UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Selected for Major Clinical Trial of Drug to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 14:51


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2014) -- The University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is participating in a landmark multi-center clinical trial of an experimental drug that has the potential to prevent Alzheimer's disease (AD).


The A4 Study will recruit 1,000 participants ages 65-85 to test an amyloid antibody that may prevent memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid is a protein normally produced in the brain that can build up in older people, forming plaque deposits in the brain. Scientists believe this buildup of deposits may play a key role in the eventual development of Alzheimer's.


Sanders-Brown is the only center in Kentucky and the only center within 200 miles of Lexington participating in the study.


Dr. Gregory Jicha of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is enthusiastic about the impact this study might have for the 35 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease worldwide.


"As the baby boomer generation ages, the incidence of Alzheimer's and other age-related dementias will grow exponentially," Jicha said. "As of today, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, so any opportunity to slow the progression of symptoms by intervening early in the disease process is important."


Since previous studies have demonstrated that changes in the brain occur many years before a person shows the signs of Alzheimer's disease-related dementia, researchers have targeted the amyloid plaques that accumulate in the aging brain as a means of identifying people at risk for developing AD and intervening before the onset of the earliest signs of memory loss.


A4 participant candidates will undergo a series of tests to determine their eligibility, including an imaging test called a PET scan to determine whether they do in fact have evidence of amyloid plaque buildup. This in itself is an interesting conundrum, said Jicha.


"Amyloid plaques don't guarantee that a person will develop Alzheimer's, but there seems to be a strong link between the two," said Jicha. "So using PET imaging to determine the buildup of amyloid plaques is similar to being tested for the BRCA1 gene for breast cancer: they help us determine who is at a higher risk for developing the disease in question."


Therefore, explains Jicha, patients who are identified by PET scan as at risk for Alzheimer's disease but aren't yet experiencing memory problems will now be able to explore their options for prevention and/or treatment.


Jicha notes that the A4 study is just one of many Alzheimer's-related clinical trials being conducted at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.


"We have clinical trials that target the entire continuum for Alzheimer's disease, from prevention to treatment,"  Jicha said. "But we'll never be able to answer the crucial question: 'Does this work?' If we can't enroll enough people for the research."


The University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979 and is one of the original ten National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s disease Research Centers. The SBCoA is internationally acclaimed for its progress in the fight against illnesses facing the aging population.


For more information about the importance of volunteering for clinical trials, go to


For more information on participation in the clinical trials underway at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, contact Sarah Tarrant at 859-323-1331.


Maserati Mingle at Courthouse Square Set for June 20

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 14:36


Lexington, June, 20, 2014 -- Keeneland Concours d’Elegance will host a Maserati Mingle

5:30 p.m.-­ 9.p.m., June 20, 2014, at the Court House Square, 120 and 150 N. Limestone, in Lexington. 


Sponsored by Maserati of Cincinnati, event admission is free to the public and will feature a variety of exotic automobiles, including vintage models from Maserati, Ferrari, and Porsche. Food and beverages will be available on site and there will be a featured display of artwork from invited Concours artists.


“This will be a fun, memorable event with well over 50 classic cars on display at downtown Lexington’s Court House Square,” said Connie Jones, Concours co-­chair. “It serves as a warm-up for the upcoming Keeneland Concours d’Elegance, July 17-­20, and all proceeds will benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital. This is the 10th anniversary Keeneland Concours d'Elegance and this year we have invited back previous winning cars for a Winners Circle Reunion, on Saturday, July 19.” 


Supporting sponsors for the Maserati Mingle event include the UK Federal Credit Union, WEKU, and Harp Enterprises. 


Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance showcases the

finest in automobiles and the attractions of central Kentucky as each year more than 100 exquisite examples of automotive history gather on the lust grounds of the Keeneland Race Course. The event draws thousands for this one-­of-­a-­kind experience unmatched in the collector car community. Activities include a Bourbon Tour, Hangar Bash and the Tour d’Elegance of scenic Kentucky back roads. Proceeds benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital to help bring better healthcare to the children of Kentucky. For more information, visit

Sanderson Selected as Interim Dean of UK College of Public Health

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 13:12


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2014) -- Wayne Sanderson, Ph.D., has accepted the position of interim dean of the College of Public Health, effective July 1, 2014. While serving as interim dean, he will remain director of the Central Appalachian Regional Education Research Center (CARERC) and deputy director of the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (SCAHIP), CDC-funded centers that conduct research and education on the health and safety problems facing our nation’s workers and rural residents.  Sanderson was selected after a college-wide nomination process and in close consultation with UK President Eli Capilouto.


Dr. Steve Wyatt, who has served two very successful terms as the founding dean of the UK College of Public, is returning to the UK College of Medicine where he will lead two critical initiatives: growing UK's Center for Clinical and Translational Science and guiding an emerging partnership that UK HealthCare has established.


"We are grateful to Steve for his contributions, and wish him every success in his new role," said UK Provost Christine Riordan.


