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College of Education Prepares Graduates for Life After UK

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 16:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2016) — Elementary education majors poised to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Education will soon begin the process of finding a teaching position. Several Lexington principals and school leaders recently played a role in helping the students prepare.

 

A seminar was held at Veterans Park Elementary where students learned about the application and interview process from Amy McVey, principal of Veterans Park, and Cindy Godsey, human resources associate director at Fayette County Public Schools.

 

The students then broke into smaller groups to participate in mock interviews with principals who had volunteered their time.

 

"I hope the student teachers gained some insight into what is sometimes a scary and intimidating process," said Jennifer Hutchison, principal of Picadome Elementary. "Hopefully, by asking us questions about the process, we can lessen the anxiety so they can relax and be themselves during the interview process."

 

Hutchison said she looks for a growth mindset, the ability to get along well with others and leadership skills when she interviews candidates.

 

Joni Meade, an elementary education instructor who organized the event, said she hears from principals that the mock interviews are not only beneficial to the UK students, but also to the principals in getting to meet so many new candidates.

 

The seminar was not the students’ first contact with area schools. They spend many hours at various schools during observations, practicums, volunteer opportunities and student-teaching.

 

“Many students visit our school from the College of Education,” Hutchison said. “I feel a responsibility to provide them the opportunity to develop their craft and to demonstrate to them how an effective school operates and good teachers teach. I want them to see what it takes to be a teacher in today’s society. I want the students who leave my school to say ‘that is a place I want to work.’”

 

Several students provided feedback about the applications and interviews seminar:

 

"With our graduation from UK's College of Education fast approaching, it was helpful to be able to talk with local principals and other school officials about what they are looking for in new teachers," Sarah-Kate Vaught said. "They were all very encouraging and were willing to answer any questions we had. I learned several new tips to remember as I begin looking for jobs."

 

Laryssa Oldham said, “I would like to share how helpful today was! The University of Kentucky College of Education gives us all of the tools necessary to thrive and succeed in the field of education. It feels great to have the support from our mentors and the community of the program behind us as we go from student to teacher. I am thrilled to begin my journey after graduation and the interviewing and hiring session gave me the confidence I need to find my place in the district. I am so thankful to be a part of the education program at UK!”

 

“Today was extremely beneficial for all of us who are graduating in the hopes of getting a job for next year,” Rachel Allen said. “It was nice to be able to ask questions to administration from all over the county and practice for a real interview.”

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

Team Race Assured Finished in the Money at Idea State U Finals

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 15:55

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky’s student entrepreneur team Race Assured placed fourth at the Idea State U finals competition this past weekend at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington. The team of Julia Fabiani, an undergraduate in equine science and physiology; Stefanie Pagano, a graduate student in biomedical engineering; and Ben Martin, a graduate student in finance and agricultural economics, received $7,500 for their win in the business plan category.

 

Three additional UK teams that also qualified with wins at regionals competed at finals, which included presenting their business plan or model to a panel of judges, a written proposal, marketing video, display and elevator pitch. The Kentucky Office of Entrepreneurship, part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, oversees Idea State U.

 

The Race Assured team presented a business plan for a blood test, which can potentially predict injuries in horses well before serious problems occur. The team also won the Georgia Bowl intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition hosted by Georgia Tech.

 

UK Venture Challenge winner Caitlin Halliwell, a senior in equine business management and merchandising graduate Allison Burke with Serandu Custom Riding Boots, presented their plan for a customized equestrian boot using 3-D scanning. 

 

Ultimate Angler, including pharmaceutical sciences doctoral candidate Jarrod Williams, and MBA candidates Alan Sparkman and Mike Rudy, is a website to better connect professional fishing guides with their potential clients.

 

Computer engineering sophomores Andrew Dharamsey and Cassady Ritter, who placed second in UK Venture Challenge, presented the Talkables smart pet collar that enables one's pet to communicate with you at strategic places throughout the home.

 

UK’s student entrepreneur teams are mentored and coached through the UK Venture Challenge annual competition and the Venture Studio Bootcamp. Venture Challenge is part of iNET in the College of Communication and Information. Venture Studio Bootcamp is part of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

 

 

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

 

 

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

Goldstein Drafts Editorial on Carotid Artery Screening for JAMA Internal Medicine

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 15:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) – An editorial by University of Kentucky’s Dr. Larry Goldstein concerning the use of screening tests to detect narrowing of the carotid artery was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine last week.

 

With more than 35 years of practice, Goldstein is the chair of the Department of Neurology at the UK College of Medicine and co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute.

 

Practice guidelines developed by professional societies to screen for narrowings in this major artery supplying blood to the brain are intended to summarize the best available evidence for specific questions to support clinical decisions.  However, noted Goldstein, guideline recommendations from different organizations or groups can vary in minor or substantial ways.  

 

"Evidence-based medicine is a linchpin of contemporary clinical practice,” said Goldstein. "However, these disparities among guidelines can lead to considerable uncertainty and variability in clinical practice."

 

According to Goldstein's editorial, screenings for carotid disease are offered in a variety of settings, yet there is no validated proof showing it is useful for identifying those in the general population who do or do not have a clinically important ACAS. There is a high proportion of carotid imaging studies performed for uncertain indications.

 

Goldstein wrote that “[S]creening for a disease or condition is rational only if its identification has a meaningful impact on patient management."  In the case of narrowing of the carotid artery that is not associated with symptoms, the best approach is currently uncertain.   “Specific educational programs, the use of alerts embedded into the electronic health record and audits with feedback, among other interventions, may be helpful in reducing inappropriate testing.” 

 

Knowing the dilemmas that they are now facing, it can be difficult for physicians to understand when it is appropriate to recommend testing.  Issues facing clinicians include:

·       How can inconsistent guidelines be balanced?

