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UK Art Students Exhibit in University Open

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 13:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2015) — Six University of Kentucky art studio students were selected to exhibit in the ninth annual University Open.

 

Sponsored by LexArts, University Open features about 50 pieces of artwork from the state's best students, including eight works from UK. The juried competition and free public exhibition between fine arts majors attending Kentucky universities opened May 8, at ArtsPlace.

 

This year's University Open includes artwork from 32 young artists representing 11 public and private colleges in the Commonwealth. Pieces were selected by juror Becky Alley based on technical skill in the chosen medium and the approach to conceptual and/or formal issues.

 

"The advanced skills these young artists employ and the engaging work they are creating is evidence of an emerging and highly creative artistic culture," Alley said.

 

UK students whose work was selected to be featured in the University Open are: Tom Baker, an art studio senior from Lexington; Kim Hubbard, an art studio senior from Wilmore, Kentucky; Josh Richards, an art studio senior from Midway, Kentucky; Jacob Robertson, an art studio sophomore from Lexington; Melissa Shelton, a 2015 art studio graduate from Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Ashley Worley, an art education and art studio senior from Mount Sterling, Kentucky.

 

LexArts is a nonprofit community organization that works for the development of a strong and vibrant community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in Central Kentucky. LexArts provides a wide range of programs designed to integrate the arts into our daily lives. Through its annual Campaign for the Arts, LexArts has raised millions of dollars in support of local arts. In turn, LexArts underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of beneficiary organizations and offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations, as well as competitive grants for community outreach projects.

 

The public can view the UK students' artwork and art from the state's other featured student artists in the University Open through June 27, at Artsplace, located at 161 North Mill St. Gallery hours for viewing are from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from noon- 5 p.m. Saturdays.

 

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies, and art education.  

 

Spindletop Hall Celebrates Summer With Discounted Initiation Fee

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 10:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2015) — Jumpstart summer with The Club at University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Hall! Spindletop is currently offering 33 percent off all initiation fees through the month of June.

 

Spindletop members enjoy four swimming pools, 10 tennis courts, swim and dive teams, chipping and putting greens, upscale casual member dining with a scenic veranda, Tiki Bar and Cuda Cove for poolside dining, exclusive access to Lexington’s Legacy Trail, basketball and volleyball courts, expansive grounds, picnic areas, special club events and the spectacular Spindletop Hall mansion.

 

UK faculty, staff, and all members of the UK Alumni Association are eligible for club membership. Spindletop offers memberships for all stages of life ranging from family, single parent, couples, individuals, seniors and young alumni. Rates vary based upon membership type.

 

UK employees are able to deduct dues straight from their payroll. 

 

For more information on joining, check out Spindletop’s website here, call 859-255-2777 or email membership@spindletophall.org.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover and Rebecca Stratton; blair.hoover@uky.edu rebecca.stratton@uky.edu; (859) 323-2395

Physician Assistant Student Elected to Leadership Role in SAAAPA

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 10:33

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies student Ryan Hunton was recently elected as Southeast Regional Director for the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA). Hunton is also a member of the Assembly of Representatives, which includes a representative from each physician assistant (PA) school in the U.S.

 

Thanks to the support of the UK College of Health Sciences and its PAS program, Hunton was able to attend the AAPA’s national conference in San Francisco in May. He hopes more students will have the same opportunity.

 

“I am very fortunate that the program and the College of Health Sciences supported my trip. I would like to set a precedent for our program that will allow more of our students the opportunity to attend the national conference next year and in the years that follow,” Hunton, who is a member of the class of 2017 and is also a CHS Student Ambassador, said.

“Student attendance at the national conference is important because it gets students involved in their professional organization, increases the presence of UK on a national level, and allows students to exchange ideas and gain perspective. My experience at this year’s conference will remain with me throughout my professional life.”

 

SAAAPA is the national organization representing PA students from across the country. PA students can be involved by publishing articles in the quarterly newsletter or on the website, promoting their school’s service projects or fundraising events, becoming a leader within the organization, connecting with students, preceptors, or fellowships in other parts of the country, and attending the 2016 national conference in San Antonio.

 

As Southeast Regional Director, Hunton is charged with helping students take advantage of these opportunities. The southeast region comprises 36 PA programs within seven states (Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina).

 

“We encourage our students to take leadership roles both locally and nationally,” Scott M. Lephart, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said. “Ryan’s role with the AAPA will allow him to gain valuable leadership experience, as well as to represent PA students and the UK College of Health Sciences on a national level.”

 

Hunton graduated in 2014 from Western Kentucky University with bachelor of arts degrees in journalism, literature and philosophy, and bachelor of science degrees in chemistry and health sciences.  

 

The UK College of Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate/professional degrees in athletic training, clinical leadership and management, clinical nutrition, communication sciences and disorders, human health sciences, medical laboratory science, physical therapy, physician assistant studies and rehabilitation sciences.

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

Tinkering With Opportunity: UK Ph.D. Brings Science, Math Experiences to Students Statewide

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2015) — During his childhood in Burnside, Kentucky, Craig Schroeder was always taking things apart and trying to fix them — a tinkerer.

 

“Most of the time I was unsuccessful, but occasionally I was able to repair my remote control car or video game console,” Schroeder said. “I have an innate drive to fix things or make them work properly.”

 

Schroeder has been a STEM teacher since 2002 and will be teaching physics at Henry Clay High School in Lexington this coming fall. On summer vacation a few years ago, he picked up some Malcolm Gladwell books. Gladwell’s theories inspired the tinkerer in Schroeder.

 

In “Outliers,” Gladwell says innate talent is not the only key to success. For instance, what advantages took place in the childhood of a Thomas Edison or Mozart? Seemingly small things can make a big difference. 

