 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body.


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


What’s Next: Fusing Interests in Undergraduate Research

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 11:43


Video produced by Vis Center media team.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2015) — Computer science and the St. Chad Gospels. Physics and Spanish. Math and international studies. The combination of these don't seem to make a lot of sense, but it is these interests that have shaped the undergraduate career of one UK senior.


Stephen Parsons, a computer science and international studies major, with minors in physics, Spanish and mathematics, has thrived in a range of studies during his time at UK.


He has also worked in research that merged the fields of computer science and humanities. Parsons, who is a Chellgren Fellow, Gaines Fellow and member of the Honors Program at UK, worked for the past year with Brent Seales, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, on imaging and digitally preserving the St. Chad Gospels. Doing so allows scholars across the world to easily access the eighth-century manuscript in its true form without causing damage.


"Something I've really gained out of this is that computer science is applicable to so many fields," Parsons said in the video above.


During the project, which was an international collaboration with Lichfield Cathedral in England, Parsons applied registration framework software that someone else developed to images of the St. Chad Gospels to produce results.


This fall, Parsons will step out of the lab, and out of the country, to study abroad in Cusco, Peru, applying his international studies and Spanish education to service opportunities.


"I have really enjoyed my international studies classes and while I might not pursue that as a career, it is important to me to learn about those subjects," Parsons said. "And since I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to have both majors, I figured I'd do it!"


While he will be gone for the entire fall semester, he says he certainly wouldn't rule out working with Seales again during the spring, depending on their schedules.


"Getting to know him has been very valuable," Parsons said. "It (research) fosters kind of a unique relationship between the student and the professor that I don’t get out of the classroom."


As far as his career following graduation, Parsons thinks product management at Google, where he interned this summer, could be a possibility. But if his range of experiences at UK is any indication, the possibilities could be endless.


Parsons' research is featured in the above video, produced by the Vis Center as part of its "What's Next" series. It may also be viewed at "Reveal," the official website for UK Research Media, at




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

Volunteers Needed for K Week Activities

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 16:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2015) — K Week, the fall welcome week for new students, is one of the most exciting weeks of the year at the University of Kentucky. It takes the entire Big Blue family to plan and execute a successful week of activities.


There are many opportunities to meet and welcome new students throughout the week. UK President Eli Capilouto recently sent a message inviting all faculty and staff to participate in K Week events. "I encourage you to participate in one or more of our welcoming events scheduled from early morning to late night," Capilouto said.


The first chance UK faculty and staff will have to welcome students will be on Move-In Day. Volunteers are needed to help students unload their belongings onto carts, answer questions, and help them successfully transition into the residence halls.


If you are interested in being a part of this opportunity to make a great first impression on students and their families, visit You can volunteer for a three-hour shift or longer if you have the time.


Another way to participate in the Move-In experience is to partner with UK Dining and assist with serving complimentary hot dogs and keeping ice bins filled with bottled water. Volunteers are needed for a 30- or 60-minute shift on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and/or Friday, Aug. 21. Service times both days are 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. To sign up for a service commitment, contact DeWitt King at and indicate the time, day and campus neighborhood (north, central or south) that you prefer. All who volunteer will receive information on what to expect.


An informal Parent and Families Reception, scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, in Starbucks at William T. Young Library, enables families of new students to meet faculty, staff, administrators, veteran UK students, and UK Parent Advisory Council members. The UK Parent and Family Association needs volunteers who can greet guests and answer any questions the families may have. To volunteer for the Parent and Families Reception, send an email with your contact information to


From 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, all faculty and staff are invited to attend the New Student Induction Ceremony in Memorial Coliseum. This opening convocation closely mirrors Commencement and establishes a tone of academic excellence for our new students. If you would like to participate in the faculty procession at this event, email


One of the largest community service projects in Kentucky, UK For Unity and Service in Our Neighborhoods (UK FUSION), will take place Monday, Aug. 24. The planning committee is asking for UK faculty and staff to volunteer as site advisors for the event. The FUSION team anticipates more than 1,000 UK students serving at nearly 100 community and neighborhood organizations. Each small group is led by one or two student site leaders, and a faculty or staff site advisor. For registration information visit or email




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