·       How are these complicated issues being presented and discussed with patients who look to their clinician for guidance?

·       Should a screening test be performed in the face of equivocal, limited, or conflicting data regarding the intervention that would be considered if the condition was detected?

·       To what degree should the potential for false-positive or false-negative test results and the attendant need for confirmatory testing be factored into the decision?

 

According to Goldstein, "despite the available evidence from randomized trials and practice guidelines, decisions regarding whether to proceed with testing are often a matter of informed opinion."   

 

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

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

 

World Music Concert Transports Audiences From Kentucky to Southeast Asia

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 14:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — Join the University of Kentucky School of Music for an evening of world music and dance from Kentucky, Africa and Southeast Asia at the UK World Music Concert beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

The UK World Music concert always represents music and dance from multiple continents, and this semester’s show follows that tradition!

 

This spring’s concert will open with the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, led by Ellyn Washburne, who will play traditional Appalachian, gospel and folk favorites including “Shuckin’ the Corn” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Next, Endras Tia Fadhilah will perform “Tari Ngarojeng,” an Indonesian dance that is widely performed in the outskirts of Jakarta. Another performance will feature esteemed visiting UK School of Music faculty member Thomas Turino with the Mbira Wildcats, who will play traditional Zimbabwean mbira music. Then, the audience will be transported to China with an erhu duet by Elaine Cook and Elizabeth Yanarella, a guzheng and erhu duet featuring Elaine Cook and Qi Yu, and a guzheng solo by Qi Yu.

 

Randy Raine-Reusch plays a few of the 700 world instruments from his collection.

 

The concert will also feature several visiting performers. Canadian composer and performer Randy Raine-Reusch, who specializes in East and Southeast Asian wind and string instruments, will present demonstration-performances of the Thai khaen and Sarawaian keluri. From Illinois, honored guests Jiaqi Li, Pei-Han Lin and Jui-Ching Wang will play several traditional Chinese pieces on xiao, dizi and piano. Also Northern Illinois University's Northern Wind Trio will feature the throat singing and horse-head fiddle talents of Tamir Hargana, the guitar skills of Zac Economou, and percussionist Aaron Marsala’s artistry on hand pan and didgeridoo.

 

A performance by Northern Wind Trio.

 

The concert will conclude with a rousing fusion finale that will include a number of the artists listed above. Don’t miss this exciting evening of performances from all around the globe!

 

For more information about these events, call 859-257-4912 or email Erin Walker, lecturer of world music, at ewalk@uky.edu.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: April 26, 1912

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 13:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 207th diary entry from April 26, 1912, recalls McClure and her friend Phyllis waiting out a storm in hopes of going to see Tap Day exercises, annual rituals done by senior societies on campus.

 

April 26th. Phyllis and I want to go see Tap Day exercises, but it storms and we come home, after which it storms still worse.

 

 

More on Virginia Clay McClure

 

Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

 

The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

 

Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish. 

 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.

 

The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.

 

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

 

Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.

 

 

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

 

 

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

UK, Department of Education Recognize Female High School Students for Computing Achievements

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 13:25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the University of Kentucky and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) together with the Department of Education's Student Technical Leadership Program (STLP) recognized 13 female high school students for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology. The award ceremony took place Friday, April 22, at Rupp Arena in Lexington. 

 

One high school educator, Patty Stinson from South Warren High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky, was also recognized for her efforts in encouraging her students. 

 

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a program of the NCWIT, a coalition of over 450 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to acknowledge the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related pursuits. Award winners were selected for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing and desire to pursue computing-related studies of occupations.

 

The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program is sponsored nationally by Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Microsoft and Qualcomm with additional support from Google, Intel, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Symantec and Northrop Grumman.

 

The Kentucky area 2016 winners are:

  • Annika Avula, Bowling Green High School
  • Elizabeth Brumfield, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Rachael Buckel, Mercy Academy
  • Hallie Carter, Fulton City High School
  • Allyson Douglas, South Warren High School
  • Nada Kaissieh, Thomas Nelson High School 
  • Eileen Price, Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science
  • Sarah Schwartz, DuPont Manual High School
  • Haleigh Snapp, George Rogers Clark High School
  • Symone Whalin, Larue County High School
  • Daniela Zieba, Sayre School
  • Marissa Kappel, Larue County High School (runner-up)
  • Allanah McBride, Kentucky School for the Deaf (runner-up)

“These awards are very important as they honor high school women for their computing-related achievements," said Sue Scheff, chair of the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative project. "We strive to increase girls’ interest in the STEM fields, especially computer science where in 2012 only 18 percent of computer and information science undergraduate degrees nationally were awarded to women.”

 

UK, STLP and the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing together represent a collaborative effort by dedicated volunteers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.

 

For information on the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative, visit http://kgsc.org

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343; jenny.wells@uky.edu

 

Survive the Night/Roll for the Cure to Benefit Markey Cancer Center

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 13:15

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) – This June, taking your bike for a ride could help save lives.

 

UK HealthCare and the Lexington Cancer Foundation are teaming up to present the Survive the Night Triathlon and the Roll for the Cure on June 17-18. All proceeds from these events will benefit the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, providing funding for patient care, research and more.

 

Survive the Night is a unique overnight triathlon relay created by Markey radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, who is also an avid triathlete himself. Participants will swim, bike and run for a combined 140.7 miles. Participants can choose to compete solo or put together a team of up to 10 people to complete the relay.

 

Roll for the Cure is the Lexington Cancer Foundation's annual bike event to raise awareness and funds for cancer care. Participants can choose the length of their ride: 95, 50, 35, or 10 miles through Kentucky Horse Farms, or a short Family Fun ride around Commonwealth Stadium. The longer rides will include rest stops at Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve.