 

Schroeder started tinkering with ideas about what advantages he could create for students. For instance, Bill Gates has innate talents and abilities — but he also had the good fortune of growing up near a high school where he accessed a powerful computer at age 13. 

 

Soon, Schroeder’s idea for See Blue STEM Camp at the University of Kentucky was born (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics). At camp, rising fifth through eighth grade students take part in hands-on projects with real world applications, bringing STEM subjects to life. Plus, dozens of UK students help with the camp to gain teaching experience, receive mentorship from faculty, and witness the powerful impact of the camp’s unique teaching approach.

 

The 2015 camp is taking place on campus this week. Complete with a LEGO robotics competition, geocaching on campus, and learning the magic of materials science, designing and modeling with 3D printing pens, students will engage with engineering, mathematics, science and technology instruction.

 

A UK College of Education graduate himself, Schroeder's dissertation research focused on attitudes toward mathematics, knowing that middle school years are a pivotal time in developing positive attitudes toward any subject.

 

"Many students are turned off to mathematics and science during this time and have limited ideas of careers that are in these fields," Schroeder said.

 

He wanted to attack these problems, so with the help of his colleague Mark Evans and UK College of Engineering Professor Bruce Walcott, they developed a small camp at Jessie Clark Middle School. Starting with only eight students the first year, 28 students the second, and growing each year after, Schroeder realized they could reach students beyond Jessie Clark Middle School.

 

Working with his wife, Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, professor in the UK Department of STEM Education, and Walcott, they moved the camp to UK and opened it to any student in Kentucky. By bringing the camp onto campus, the students are able to visit professors in their labs and conduct experiments and research that could not be duplicated in another setting.

 

And the camp is not just for those students who are known to already excel academically. Instead, thanks to collaboration with youth service coordinators across the state, Schroeder and his team identify underrepresented students who would benefit from the camp. They target any student who may have an interest in STEM or whose teachers believe would benefit from the camp.

 

"This authentic experience has led to statistically significant growth in students’ interest in STEM," Schroeder said.

 

In the fall of 2013, the camp was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for $750,000 over the course of five years. During this time, they are tracking the students in the camp to see how they fare in terms of their interest in STEM careers.

 

"While this camp won’t fully solve the problem that Gladwell outlined, it does help to provide a solution," Schroeder said.

 

Schroeder also realized the need for a solution in his own classroom after his first year of teaching.
 

"I knew I wasn’t an effective teacher with all students, and I wanted to be better," he said.

 

So he enrolled in the UK College of Education master's program, armed with a year of experience and willingness to learn. After finishing, his mentor, Doug Jones, a former UK faculty member, convinced him to pursue his Rank I, which is 30 hours beyond the master's degree. At the end of his second year, he had only a handful of hours remaining for the Ph.D. "So I decided it was now or never," he said.

 

While some may have expected him to begin working as a professor or in administration after earning his doctoral degree, Schroeder returned to the classrooms of Fayette County to put his new training and skills to the test. Eight years later and he is still there.

 

"With my academic background and connections, I have developed a cadre of great researchers and educators that share my passion for STEM and reaching underrepresented populations," Schroeder said. "I’m able to publish and share innovative instruction with others across the nation." 

 

Schroeder says his ambition to go above and beyond as a STEM educator comes from his parents.

 

"Both grew up in poor families in rural communities, but they didn’t let that set them back," he said. "They instilled in me a drive to do the best I can."

 

And he continues that today, not only with his family, but with his students.
 

"I’m recently a father and I want every opportunity for my children as well," he said. "I think it has driven me even more in my professional work. I don’t want any parent to have the perception I am not fully extending myself to help a student."

 

For more information on the See Blue STEM Camp, visit https://2b.education.uky.edu/stem/stem-camp/. Tentative dates for 2016 are June 13-17, 2016. Registration for the 2016 camp opens on March 1, 2016.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Markey Patient Going the Distance to Raise Awareness, Money for Cancer Care

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 16:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 10, 2015) – Erica Radhakrishnan has always been an athlete. The 41-year-old Lexington resident has been active all her life, playing sports as a teenager before moving on to train for more challenging endeavors, including half-marathons and Olympic-distance triathlons.

 

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34, Radhakrishnan's training was put on hold, though she says remaining active was extremely important to her overall well-being.

 

"Throughout the entire experience, I did try to stay physically active and physically fit," Radhakrishnan said. "Even though you feel like you can't do it, remarkably, it makes your body feel better... and exercise is a good way to purge the mind of negative thoughts and feelings. So I did try, even though some days it was physically challenging just to walk to the front door."

 

After a round of surgery and chemotherapy, Radhakrishnan was in the clear, but temporarily – less than three years later, she was diagnosed with a local recurrence of breast cancer. Local recurrence, or the return of a cancer to its original location, is a relatively uncommon circumstance. But most of the time, a local recurrence will happen within the first five years following diagnosis.

 

Luckily, the second cancer was detected early. At the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Radhakrishnan underwent more surgery and chemotherapy. She also received radiation, where she was treated by Markey radiation oncologist – and accomplished triathlete – Dr. Jonathan Feddock.

 

"When I initially met him, I pegged him for a triathlete as soon as he walked in," Radhakrishnan said.

 

The two bonded over their mutual interest in competing, and Radhakrishnan names Feddock as a driving force in helping her get back to fighting form. Just one year after finishing her last radiation treatment, she completed her first post-treatment half-marathon.

 

"The next time I saw him, he said, 'I'm so proud of you,'" Radhakrishnan said. "It was such a motivator for me, to realize that what I was doing was pretty amazing... to have that support has spurred in me the desire to continue to be fit and to share that information with others patients out there."

 

One way Radhakrishnan is helping to share that message is by competing in this weekend's Survive the Night Team Triathlon. The triathlon is the main event of the Healthiest Weekend in Lexington, a fundraiser developed by Feddock himself. Participants will swim, bike and run for a combined 140.7 miles — nearly the same distance as Feddock's Ironman race last summer, where he fundraised and brought in more than $150,000 for the Markey Cancer Foundation.

 

This weekend, 22 teams and one solo participant will compete in Survive the Night, beginning their long journey at 7 p.m. Friday night and finishing up sometime Saturday morning at The Club at Spindletop Hall. Radhakrishnan's team is composed of mothers and their children — including three of her own daughters.

 

"Each person on my team has been affected by a cancer diagnosis, whether it be a parent, grandparent, cousin, aunt or uncle," she said. "Each child has had to live through what it's like to have a cancer diagnosis. I'm very proud of the fact that they feel this desire to do something more — they can't work in a lab right now, but they can run, they can swim, and they can bike. And they're willing to do that in the hopes of raising money and awareness for Ironcology and for Markey."

 

 

Video 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.

 

The triathletes competing this weekend aren't the only ones helping raise money to support cancer research and patient care. On Saturday morning, the Healthiest Weekend event will host a Something for Every Body Exercise Event and Expo, also at Spindletop Hall next to the finish line.

 

Numerous local fitness centers have volunteered their time and expertise to create a choose-your-own-exercise format, where attendees can participate in a variety of small group fitness classes throughout the morning including yoga, TRX, Silver Sneakers, water aerobics, boxing, barre, body rolling and more.

 

Each fitness class will be available for a $5 donation, with proceeds going to the Markey Cancer Foundation.

 

"I had the idea to create an event where anyone could participate and feel like they were able to contribute something to improve cancer care, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle," Feddock said. "Not everyone can, or wants to, compete in a long triathlon – but maybe you'd be willing to try out a class you've never done before and donate to a great cause at the same time."

 

For more information on the Healthiest Weekend in Lexington event including a schedule of classes, visit healthylex.com. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to make a donation toward improving cancer research and care at Markey, visit ukmarkey.org.

 

ABOUT MARKEY CANCER FOUNDATION

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation’s mission is to reduce cancer mortality in Kentucky and beyond by supporting innovative cancer research and treatments, education and community engagement, state-of-the-art facilities, and compassionate patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

 

ABOUT IRONCOLOGY

Ironcology is an exercise-based fundraising effort started by UK Markey Cancer Center radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock in 2014. Feddock, a long-distance triathlete, originally set out to raise $200,000 through crowdfunding pledges for his efforts in the 2014 Ironman Louisville to put a downpayment on a new, state-of-the-art radiation implant suite at the Markey Cancer Center. With that goal now attained, Feddock is expanding Ironcology to the masses to engage others to participate in pledge-based competition and events to raise money on behalf of the UK Markey Cancer Foundation. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

NSF CAREER Award Recipient Beth Guiton on Twofold Mission

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 15:13

 

 

(Adapted from ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (6), pp 5441–5448)

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2015) — The drive for miniaturization of devices is clear, as each new version of the iPhone, cameras, GPS systems, computers and so on becomes smaller and more powerful. Such miniaturization is possible thanks to advances in the microelectronics industry, yet this field could be revolutionized by moving from the micro to the “nano” scale by finding a way to use nanoparticles — particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size.

 

To put that in perspective, consider that a nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter and approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

 

This is the scale of work for Beth Guiton, assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry. Guiton specifically investigates nanowires; how they grow and why they grow, which is not always well-understood. She recently received a $625,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her efforts in the field. The CAREER Award is given in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and their integration.

 

"We are working to invent a new way of designing nanomaterials," Guiton said. "We want to control the way that little metal droplets behave so we can use them to grow something useful."

 

Nanomaterials have the potential for great impact in electronics, medicine, the environment and even apparel. But Guiton notes there has been little progress made in "putting these components where you want them," as they grow spontaneously.

 

Guiton and her team will combine a traditional growth mechanism, the vapor–liquid–solid method (VLS), with the reverse of that method, sold-liquid-vapor (SLV), enabling unprecedented control of a nanowire-template interface.

 

"We could grow materials used for any number of applications," she said.

 

Inspired by her undergraduate research experience at the University of Cambridge, where she earned her bachelor's degree in physical natural sciences, Guiton has also implemented an undergraduate education and research component in her NSF CAREER project.

 

"Undergraduate research experiences can have a really profound effect on future career decisions," Guiton said. "If you're not imagining yourself in a certain type of role, you won’t necessarily think to go for it. Typical courses don’t provide this — but undergraduate research helps to make that shift."

 

Calling it her "mission," Guiton aims to increase the number of undergraduates taking part in research experiences at UK, especially those who aren't yet sure about their interests. She recently won the UK College of Arts and Sciences' inaugural “Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award” for her activities in this area.

 

Guiton's joint faculty appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory allows her to connect UK students and faculty to the largest U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory. And for those students who are still deciding what path to travel, she teaches a course on crystals, or "the beginning of materials science," in A&S Wired, a Living Learning Program for freshmen.

 

Guiton also works to get students engaged in research projects early and often, before ever stepping foot on campus. Currently, she is collaborating with the UK College of Education to help middle school science teachers implement project-based learning in the classroom.

 

"As a leader in research and the flagship university of the Commonwealth, it's really important that the students who come here take advantage of the opportunities that present," she said.    

 

Watch the video above from Guiton's lab to see a nanowire dissolve into nanoparticles and evaporate. 

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

Entrepreneur Pitch Competition Comes to Lexington

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 14:28

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 10, 2015)  Aspiring entrepreneurs in Lexington will have the opportunity to make their dreams of starting a business come true later today, Wednesday, June 10.

 

Entrepreneurs will participate in the Kentucky Innovation Network’s entrepreneur pitch competition in Lexington. Similar to the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” participants will have 10 minutes to present their business idea to a group of potential angel investors, individuals who provide capital for startup companies. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their plans to the entire Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels) in Frankfort.