 

Survive the Night begins Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. beginning at Commonwealth Stadium on the UK campus. Registration is $450 per team through April 30 and $500 per team thereafter until May 30.  

 

Roll for the Cure will also begin at Commonwealth Stadium, starting on Saturday, June 18 with the 95- and 50-mile rides at 8 a.m. The 30- and 10-mile rides will begin at 10 a.m. and the Family Fun ride begins at 11 a.m. Registration for the longer rides is $75 and the Family Fun ride is $10.

 

For more information or to register for Survive the Night or Roll for the Cure, visit lexingtoncancerfoundation.org.

 

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

Double-Lung Transplant Gives Bardstown Woman New Life

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 12:49

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) – After losing four sisters to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Bardstown native Brenda Conder found herself on the same path: breathless, exhausted, and barely able to move around her home.

 

"I couldn't breathe," Conder said. "I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs." 

 

After being diagnosed with COPD in 2008, an oxygen tank became Conder's constant companion. Dragging the tank around kept her blood oxygen levels up and gave her some relief, but it limited her ability to go out and do the things most of us take for granted -- exercising, shopping, even playing with her young grandchildren. At the peak of her disease, she estimates that she would have to stop and take about a dozen breathing treatments a day.

 

"I had no life at all," she said. "I didn't move anywhere without the oxygen."

 

Conder, like many of her generation, began smoking at a very young age. The effects of smoking took her sisters and her father, who passed away from the complications of emphysema.

 

For years, Conder dealt with her COPD, regularly visiting her pulmonologist in Louisville, Dr. Taurif Sayied. Though a double lung transplant was looking more and more like the only solution, Conder was hesitant because one of her sisters had undergone the procedure but didn't survive the surgery itself.

 

It wasn't until she came down with crippling pneumonia twice in less than a year that she decided to broach the possibility of a transplant with Sayied, who then referred her to the University of Kentucky Transplant Center. Conder was evaluated by Dr. Maher Baz, medical director of the lung transplantation program at UK.

 

But before she could be listed for a lung transplant, Conder faced one major task: to quit smoking.

 

"She was an ideal candidate once she quit smoking," Baz said. "She's a very positive lady with high morale."

 

Sixty-one years old at the time of referral, Conder had been smoking for more than 50 years – a lifelong addiction tough to break. She had tried unsuccessfully several times in the past, using the smoking cessation drug Chantix for nearly five years, but knew she needed to make the commitment stick this time. Now motivated by the possibility of eliminating her disease, she gradually tapered her cigarette consumption until she was completely smoke-free.

 

"It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," she said.

 

Nearly a year after quitting cigarettes, Conder was officially listed for transplant at UK. Over the next month and a half, she received the call for potential lungs four different times, but all fell through for various reasons. But when she got the fifth call – on Friday, Nov. 13 no less – she was ready and optimistic.

 

"I had a good feeling," she said. "I just knew these lungs were it."

 

Her instincts were correct: the lungs were a match and viable, and UK cardiothoracic transplant surgeon Dr. Alexis Shafii performed a successful double-lung surgery on Conder.

 

"When I woke up, I knew I had a new life," Conder said.

 

Her ability to breathe immediately improved. Conder says she thinks about her organ donor's sacrifice every day, and was overwhelmed with the magnitude of the gift she had received right after receiving the lungs.

 

"I think I cried the entire day after the surgery," she said. "Not for me, but for the donor family."

 

Conder's husband, Roger, has been by her side throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and the surgery. Expressing gratitude for such a monumental gift is difficult if not impossible, he says.

 

"I mean, what can you possibly say?" he said. "What can you say to thank someone for this gift?"

 

Conder got the all-clear to go home in mid-December, just in time for the holidays. These days, she's living her life to the fullest, filled with more energy than she's had in a long time. She attends pulmonary rehab in Elizabethtown several days a week, using the trip as an excuse to go out to eat lunch, shop, and so many other things she wasn't able to do before.

 

But perhaps most importantly, she gets to spend quality time with her grandchildren, even coming outside to participate in a snowball fight with her youngest back in January -- a task made impossible by her disease prior to transplant.

 

"I feel great," Conder said. "So far, this is the best life I've had in 15 years."

 

***

Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.

 

To join the registry, visit www.donatelifeky.org or sign up when you renew your driver’s license.  The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested. 

 

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

 

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

Students Create Murals For New Residence Halls

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 11:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — Six University of Kentucky students were recently selected by a panel of judges from the UK College of Design, UK School of Interiors and UK Housing to have their artwork featured in new campus residence halls located at the corner of S. Limestone and Euclid Avenue. Students were given specific colors and themes and instructed to submit one of more designs to be judged.

 

The winning designs were created by six architecture and interiors students in the UK College of Design. Those winning designers are:

  • Lucas Brown, an interiors senior from Ashland, Kentucky, who created a design for Limestone Park II;
  • Lauren Delventhal, an architecture junior from Lexington, who created a design for Limestone Park I;
  • Cara Kruse, an interiors sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who created a design for Limestone Park I;
  • Felicia Perkins, an architecture junior from Owen County, Kentucky, who created a design for Limestone Park I;
  • Thomas Ramirez, an architecture junior from Moreno Valley, California, who created a design for Limestone Park II; and
  • Mallory Stein, an interiors junior from Edgewood, Kentucky, who created a design for Limestone Park I.

The student designers were excited to get a chance to leave their own mark on the university, and they welcomed the opportunity to compete. "I thought it would be a great way to add student artwork to the university. I also thought it would be a great opportunity because I have never submitted my artwork to a competition before," Cara Kruse said.

 

Lucas Brown is an old hat at the competition. This will be the third mural by the graphic designer selected to adorn a UK wall. His newest mural design has UK in the center of various colored shapes and is meant to reflect the campus life and student spirit found at UK.