 

“The success of last year’s pitch competitions exceeded our expectations, and we anticipate even bigger things this year,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “Small businesses are job creators and the backbone of Kentucky’s economy. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with potential investors and get their businesses off the ground. We want to expose more people to investment opportunities right here in the Commonwealth.”

 

The competition is 5:30-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Commerce Lexington, located in Suite 100 at 330 East Main Street in Lexington. The event is free and open to the public.

 

The event is the second of 11 statewide pitch competitions hosted by the cabinet, the Kentucky Innovation Network and Kentucky Angels. Covington hosted the first competition and Morehead, Louisville, Ashland, London, Pikeville, Richmond, Elizabethtown, Murray and Paducah will host events throughout the summer.

 

"The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network is very pleased to be hosting this exciting pitch event and working with each of these companies who are developing some very interesting products and software programs,” said Warren Nash, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Office in Lexington. “Attendees of this event will have an opportunity to learn about some very innovative, novel and unique technologies."

 

If you are interested in attending the event, you can get more information at kyinnovation.com/pitch or register here.

 

Kentucky Angels brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to form deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors in and outside the state who are passionate about investing in Kentucky companies. To learn more about Kentucky Angels, visit www.kyangels.net.

 

Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network offers extensive resources for small and new businesses. Assistance can range from funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge. The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network is part of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, within the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics.

 

The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Lilly, 502-564-4886.

 

 

 

K-Lair Now Open on Weekends

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 13:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2015)  K-Lair is now open for business on the weekends through the remainder of the summer!

 

K-Lair, located in Haggin Hall on the corner of University Drive and Hilltop Avenue, will operate on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.  The restaurant is also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

 

K-Lair is a University of Kentucky tradition. Kentucky Proud is a key element of the menu with local, Kentucky Proud beef, fresh-baked breads and other wholesome, seasonal ingredients.

 

For breakfast, customers can enjoy a Southern biscuit or honey wheat wrap with a variety of toppings. A favorite is the Vegetarian Breakfast Wrap with arugula, tomato, scrambled egg, onion, avocado, garlic aioli, and provolone. K-Lair offers a variety of food options for lunch and dinner such as the K-Lair Burger, house-made Spicy Black Bean Burger, Big Pulled Pork Sandwich, chicken tenders, crisp garden salads, fresh-cut fries and other special signature items. And weekly dinner specials like fajitas, smoked turkey and mac and cheese keep diners returning.

 

For more information about K-Lair visit https://uky.campusdish.com/Locations/KLair.aspx

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, (859) 323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, blair.hoover@uky.edu

Sociology Junior Represents ONE Campaign at G7 Summit

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 12:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 10, 2015) — Ryan McElhose, a University of Kentucky sociology junior, with minors in philosophy and neuroscience, recently represented the ONE Campaign, an international advocacy organization, at this year’s G7 summit in Germany.

 

G7, or the Group of Seven, comprises the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom and meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security and energy policy.

 

McElhose joined more than 250 young campaigners representing 10 countries this past weekend, June 5-7, to call on leaders to pledge at least 50 percent of overseas aid to the least-developed countries, put girls and women at the heart of global development and make sure this G7 summit focused on the world’s poorest countries. 

 

The youth activists represented every G7 country — United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom — in addition to Belgium, Ireland and The Netherlands. During the summit, they were also trained in how to organize effective campaigns and influence policy.

 

“These young adults will be reminding the G7 leaders of their commitments to help the world’s poorest people,” said Tom Hart, U.S. executive director of The ONE Campaign, before the summit. “This summit is an important opportunity in the fight against extreme poverty, particularly as it relates to women and girls.”

 

McElhose, from Hinton, Iowa, joined the UK chapter of the ONE Campaign last year and has since been exposed to a multi-faceted way of advocacy. He experienced lobbying on Capitol Hill in February and carried out an array of advocacy activities in Munich.

 

"ONE offers productive and effective solutions to eradicate poverty around the world," McElhose said. "I like how it is an advocacy organization. We do not ask for your dollars but rather your pen or your voice."

 

A sociology major, McElhose's involvement with ONE stems from his studies. He says it provides macro-level solutions to global epidemics, something he has often discussed in his sociology courses.

 

"I am adamant that changing social structures, and persistence, is a way to address poverty, rather than quick, easy Band-Aid solutions," he said. 

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu

'Grand Night' Still Going Strong at 23

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 13:39

 

"It's a Grand Night for Singing!" promo video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2015) — Guaranteed to have you singing and dancing in your seats, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre presents the 23rd annual production of “It’s a Grand Night for Singing!” Executive Producer Everett McCorvey brings together a company of more than 100 performers to stage the best from Billboard to Broadway June 12-21, at the Singletary Center for the Arts. And in recognition of their service, "Grand Night" will offer a new discount this year to members of the military and their families.

 

Students from UK Opera Theatre join forces again with members of the Lexington community to open the summer arts season with this popular annual town-and-gown revue. Among this year's hits will be music from such icons as Bob Marley, Cyndi Lauper and Carol King, as well as showstoppers from musicals like "A Chorus Line," "Pippin" and "Cabaret."

 

Showtimes for the six performances of "Grand Night" are 7:30 p.m., June 12, 13, 19 and 20, and 2 p.m., June 14 and 21.

 

"Grand Night" tickets are $45 for general admission, $40 for seniors and $15 for students with valid student IDs. A special 40 percent discount has been added this year for members of the military and their families with a valid military ID.

 

In addition, each performance will also have a limited number of select seats available to UK staff for only $25. The special staff price is presented in memory of Russ Williams, the university's first representative of the staff on UK's Board of Trustees who died in 2009. 