 

"To me, those things involve excitement, diversity, fun and change, which are all elements I tried to evoke within my mural while keeping UK the main focus of the design," Brown said. "The shapes are meant to seem as if they are moving, and the colors and variation of shapes symbolize diversity and excitement."

 

Lauren Delventhal's mural concept is also centered around the sense of school spirit on campus. Delventhal uses cheerleaders in her image to display this spirit and to show support of the university, but she hopes viewers interpret the cheerleaders in her image in a broader sense that includes all members of the campus community and even Big Blue Nation.

 

"From growing up in Lexington, I was already familiar with the Big Blue Nation's spirit. It was like a buzz of excitement you could feel throughout the city. When I came to campus, that buzz was even more evident," Delventhal said. "I think many students would agree that this encouragement does not only occur on the sidelines of sporting events, but is also felt from professors, staff and students here at UK. I want people to look at this image and feel like they can get through their next tough exam or hard project because they have the Big Blue Nation behind them cheering them on."

 

To make Cara Kruse's mural something that people would remember, she decided to make a simple and bold image that had a clear message. Kruse wanted her work to represent Kentucky and the culture of the state and she chose to create an abstract image of horse racing. Her piece also includes UK signage with the words "see blue. In everything we do."

 

"I started by thinking about things that reminded me of Kentucky as a state and also things that I had experienced as a student at the University of Kentucky. The first thing that came to mind was horse racing and the culture that it brings to the state," Kruse said. "I found an iconic image of American Pharaoh racing and decided that is what I would use as inspiration for my mural. I decided to create an abstract image that made the image timeless because it could represent any era of horse racing."

 

Felicia Perkins chose to depict the university's beloved Wildcat in a new way in her mural as a nod to the evolution of the university and its iconic imagery.

 

"With UK's current rebranding I wanted to create something that combined aspects of UK's old identity with the CMYK theme that we were given. The Wildcat has always been UK's iconic mascot and its representation is ever changing so I chose this to be the focal point of my mural," Perkins said.

 

Thomas Ramirez selected a visual image related to campus that is also recognizable to all members of the UK community. His work depicts the university's two towering residence halls. He hopes his work will help viewers imagine things in a new and fun way.

 

"The mural is an homage to the Kirwan and Blanding towers on campus. It takes the existing dorms and introduces a new arrangement of forms to change the scale and appearance of the buildings. To me, it makes me think of a big jungle gym," Ramirez said.

 

Like Perkins and Ramirez, Mallory Stein also picked an image specific to campus life at UK. Her mural depicts an early evening spent watching the Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium with an image of the field, the stands and Jumbotron from one of the endzones.

 

All the designers were thrilled to have the opportunity to have their work featured on campus and be part of this year's competition. "It's an honor to have new incoming students to see my work and appreciate UK's efforts to create fun and creative spaces for them," Brown said.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398, blair.hoover@uky.edu; or Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716, whitney.hale@uky.edu 

Campus Recreation to Host Faculty, Staff Golf Scramble

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 09:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016) — University of Kentucky Campus Recreation will host a faculty and staff golf scramble Thursday, May 26, at the University Club of Kentucky on the Wildcat Course. The scramble will begin at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start.

 

Entries to participate in the scramble are due by 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in room 177 at the Johnson Center. The cost to participate is $200 per team ($50 per person). Entry fees include cart, green fees and range balls. Each participating team must have at least two UK faculty or staff members. A meal will be provided at the conclusion of the round.

 

Prizes will be awarded to a participant with the longest drive as well as closest shot to the pin. Winners will receive plaques with their team’s picture.

 

For more information, contact Ron Lee at 859-257-3928 or relee1@uky.edu.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398; blair.hoover@uky.edu

UK Secular Student Alliance to Hold Public Forum on Islam

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 09:18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2016)  From 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in Memorial Hall, the University of Kentucky Secular Student Alliance will be hosting a public forum on the topic of Islam.

 

A student panel consisting of Muslim and nonreligious students will discuss topics related to secular views on Islam, the place of Islam in the modern world, and the American Muslim experience. Among the topics of discussion will be: treatment of women in Islam, Jihad and martyrdom, and treatment of non-Muslims.

 

Featured speakers include Ryan Hidalgo, president of the Secular Student Alliance and 2015 international studies graduate; Tom Maigret, member of Secular Student Alliance and doctoral student in biology; and Hina Iqbal, member of the Muslim Student Association. A Q&A session will follow and the event is free and open to the public.

 

For more information, log on to http://ukyssa.com/conversation-about-islam/.

 

The Secular Student Alliance empowers secular students to proudly express their identity, build welcoming communities, promote secular values and set a course for lifelong activism.

The organization envisions a future in which secular students lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, thrive as valued members of society and provide visionary leadership committed to humanistic ideals and critical inquiry.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, katy.bennett@uky.edu or rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

Public Health Dean Delivers Keynote on New Era of Precision Medicine During CCTS Conference

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 16:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — Donna Arnett, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, outlined implications for researchers as the nation’s health care system pivots toward precision medicine during the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) 11th annual conference on April 21, 2016.

 

Arnett, a genetic epidemiologist who joined the UK College of Public Health as dean in January 2016, discussed the task of bringing precision medicine to fruition in Kentucky’s populations during her keynote address, “Personalized Medicine and Population Health.” Arnett defined precision medicine as an individualized approach to disease treatment and prevention that attempts to “maximize effectiveness by accounting genetic makeup, lifestyle factors and environment.”

 

President Barack Obama’s Precision Health Initiative launched in 2015 with a mission to tailor health care to an individual’s distinctive genetic and personal characteristics. A related concept, personalized medicine — the theme of the CCTS conference — refers to examining the signs, symptoms, available evidence, and patient experience and preferences to guide medical decision-making.