 

Tickets for "Grand Night" are available through the Singletary Center ticket office, by phone at 859-257-4929, online at www.scfatickets.com or in person at the venue. Military and staff tickets must be purchased by phone or in person. All applicable fees will be added to tickets upon purchase transaction.

   

UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.

 

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

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Neuroscience Expo Will Feature Interactive Learning

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 13:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2015) – The University of Kentucky's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, Office of Clinical Simulation and the UK HealthCare/Norton Healthcare Stroke Care Network have joined forces to offer a new kind of symposium for neuroscience and stroke care.

 

The Clinical & Translational Neuroscience Exposition on June 26 will be an informative, interactive event exploring the latest advancements in the neurosciences and stroke care. The Expo replaces the Clinical Neuroscience Winter Expo, which was cancelled in March due to weather. 

 

"We wanted this to be very different from traditional symposia, so the Expo is designed to be highly interactive," Dr. Michael Dobbs, interim chair for the University of Kentucky's Department of Neurology and director of UK HealthCare's Stroke Network, said. "Through the use of interactive learning methods and patient simulation equipment, our goal is to help attendees learn by doing and translate this new-found experience to current treatment practices."

 

Speakers from multiple specialties have been chosen to be able to cover a broad range of neuroscience topics in this one-day event.

 

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Avindra Nath, clinical director of NINDS, the director of the Translational Neuroscience Center and the chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous Systems at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, who will present "Cracking the Code of Neuroinflammatory Disorders."

 

Pointing to the fact that the human and economic impact of neurological disorders is exacerbated by a prevailing shortage of neuroscience specialists and the burgeoning aging population, Dobbs emphasized augmenting multi-specialty provider groups’ neuroscience awareness and knowledge base is key to improving equitable access and patient outcomes.

 

"Our goal with this event is to provide that guidance in a new and interesting way, to the ultimate benefit of patients."

 

Attendees can register online or in person the day of the event at 7:00 a.m. in Pavilion A of the Albert B. Chandler Medical Center. 

 

Registration fees range from $12-$50, a reduction from the registration fees for the Winter Expo. Anyone who registered for the Winter Expo qualifies for a full refund and can re-register online or in person.

 

For more information about the Expo or to register, go to: http://www.cecentral.com/live/10269

Geological Survey Preparing Two New Networks to Monitor Small Earthquakes and Groundwater Levels

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 16:42

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kentucky is working to install two new networks across the state to gather important data on low-level seismicity and the state’s groundwater levels.

 

KGS Geologic Hazards Section staff have installed the first two of at least 15 highly sensitive seismic stations in eastern Kentucky. Both of these new stations, one in Boyd County and one in Lawrence County, were installed on private property in relatively remote and quiet locations. These new instruments, along with others in the network, will help monitor the background level of natural earthquakes too small for current instruments in the existing KGS seismic network to detect. Seismologist Seth Carpenter, who leads the project, says he hopes to determine if current oil and gas activities in the region might also cause such microseismicity.

 

No earthquake activity related to oil and gas development is known to have happened in Kentucky, but hydraulic fracturing (also called fracking) and deep wastewater injection related to oil and gas development in several other central U.S. states have been linked to cases of induced seismicity. The development of eastern Kentucky deep shale gas plays, such as the Rogersville Shale, is expected to increase fracking and water disposal activities.

 

The UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is collaborating with KGS on the study, and instrument manufacturer Nanometrics Inc. has agreed to match the number of stations that KGS purchased, increasing the overall sensitivity of the temporary network. Carpenter says another industry partner will soon join the project, which will allow more instruments to be added to the network.

 

In addition, the KGS Water Resources Section is presently evaluating existing water wells located in different parts of the state to use in a new groundwater observation network. Kentucky does not currently have a network of wells that can be used to track seasonal and longer-term changes in groundwater levels and groundwater quality. Section Head Chuck Taylor says there are several reasons to create one. He points out that the state’s growing population and expanding agricultural and industrial operations are increasing the needs for water. For example, in much of western Kentucky, corn and grain farmers are increasingly turning to groundwater for irrigation. Many of the irrigation systems being installed require wells capable of supplying a minimum of several hundreds of gallons of water per day to work efficiently and economically.

 

Taylor says he hopes to establish at least 14 long-term groundwater observation wells across a broad swath of the state over the next year. Each of the wells will be selected to monitor naturally occurring changes in groundwater conditions that are representative of the major aquifer present in a particular region. Water Resources staff have begun testing wells that may be suitable for the network, including an unused irrigation well at a Murray State University agricultural station, previously monitored wells at Mammoth Cave National Park, and wells at the Kentucky Horse Park presently being used in a KGS study of groundwater quality in a karst region.

 

All of the wells eventually selected for inclusion in the observation network will be equipped with pressure transducers and data loggers capable of recording changes in groundwater levels at 15- to 30-minute increments. Approximately seven of the wells will also be equipped with a telemetry system that will automatically transmit recorded groundwater-level data to the KGS each day, enabling more rapid tracking and evaluation of current groundwater conditions. All groundwater data collected from the network’s wells will be posted to the KGS website and available for the public’s use.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396, whitney.harder@uky.edu, or Mike Lynch, 859-323-0561, mike.lynch@uky.edu

UK Undergrads Partner with the ToothFairy Program to Spread Oral Health Awareness

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 11:30

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015)  The University of Kentucky Students United with America’s ToothFairy® (SUAT) chapter was recently spotlighted by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation for their passion to supply oral health education to elementary and middle schools in Kentucky.

 

Through the America’s ToothFairy® program, the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation works to eliminate children’s preventable suffering from pediatric dental disease by providing programs and comprehensive resources to deliver community-based critical preventive, educational and treatment services.

 

Founded in the fall of 2014 by University of Kentucky undergraduate student Ailey Layson, UK’s SUAT chapter is comprised of more than 100 UK undergrad students interested in dentistry, who are also part of the UK Pre-dental Society (UKPDS). As one of the largest and more active SUAT chapters in the nation, UK SUAT held six community outreach events reaching more than 500 students already in 2015, targeting schools in Lexington and some rural Kentucky areas.

 

At each event, SUAT members share oral health and nutrition information via videos, presentations, and demonstrations of proper tooth brushing and flossing. The group also talks to children about the effects of tobacco on oral health, engages students with questions and activities, and conducts a pre- and post-survey to gauge what information children take away. At other schools, they attend scheduled health fairs. Children are provided with oral health supplies, including toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.

 

“I realized that people who live in rural areas and of lower socioeconomic status may know little about dental hygiene and less about its importance," Nabeela Rahman, a first-year UK College of Dentistry student and former UKPDS president, said. "At a young age, these children can lose and permanently damage their teeth. Being able to help these children, even slightly, was a very rewarding experience for me. My goal right now would be to become a general dentist in a rural area and spend my spare time volunteering in my community, as well as in underserved countries.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks tooth decay as the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents ages 6 to 19. Kentucky’s children are certainly not immune to this oral health problem. The results of a 2001 Kentucky children’s oral health survey found that 29 percent of third- and sixth-grade students screened had untreated tooth decay and 75 percent had not seen a dentist in more than a year.

 

"Starting a SUAT chapter at the University of Kentucky has made me more aware of the oral health education need of our community,” Layson said. “It has given me the opportunity to see what it's like to plan behind the scenes of outreach programs, and I believe I will be able to use this experience in the future when I become a dentist. My ultimate career goal is to become a general dentist and serve those in underprivileged populations. I plan on applying for the National Health Service Corps to help those who really need it.”

 

“Combining the UK Pre-dental Society (UKPDS) and SUAT chapter was a wonderful opportunity, spearheaded by Ailey Layson and Nabeela Rahman,” Christine Harper, UKCD assistant dean for student affairs, said. “They are two high-energy women who inspire members of the UKPDS/SUAT student organization. The two have helped to expand the organization’s focus from academic interest with occasional outreach activities to a group actively engaged in service and dental education for children. These dental educational outreach activities in the community are a wonderful extension to the strong commitment the UK College of Dentistry has to serve the Commonwealth.”

 

Over the summer, members of the SUAT chapter plan on connecting with potential donors for toothbrushes, as well as local elementary and middle schools to discuss their next round of visits. Harper serves as an adviser to the group, assisting with guest speaker suggestions and sharing best practices in outreach activities. Layson will step into the role of president for UKPDS/SUAT, and Rahman, who has served as president of UKPDS for two years, hopes to continue supporting the group while studying at UKCD. 

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu 

Benham Coal Company Records Available Online

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 10:24

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — Records from Benham Coal Company, one of several Appalachian collections to be digitized by University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded Coal, Camps, and Railroads project, is now available on the digital library ExploreUK.

 

Located on the eastern side of Harlan County, Kentucky, Benham is a coal town developed by the Wisconsin Steel Company, a subsidiary of International Harvester. Beginning in 1910, the city was constructed from rural communities once tied together by subsistence agriculture to provide the raw material to another industrial city where steel was made. Benham was often described as a model coal camp, one with better quality housing with running water and electricity, schools, churches, a hotel, commissary, meat market, theatre, baseball diamonds, a doctor and other amenities supplied by the company.

 

As the demand for coal diminished in the 1940s and 1950s, miners and their families looked elsewhere for work. By the 1970s, Benham‘s continued loss of population corresponded to its dwindling coal production and in 1986, International Harvester left Benham altogether.

 

The Benham Coal Company records are 151 cubic feet and includes 302 boxes dating from 1911-1973, with a focus primarily on the early years of Benham Coal through the 1940s. Included in the collection are office files, employee benefits association records, files on accidents and safety, and photographs.

 

UK Libraries was awarded a NEH grant in 2013 for the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project. More than 130 cubic feet of portions of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, including the Benham Coal Company records, will be selectively digitized, focusing on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields from 1788 to 1976.

 

The materials document the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil and natural gas resources, the creation of railroads to bring these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States, as well as the company towns, their services and the individual lives that grew up to sustain and make possible this economic development.

 

The Sherrill Martin papers, Tacony Oil Company collection and the Kentucky Union Land Company records have also been digitized as part of the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project and are available on ExploreUK. More information on UK Special Collections Research Center’s online Appalachian collections can be found here.

 

UK Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Combs Appalachian collection and ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Grant for UK's Anesthesia Olympics Helps Residents Master Skills

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 15:53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) – When the word 'Olympics' comes to mind, people often associate it with professional athletes who demonstrate their talents and abilities in competition. In the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, anesthesiology residents also demonstrate their skills in a simulation event called the Anesthesia Olympics, a unique program designed to assess and sharpen their skill sets as they further their education.

 

Similar to the Olympics where athletes are measured in seconds, meters and kilograms, residents who participate in the Anesthesia Olympics are evaluated as they move through a series of six work stations where they are asked to demonstrate a skill that is appropriate for their expected level of training. Each station has a simulator patient or a human patient played by an actor, and a faculty mentor who evaluates performance using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to determine strengths as well as areas that need to be further developed. In the spirit of an Olympic competition, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to residents based on performance at each of the stations as well as overall awards for the top three performers.

 

Dr. Robert McLennan, a fourth-year anesthesiology resident, was one of the first to participate in the program. He initially thought the 'Olympics' trivialized the importance of the job; however, he realized he was wrong when he got the opportunity to participate with his colleagues.

 

"This proved to be more than just a legitimate training exercise — it also was a chance to work with multiple faculty and senior residents as they helped lay the foundation for my future training," McLennan said. 