 

In addition to explaining the origins and premise of the precision medicine movement, Arnett addressed the advantages and challenges associated with implementing precision medicine across populations, with a particular emphasis on what the new age of precision health means for Kentucky’s high-risk populations. Using the breakthrough testing for the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 breast cancer gene as an example, Arnett illustrated several barriers to expanding human genome studies to the general public. The magnitude of variation in the human genome makes mapping and translating genetic information a consuming task, and medical practitioners are expected to translate this information for clinical care.

 

In achieving the goals of precision medicine, Arnett implored health researchers and practitioners to integrate innovative resources, such as merging genome-sequencing tools with electronic health record systems. Showing the advantages of precision medicine from a public health standpoint, Arnett provided evidence that public health interventions informed by precision medicine could result in favorable changes in the distribution of disease within populations.

 

In Kentucky’s population, which experiences higher national averages for most major chronic illnesses, implementing precision medicine will involve number of considerations, including gaining public support, linking data within health care institutions, accuracy in producing data, methodological and ethical problems, assessment of the socioeconomic costs and benefits, and clear direction regarding the clinical utility of genomic information. Arnett suggested researchers can gain understanding of how to integrate all these factors in health-disparate regions of Kentucky.

 

“How do we move forward with precision medicine while we tackle health problems that already exist in Kentucky?” Arnett said. “We have terrible risk factors, we have huge health problems we need to address, and while I am thrilled about the science of precision medicine, we have to recognize the health issues that currently have a tremendous impact our state – and we have to continue our focus on traditional approaches to managing those risks.”

 

The CCTS conference drew a record number of nearly 1,000 researchers and students in the health sciences, with research represented from the College of Health Sciences, the College of Public Health, the College of Nursing, the College of Medicine, the College of Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Engineering.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

UK College of Education Teaches Young Students That College Can Be Fun

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 16:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — It’s not in the least unusual to see large groups of young people walking across the University of Kentucky campus. What does make some in the campus community pause and give certain groups a second look — even a smile — is that some of those young people are far, far shorter and younger than the norm.

 

On a regular basis, especially during the warmer months of the academic year, scores of small and large groups of schoolchildren — obviously of elementary, middle or high school age — make extended visits to campus, escorted by their teachers and hosted by the UK College of Education. Although there’s always a small element of fun and excitement associated with a school outing to a “grown up” campus, most of the young Kentucky citizens leave with new knowledge, new experiences and new enlightenments.

 

“College just doesn’t intimidate me anymore,” said 16-year-old Desmond Bernard, a wide receiver for the Bryan Station High School football team who spends more than 20 hours each week in UK classrooms and labs, as an intern and part-time student. “The exposure and networking have changed my life. I’m already set up academically for college.”

 

Indeed, he is. Bernard already has several hours of college credit. He has learned to speak Chinese, and through his association with the UK Confucius Institute has visited China.

 

Bernard’s friend, Isaiah McCall, also 16 and also banking college credit, is an intern for the College of Education, earning experience in graphic design and statistics.

 

“I feel like I’m getting a head start on life. I’m focusing on career readiness, and I feel that with these opportunities I can hit the ground running. I’m learning habits of the mind, and it makes you grow up fast and responsibly.”    

 

Bernard and McCall were attending an introductory biodynamics lecture by Mike Pohl, assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, with 30 Lexington STEAM Academy freshmen. The visit was arranged by the College of Education in recognition of National Biomechanics Day earlier this month. The STEAM Academy group went on to visit interactive demonstrations of bioengineering in the College of Health Sciences Musculoskeletal Laboratory directed by Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences Tim Uhl and then on to a demonstrative lecture by Babak Bazrgari, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the biomechanics lab of the College of Engineering’s Center for Biomedical Engineering.

 

Later, enjoying lunch in The 90 with his classmates, John Deangelo said, “You cant do things like this on a normal field trip. This was really neat!”

 

Jenna Strange added, “I liked the running demonstration (in Pohl’s lab). It’s something I can relate to because I run myself, and we can all relate to it because science like this is something we all want to do in the future.”

 

“I liked it because it opened our eyes to the different stuff we can do within science. It’s not just one big category,” Walid Mbaya said.

 

Two students, Michael Pennington and Xavier Brown, said the experience made them want to pursue their academic careers here at UK.

 

“This trip made me want to become an athletic trainer and study here at UK,” Brown said.

 

 

See another recent field trip to campus last fall by Clay County students participating in a UK study. 

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing.

 

 

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

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302, gail.hairston@uky.edu

 

 

 

UK Venture Studio Previews 2016 Bootcamp

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 15:58

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 26, 2016) — University of Kentucky students, faculty, staff and community entrepreneurs are invited to mark your calendars and save the hour of 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, free for a special event. Due to the success of the first pilot program of the UK Venture Studio's Entrepreneurs Bootcamp last year, the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship is ramping up for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

 

Attendees at the free event will be able to get a first look at next year's Bootcamp Program, and also bring your ideas to share. In addition, successful bootcamp teams from the fall of 2015 will be showcased.

 

Those with ideas for fall 2016 projects are encouraged to attend and organizers also looking to recruit additional students and faculty into the program.

 

Pizza and drinks will be provided during the session. Interested individuals should click here to reserve spot. Seating in the Venture Studio, located in room 124 of the new Gatton College of Business and Economics building, is limited to 50 people.

 

For more information, please call 859-218-6557 or email mariamgorjian@uky.edu.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; carl.nathe@uky.edu.

UK Law's Connelly is 2016 Lyons Award Recipient

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 15:37

LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 25, 2016) — Allison Connelly, the James and Mary T. Lassiter Clinical Professor in the College of Law and founding director of the University of Kentucky College of Law Legal Clinic, is the 2016 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award, co-sponsored by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The annual honor is given to one person in recognition of a long record of outstanding service to UK, the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

The award is named for the late "Bill" Lyons, a professor of political science and public administration, who during his much-admired tenure at UK served as director of the Martin School and chaired the political science department.

 

Connelly is also the college's first assistant, associate and full clinical professor. Before joining the school's faculty on a full-time basis, Connelly served as an adjunct instructor and professor from 1986 through 1996.

 

Now in her 20th year as the founding director of the Kentucky Mock Trial Championship, Connelly also serves as the Law Trial Advocacy Board's faculty advisor and national team coach. UK's mock trial teams have been nationally ranked in 11 of the past 16 years.

 

In a letter to the committee nominating Connelly for the honor, Lisa Fenner wrote, "Allison embodies what this award is all about: career accomplishments, service to the university, the community and the state of Kentucky."

 

Fenner added, "Professor Connelly prides herself on having never charged one dime for her legal work. She represented indigent clients in criminal cases, and now oversees approximately 15 students per semester in their representation of low income individuals in civil cases."

 

Connelly earned her bachelor's degree in political science from UK in 1980 and her juris doctor from the UK College of Law in 1983.

 

Prior to joining the law school on a full-time basis in 1997, she spent 13 years as a state public defender providing direct representation, including death penalty representation, to needy individuals at all levels of the criminal justice system. She rose through the ranks to become the only woman ever named as Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the head of Kentucky's statewide public defender system. Professor Connelly has numerous published appellate decisions to her credit.


Connelly teaches litigation skills, criminal procedure, criminal trial process and legal writing, and is the director of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity (KLEO) Summer Institute. She has received numerous awards for teaching and public service including the Kentucky Bar Association’s 2015 Donated Legal Services Award, the 2011 Kentucky Bar Association’s Service to Young Lawyers Award, the 2011 NAACP Empowerment Award and the 2009 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award.

 

Merl Hackbart, longtime UK professor and interim director of the Martin School said, "Allison is a sterling example of a lawyer/professor who loves the law, her students, the community and the university. She believes a well-prepared legal advocate can force the legal system to work for all people. Her impact on students goes far beyond the subject matter of the courses she teaches and the presentations she makes."

 

Connelly will receive her award during a ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, on the 18th floor of the Patterson Office Tower. A reception will follow. All are cordially invited to attend.

 

Lyons, the award's namesake, died in 1994. He is credited with crafting the charter which created a merged government for Lexington and Fayette County in the early 1970s. The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) is now well into its sixth decade of existence.

 

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit  uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; carl.nathe@uky.edu.

UK Junior Corrine Elliott Named Goldwater Scholar

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 10:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that junior Corrine Faye Elliott, of Lexington, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Elliott is among 252 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,150 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

 

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by Congress to honor the former Arizona U.S. senator who served the nation for 30 years. The scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed 7,680 scholarships worth approximately $48 million.

 

The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

 

The daughter of Kathleen Elliott and D. Stephen Voss, of Lexington, Elliott is currently majoring in mathematics and chemistry at UK.

 

"From a very young age, I was fascinated by the logic and beauty inherent to mathematics; I never questioned adopting it as my field of specialization. My studies in chemistry came as a bit more of a surprise, arising largely from enjoyment of the research in organic chemistry that I undertook in my junior year of high school and never abandoned," Elliott said.

 

Elliott's passion for chemistry and math has been encouraged by family and educators alike. "I grew up in a family headed by two teachers who created an educational environment at home — plus my older brother, Gareth Voss, was a motivated student — so I had a great head start for pursuing a life of the mind. Another big step was enrolling in a high school STEM magnet program at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, which allowed me to delve deeply into mathematics and encouraged me to begin conducting scientific research. The third major event is being accepted to work in Susan Odom's organic chemistry research laboratory at the University of Kentucky."

 

During her high school years, Elliott's research with the Odom Group focused on the synthesis and characterization of organic molecules for use as redox shuttles in lithium-ion batteries, and later on battery fabrication and analysis. And it was Odom who encouraged Elliott to pursue her more recent research that brings together her studies in her two majors in the field known as computational chemistry.

 

"Dr. Odom has invested a great deal of time and energy in supporting my research and my education more generally. She is a fantastic mentor, simultaneously guiding me and allowing me the freedom to conduct the research I care about, most notably by encouraging my initial forays into computational chemistry so that I could build a bridge between my internship and my scholarly interests."

 

Elliott also is grateful for the guidance and assistance of two other mentors at UK, her advisor Grzegorz Wasilkowski, professor of computer science, and Chad Risko, assistant professor of chemistry.

 

This summer, the Goldwater Scholar will pursue yet another research experience with funding from a fellowship from the Organic Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

 

In addition to finishing up her bachelor's degrees in chemistry and mathematics next May, Elliott is currently applying to the University Scholars Program at UK with the goal of attaining a five-year master's degree in statistics from the institution.

 

UK students interested in the Goldwater Scholarship may apply through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

 

 

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

 

 

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

UK Researchers Awarded NSF Grant to Develop New Imaging and Data Collection Platform

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 10:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — A new instrument to be developed by University of Kentucky researchers will overcome current limitations in fluorescence microscopy and could accelerate basic scientific discoveries. The multimodal and cost-effective imaging and data collection platform is being funded by a three-year, $589,250 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program.

 

Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) have become essential tools to understand biochemical and cellular processes. But these tools are limited — they are often highly labor intensive and thus have been primarily restricted to single sample analysis followed by costly manual data processing. 

 

UK Department of Chemistry Assistant Professors Jason DeRouchey and Chris Richards, as well as UK Department of Computer Science Professor Ruigang Yang, will  develop high throughput versions of both techniques under a single platform, giving researchers the ability to simultaneously scan multiple samples. 