 

Resident physician Dr. Jon Holzberger said the Anesthesia Olympics has been a fun departure from traditional simulations to practice and hone several of their most critical skill sets in an entertaining way.

 

"The fast-paced simulations helped me focus on areas of weakness where I could improve and provided some of the best feedback I've received as a resident. Simulation is becoming a crucial component of medical training, and the Olympics was a very thoughtful method of incorporating many important simulations into a single event. The feedback, prizes and overall experience was extraordinarily well done," Holzberger said.

 

Dr. Brooke Ginter views the Olympics as a fun way to test procedural and communication capabilities on major skill sets without endangering actual patients.

 

"I feel like the Anesthesia Olympics helped me grow as an anesthesiologist. The stations are more difficult each year, so we have to take ownership of our learning to make sure we have built on the basics and are ready to step up to the challenge of more advanced aspects of the practice," Ginter said.

 

The first month of residency is an intense clinical and academic training in the basics of anesthesiology. Dr. Bob Weaver participated in the Anesthesia Olympics as a first-year resident and later at the beginning of his second year.

 

"It was very encouraging to see the progress I had made in one year. Clinical situations, skills, and decisions that a year prior had been very challenging now seemed much less so after a year of experience and education. The event again gave the chance to pause and receive feedback to fine-tune clinical practice, a luxury not always allowed during patient care."

 

The idea for the Anesthesia Olympics was developed by Dr. Annette Rebel, associate professor of anesthesiology, and initiated at UK in 2011. Rebel is also the principal investigator on the study "Anesthesia Resident Skill Development Assessed by Competitive OSCE Event: Anesthesia Olympics."  Rebel's project recently received a $100,000 two-year grant from the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER). The Research in Education Grant (REG) is given to advance the careers and knowledge of anesthesiologists interested in improving the concepts, methods and techniques of education in anesthesiology. Specifically, the REG is focused on developing innovative approaches for anesthesia education.

 

Rebel says that with the transformation of anesthesiology resident education models from a time-based to a competency-based structure, the educational system is challenged to develop valid and helpful techniques to objectively assess resident skills based on their training level. The Anesthesia Olympics grant project is designed to evaluate (1) anesthesiology resident skill progression throughout the continuum of residency, (2) the ability to transfer the simulation and assessment approach to other institutions, and, (3) which Anesthesiology Milestones are best addressed with this approach.

 

The project proposes to replicate the event at three additional institutions (Vanderbilt University, The Ohio State University, and the University of North Carolina) for validation in a larger cohort, to progressively adjust the skill station complexity to study longitudinal growth of resident skills, and to review the value of the event for assessment of both procedural and non-procedural skills. 

 

The past Olympic events have been made possible by a departmental team effort including the support of Chairman Edwin A. Bowe, as well as the anesthesiology faculty work station mentors Dr. Jeremy Dority, Dr. Regina Fragneto, Dr. Dung Nguyen, Dr. Greg Rose and Dr. Randy Schell.

 

"With the FAER grant, we will be able to further develop it to include Olympic events during all four years of anesthesiology residency," said Amy DiLorenzo, education specialist in the Department of Anesthesiology. "The purpose is to make sure that all anesthesiology residents have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of essential skills and get helpful feedback so that they can continually improve and perfect their skills."

 

The next Anesthesia Olympics for new first-year residents will be held at the end of July and for the second-year residents in August. 

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

UK Libraries Honors Outstanding Staff

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 10:51

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) —  University of Kentucky Libraries has honored three of their employees, Marie Dale, Janet Layman and Peggy Phillips, with the Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance. The winners were recognized by UK Libraries Dean Terry Birdwhistell at the Employee Celebration held June 4, at William T. Young Library.

 

The Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance is given to any library classified staff member or temporary employee who demonstrates superior performance and accomplishments toward any given task. The winners show dedication and commitment to carrying out the UK Libraries' mission. Recipients have shown exemplary performance and have completed specific accomplishments that have furthered the university's goals of being an outstanding research library.

 

The recipients of this award must have three or more years of continuous service to UK Libraries and hold an appointment of at least 50 percent on the deadline for nominations.

 

Winners may only receive the award once and have exceptional criteria to live up to as well. Recipients have shown outstanding dedication to UK Libraries and have incomparable relations with colleagues and members of the UK community. The final criteria includes the ability to demonstrate initiative and creativity in the performance of duties and responsibility.

 

Dale serves UK Libraries as an administrative associate in the Special Collections Research Center. Layman works in the Cataloging and Metadata Department. Phillips is the print serials coordinator for the Department of Acquisitions.

 

As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries provides ever-expanding access to quality information resources, services and programs. UK Libraries locations include the William T. Young Library, the Agricultural Information Center, the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, the Education Library, the John A. Morris Library (Gluck Equine Research Center), the Kentucky Transportation Center Library, the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, the Medical Center Library, the Science Library, the Shaver Engineering Library and the Special Collections Research Center.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Tyler Nix Appointed National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 09:39

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — An alumnus of the College of Communication and Information’s Library and Information Science (LIS) graduate program has been chosen as one of the 2015 Associate Fellows at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Tyler Nix (class of 2015) was one of only three selected for an associate fellowship position this year. Nix, who is pursuing a career in health librarianship, was enthusiastic to receive news of his appointment to the position.

 

"As any graduate student will tell you, the job hunt can be overwhelming," Nix said. "The fellowship offers a combination of learning through a formal curriculum program, and leadership development through project-based work. So (my reaction was) it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

 

Nix pursued courses in the Library and Information Science program’s Health Information track during his graduate student tenure. The College of Communication and Information’s Library and Information Science master’s program has been ranked as a top 5 program for health librarianship by U.S. News and World Report.

 

"Health science librarianship works to connect patients, students and care providers with the best health and biomedical information available. A person's concern for their health and the health of their loved ones is universal. At some point, each of us will likely be faced with a health challenge. So there is a sense of relevancy there that is very compelling," he said.

 

Nix took advantage of opportunities offered through the LIS graduate program, and he also pursued practical field experience in health sciences librarianship both on and off campus.

 

"There have been so many opportunities to engage with the field in Lexington," he said, "I learned about health care navigators through a research project with the school and the University of Kentucky Medical Center Library faculty, and from there took courses in consumer health information, the search and evaluation of health science literature, and evidence-based medicine. I was also fortunate to work with the Frontier Nursing University librarians in expanding their institutional repository, with collections ranging from current nursing and nurse-midwifery instructional materials, to doctorate research capstones and historical materials from the Frontier Nursing Service."

 

The associate fellowship position will not be the first professional experience Nix has had with National Library of Medicine. He was one of a handful of student interns chosen to participate at the National Library of Medicine during the Spring 2014 Alternative Spring Break program offered through the School of Library and Information Science.

 

"The Alternative Spring Break program offered me a chance to intern at the NLM for a week in March 2014. We worked on projects and got to know the current associate fellows and meet several NLM staff members. So it was a brief glimpse of the environment at NLM and was very influential in terms of applying for the Associate Fellowship Program. I would recommend applying to Alternative Spring Break to any current library science students who may be considering it," said Nix who is hopeful that this new experience at NLM as an associate fellow will provide meaningful professional development opportunities and help him to plan his career.

 

"My long term plans are still in the making, so this position offers a chance to continue in-depth learning and participate in health science librarianship initiatives while building on the graduate school experience," Nix said. "The NLM is producing content and managing projects that are unique in the field, so I expect that the fellowship experience will strongly help to shape what comes next (for me)."

 

More information on the Associate Fellowship Program may be found at the National Library of Medicine’s website.  For more information on the Library and Information Science master’s program at UK, visit https://ci.uky.edu/lis/mslsonline. The School of Library and Information Science is part of the College of Communication and Information, UK’s official iSchool, part of group of information schools dedicated to advancing the field.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton and Blair Hoover, 859-323-2395; rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Flavonoid Research Shows Promise for Big Things to Come

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2015) —  University of Kentucky researchers may hold the answers for new plant-based pharmaceuticals and environmentally safe paint.

 

Jan Smalle, a scientist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received a four-year $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the mechanics of nanoharvesting plant flavonoids. Flavonoids are a complex collection of plant-made chemicals that have all kinds of functions within plants and also have many potential human health implications.

 

Flavonoids protect plants from sunlight and sunlight damage, help defend against pathogens and are responsible for producing the colors of fruits and flowers.

 

"There has not been definitive research on plant flavonoids that the Food and Drug Administration says makes them proven to help human health, but research has shown there is a direct correlation between people that have a lot of flavonoids in their diets and lower instances of cancer, heart disease, dementia, improved blood circulation and slower aging," said Smalle, an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

 

Interest is increasing among food scientists in using flavonoids to color food instead of the current coloring processes, which often rely on synthesized fossil fuel-derived compounds. Flavonoids also have potential for the paint industry as they could lead to more environmentally friendly paint production and reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.

 

Smalle and fellow UKAg research scientist Jasmina Kurepa developed nanoharvesting, which involves inserting titanium dioxide nanoparticles into a plant. Inside the plant, the nanoparticles bind with flavonoids in cells. Plants then secrete the nanoparticles coated with flavonoids.

 

Until this discovery, conducting research on flavonoids was difficult, as many flavonoid species are unstable and degrade or become modified during the classical isolation procedures. It was also hard for scientists to deliver them to human cells for pharmaceutical research.

 

"We now have an extremely simple way to isolate these compounds," he said. "It has the added advantage that this type of nanoparticle is known to be taken up by human cells. We may now be able use these particles coated with flavonoids directly in drug discovery."

 

These same nanoparticles are also potentially useful for the paint industry. Theoretically, the flavonoid-coated nanoparticles could be placed directly into paint to provide color. An additional benefit is that flavonoids have antimicrobial properties which may help exterior paint last longer. Current exterior paints are often degraded over time by microbes.

 

Using the model plant Arabidopsis, Smalle will look at the plant mechanisms and pathways involved in taking up nanoparticles and then secreting them coated with flavonoids. His research will also explore whether similar pathways exist and are as efficient in other plants, especially agricultural plants that farmers are already able to successfully produce.

 

"Flavonoids in green tea are supposed to help us live longer, but those are different flavonoids than the ones in blueberries that provide us with other health benefits, and those are different from the ones in chocolate," Kurepa said. "So if there is a simple and unified system to get flavonoid-coated nanoparticles from everything, then that’s brilliant."

 

 

 

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

Book on World War II Women Veterans Focus of WUKY's 'UK Perspectives'

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2015) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky. Today, guest host Alan Lytle chats with Jeff and Jeanne Suchanek, authors of "Star Spangled Hearts: American Women Veterans of World War II." The book shines a spotlight on the more than 250,000 American women who volunteered for military service during the war.

 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit http://wuky.org/post/uk-perspectives-meet-authors-star-spangled-hearts-american-women-veterans-world-war-ii.

 

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

 

Morgan County's New Cooperative Extension Service Office

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 13:59

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2015) — Just over three years ago, an EF3-strength tornado ripped through Eastern Kentucky, leaving a path of death destruction. One of the hardest hit communities was West Liberty in Morgan County, which lost pretty much all of its downtown business district, including the Morgan County Cooperative Extension Service office. 

 

Now, Morgan County is making a comeback, which is evident in the opening of a brand new Extension office and education farm. We learn more in this video by Jeff Franklin of UK Ag Communications Services.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jeff Franklin, 859-257-9088; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

 

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