 

"Our instrument will be the first-of-its-kind; currently, there are no instruments capable of performing high throughput TIRF and only a few custom instruments capable of high throughput FCS," DeRouchey said.

 

DeRouchey noted the new instrument could also have direct applications in phenotypic screening and lead to entirely new methods for high throughput screening in vivo and in vitro

 

DeRouchey and Richards will use their expertise in single molecule spectroscopy to develop the hardware for the instrument while Yang will develop an open source data analysis platform, Open Fluorescence Spectroscopy (OpenFS), made freely available online. OpenFS will provide an alternative to costly and proprietary imaging software often tied to a particular device.

 

"Currently in single molecule fluorescence, one of the greatest barriers to more users applying these methods is not the instrumentation (many people have access to confocal microscopes), but rather understanding how to treat the data collected," DeRouchey said.

 

While some analysis packages are currently available, the UK team aims to be the first to create a modular, cost-free software package that can integrate both instrument control components and data analysis software. Working with the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, the team plans to host the software package in an interactive forum where users can pick and choose modules developed by the UK team for a range of applications, as well as upload their own modules to share with the community.

 

"Our hope is that OpenFS can therefore compete or replace the fragmented and often proprietary analysis software currently available," DeRouchey said.

 

Research enabled by this project will span the disciplines of chemistry, physics, molecular biology and engineering to answer fundamental questions in biology. The multidisciplinary nature of the project will also create unique training and educational opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers at UK.

 

 

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

 

 

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

UK Researchers One Step Closer to Understanding Regeneration in Mammals

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 09:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) — A long-standing question in biology is why humans have poor regenerative ability compared to other vertebrates? While tissue injury normally causes us to produce scar tissue, why can't we regenerate an entire digit or piece of skin? A group of University of Kentucky researchers is one step closer to answering these questions after studying a unique mammal, and its ears.

 

The team's new findings come on the heels of UK Assistant Professor of Biology Ashley Seifert's landmark discovery in 2012 that two species of African spiny mice found in Kenya could regenerate damaged skin. The group built on this work to show that a third species of spiny mouse, Acomys cahirinus, could completely close four millimeter ear holes and regenerate the missing tissue. Their recent work examined repair of ear holes across a number of different mammals and revealed that regeneration appears to be a unique trait.

 

While three species of wild African spiny mice and New Zealand white rabbits were capable of regenerating ear tissue, outbred laboratory mice and inbred strains such as the MRL (Murphy Roths Large) healer mice failed to do so and instead healed the wounds by scarring.

 

"First we need to understand how mammalian regeneration works in a natural setting, then comes the potential to create therapeutic treatments for humans," said Thomas Gawriluk, postdoctoral scholar and co-lead author of the study.

 

This new study suggests that genetic factors underlie variation in regenerative ability. Unlike many previous assumptions that there is a magic bullet for regeneration, like the presence of a specific gene, the group’s comprehensive genetic analysis shows that it is a complex trait. Importantly, cellular and molecular analysis by Seifert’s group has now demonstrated that spiny mice regenerate ear tissue by forming a blastema. Methodical demonstration of a blastema was important to place spiny mice in the context of regeneration in other vertebrates.

 

"These findings show that tissue regeneration in African spiny mice is similar to that described for other vertebrate regenerators like salamanders and zebrafish, giving us a powerful framework to understand mammalian regeneration," Seifert said.

 

Rigorous examination of this mammalian model is the first stage in figuring out molecular mechanisms that govern regenerative processes, which could have a significant impact on regenerative medicine for humans. Many regeneration biologists believe that inducing a blastema in humans would be a major step towards stimulating tissue regeneration.

 

"The regenerative healing response of the spiny mouse is truly remarkable and Dr. Seifert’s new work provides clear evidence that regenerative capabilities have evolved among rodents," said Ken Muneoka, professor at Texas A&M University and a pioneer in the field of regeneration. "The spiny mouse represents one of only a handful of regeneration models in mammals that can be used to uncover basic strategies to enhance the regenerative capacity of humans."

 

Seifert, along with Gawriluk and postdoctoral scholar Jennifer Simkin; Assistant Professor of Statistics Katherine Thompson; Assistant Professor of Biology Jeremiah Smith; and doctoral student Shishir Biswas, are all co-authors on the study published in Nature Communications. Collaborators at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and University of Georgia are also co-authors on the current study.

 

 

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

 

 

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

Students Partner With Arboretum to Promote Arbor Day, Earth Day Creatively

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 22:09

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) — Students enrolled in "A-E 120: Pathways to Creativity," one of the University of Kentucky Core courses, are collaborating with The Arboretum for Earth Day and Arbor Day on their final project.

 

The UK students, from a myriad of campus majors outside the arts, broke into teams of five to work together to create banners 6 feet tall x 18 inches wide that visually communicate about the various areas of The Arboretum — the Children’s Garden, the Home Demonstration and Walk Across Kentucky.

 

The banners were installed April 20-21, just in time for the observance of Earth Day today. The pieces of art will remain up through National Arbor Day, April 29, and the following day's Arbor Day event at The Arboretum. This year marks the 25th celebration of Arbor Day at The Arboretum and the theme is  "Celebrating the Past, PLANting the Future." Festivities will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 30.

 

As a part of their intellectual inquiry through the Core curriculum, every UK student is required to complete coursework in the area of arts and creativity. “Creativity adds to the vitality and relevance of learning and will translate into graduates who are better prepared to face the challenges of a dynamic society.” (UK CORE Curriculum, 2010).

 

UK Core is the university's general education program, containing a set of requirements that must be completed by students of all majors in order to graduate. These requirements are focused on critical thinking, writing, reasoning, ethics and global understanding, which faculty of the university feel are essential for students to compete in the global marketplace.

 

The "Pathways to Creativity" course is focused on expanding student creativity and aims to prepare students for a range of disciplines. This semester's courses were led by UK School of Art and Visual Studies faculty members Beth Ettensohn and Marty Henton and art education graduate assistant Olivia Lussi.

 

The Arboretum was created in 1991 as a joint effort between UK and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The mission of The Arboretum is to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research and conservation.

 

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 studioart history and art education.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Nearly 1,000 Attend UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science Conference

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 17:00

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2016) – The 11th Annual Spring Conference of the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) drew nearly 1,000 researchers, students, community members and institutional partners to the Lexington Convention Center on Thursday, April 21.

 

Personalized health was a focus of the multidisciplinary conference, which was held in conjunction with several college and center-specific programs including the College of Dentistry Research Day, College of Engineering Biomedical Research Day​, College of Health Sciences Research Day​, College of Nursing Scholarship Showcase, College of Public Health Research Day, 31st Annual BGSFN Spring Neuroscience Research Day, and the 34th Annual Symposium in Women’s Health and Reproductive Science.

 

The UK CCTS is federally funded by the National Institutes of Health to accelerate the translation of discoveries into tangible improvements in health, particularly in Kentucky and Appalachia. Through the support from a Clinical and Translational Science Award, the Center fosters innovative team science and community-engaged research across multiple campuses and states. 

 

The annual conference presents an opportunity for the UK community and institutional partners to share research, enhance collaborations, and mentor the upcoming generation of clinical and translational researchers. With the scope and expertise of a national research conference, the event offers the unique convenience of being free and within walking distance of UK's campus.

 

This year's conference focused on personalized health, an emerging field that combines genetics, genomics, and biologic and lifestyle information to help predict risk for disease or how a patient will respond to treatments. In 2015, President Obama infused significant investment into personalized health research through the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

 

Dr. Philip A. Kern, director of the CCTS, says that the scientific and medical communities are making advances in prevention and treatments that are tailored to each individual’s body and situation.

 

“With the sequencing of the human genome and better understanding of epigenetic and other influences, there is now great recognition that many diseases are influenced by individual differences,” Kern said. “It’s easy to see on the horizon that medical care can be better tailored to each person.”

 

The conference featured an array of expert speakers, including three faculty members who have recently joined UK’s research and academic leadership and together bring a dynamic charge to the institution’s public and personalized health capabilities. Donna Arnett, Ph.D., who joined UK as the dean of the College of Public Health in January 2016, gave the keynote address, exploring the intersection of public health and personalized medicine.

 

She said that the development of personalized health technology is outpacing our clinical evidence base, and that rapidly expanding consumer and business aspects, including companies like 23andMe that provide genetic testing and analysis, will likely push the field faster than experts initially envisioned.

 

“I think where it has the most immediate potential is in undiagnosed diseases or diseases caused by serious mutations, like cystic fibrosis, but that’s going to affect a very small number of individuals,” she said. “I do think it will help us in identifying treatments for which there’s a high failure rate, like cancer treatments, and finding new pathways for both drug treatments and prevention.”

 

Arnett is particularly interested in how to integrate powerful capabilities of precision medicine and personalized health with the ongoing need for disease prevention at a population health level.

 

“We need to strike the right balance between how much we invest in these new technologies and how much we invest in addressing the scourge of diseases that are best prevented through lifestyle interventions,” she said.

 

The conference's morning plenary session featured Dr. Robert S. DiPoala, who joined UK as the dean of the College of Medicine in March 2016, and conference chair GQ Zhang, Ph.D., who joined UK in August 2015 as the inaugural director of the new Institute for Biomedical Informatics and co-director of the CCTS biomedical informatics core. Samden Lhatoo, MD, chair of neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, also gave a presentation about personalizing big data for brain research.

 

"The increasing pace of scientific discovery and new diagnostics is providing opportunities for clinical research to be more targeted and precise, with the potential to have greater impact for patients and our community,” DiPaola said.

 

Zhang noted the essential nature of biomedical informatics in the development and utilization of personalized approaches to health.

 

“The way to enable this approach is through personalized information, to know what is specific about each person – their medical history, behavior, environment, family genetics, all of which come into play. Collecting that information, making it available in the context of health care, and monitoring wellbeing is how we can make advances. Biomedical informatics is an indispensable part of it, and initiatives like the PMI put it into the national spotlight,” Zhang said.

 

The conference also featured sessions on patient empowerment, informatics tools for clinical research, and community health projects funded by the Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky (CLIK). CLIK, jointly sponsored by the CCTS, the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health, is an intensive leadership development program that enhances research and capacity-building competencies in community leaders.

 

More than 300 researchers and students also gave poster presentations and received feedback and mentoring from expert faculty.  The annual conference is a key opportunity for training and supporting the upcoming generation of clinical and translational scientists, which is a primary focus of the CCTS.

 

As part of that aim, the CCTS recognizes outstanding mentors at each annual conference.  2016 mentor award recipients included:

  • Ann Coker, Ph.D., MPH, professor in the UK College of Public Health Department of Epidemiology and Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women
  • Robin Cooper, Ph.D., RN, associate professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences department of biology
  • Mark Dignan, Ph.D., MPH, professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Philip A. Kern, professor of internal medicine, director of the CCTS, and associate provost for Clinical and Translational Science
  • Carl Leukefeld, DSW, professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Behavioral Sciences
  • Joseph C. Stemple, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, FASHA-H, professor in the UK College of Health Sciences Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

“This is a critically important event to promote team and interdisciplinary sciences. We’re bringing together people from all of our health colleges to interact and facilitate team science across campus,” Kern said.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, Mallory.powell@uky.edu  

 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit uky.edu/uk4ky. #uky4ky #seeblue

 

 

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