The College of Public Health is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and as a component of Kentucky’s land grant institution, its mission is to apply comprehensive health approaches to better understand and help reduce the burdens and disparities of health problems on individuals, families and communities. Kentuckians experience some of the worst health outcomes in the country, and the College of Public Health is committed to excellence in research, education, and service that addresses the unfortunate yet well-documented health challenges of the Commonwealth.


Under Wyatt's leadership the College has experienced tremendous growth in faculty, staff, students, extramural funding, and reputation, with the college now ranked 25th nationally by U.S. News and World Report.  The College also began offering undergraduate public health courses during the past few years, a development that has garnered so much interest that a bachelor's degree program has been approved this month by the University Senate.


In moving forward, Sanderson's experience and expertise will be an asset to continuing the College's growth and success during this interim period.  With a research focus on a wide variety of occupational and environmental exposures, he has served as chair of the Epidemiology Department in the College of Public Health since January 2010. Prior to joining the University of Kentucky in December 2009, he was a professor in the Occupational and Environmental Health Department of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.


He also was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service beginning in 1978, assigned to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/CDC). His tenure culminated in 2002 with his position as chief of the Industrial Hygiene Section in the Industrywide Studies Branch.


Sanderson said he is delighted to be working with the wonderful students, faculty, and staff in the College of Public Health. “They inspire me every day to get to work early to help address the many public health problems facing the Commonwealth and around the globe," he said.


In the coming weeks, a search committee will be formed to identify candidates for the position of Dean of the College of Public Health.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,

UK Arts Administration Students Open Doors to Art in Unlikely Places

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 00:56


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



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2014) — What began as a class project in arts administration at the University of Kentucky has grown into a fully functioning arts organization that could benefit the community for years to come.


A group of 17 students has taken a course project from their 402 class with UK Arts Administration Director of Undergraduate Studies Mark Rabideau to new heights by founding a full-fledged arts organization dedicated to working with local nonprofits. Driven by the belief that creativity is the seed of hope, Art in Unlikely Places connects artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts. The group believes that art by definition challenges the mind and emotions and refocuses our perspective of the world.


"Essentially what we want to do is to give something to people who may be facing a struggle in their life or have become defined by an illness. Bringing inspiring artwork to these people humanizes them again," said arts administration senior Katie Silver, executive director of Art in Unlikely Places.


To get the organization up and going, the students were awarded a grant from the Michael Braun Endowment Fund. The endowment, named for a former director of the UK Arts Administration Program, awards funding for projects and activities that enrich student knowledge of the arts administration profession and field.


The first project for Art in Unlikely Places is called Future Doors. For the initiative, local artists were commissioned to create works of art on doors that reflect the mission of eight partner nonprofit organizations. The idea was based on a concept pitched by an international student from the class. To help make the project a reality, Habitat for Humanity donated doors to the artists.


The students brainstormed a list of different groups of people they might want to help, including some organizations that had made an impact on their own lives.


"Some of us were very emotionally attached to certain organizations," Siver said. "My artist and I worked with Cardinal Hill on this project because both of us have suffered from physical injury and gone through physical rehabilitation and that has made a huge impact on our lives. We've both found that art is something that really helped us through that time. It was really important for us to work with an organization like that."  


Artist and student Cameron White agreed. He selected his partner nonprofit, the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center, based on personal relationships. "I have several friends who are or were in the military — and family members. The VA doesn’t just do medical care, they also help soldiers and service members re-integrate after their work."


White's door has an American flag as the background behind what appears to be shattered glass with two hands grasping. "It’s almost as though the glass has shattered but it’s more of reality. Then, there are two hands grasping in a warrior’s grip across the front. It was the idea of helping hands, that the human contact really helps, and then I did a little extra to mend the breaking glass of reality as the hands are clasping."


The eight participating nonprofits and artists in Future Doors are:


The artwork serves as reminders of hope for the underserved of Lexington and the nonprofits were excited to team up with creative types in the Bluegrass.


"We know the healing powers of art. Anytime we can bring something in for our patients, either to encourage them more or inspire them more, just to see something different that they don’t see every day that they are here at Cardinal Hill, we certainly want to lift up our patients in any way that we can," said volunteer coordinator Marley Tribble, of Cardinal Hill.


Each door is currently on display until June 25 at its respective nonprofit where artists and the organizations hope it inspires members of the nonprofit community and promotes the work they do for Lexington.


At Cardinal Hill, Emily Slusher's door is very centrally located. "The reason why we put it in the Conservatory is this is a beautiful area for patients to be able to get out of the room, visit with family and friends, and have lots of people come in. It is a different setting than other hospital rooms they spend a lot of time in," Tribble said.


Cardinal Hill's door doesn't only inspire those who see it, it has a practical purpose as well and includes the artist's own story of rehabilitation.


"The door is interactive. There is a DVD with, I think at least, five different patient stories that Emily took, and she cut them up and put them together. She told her story with them as well," Tribble said. There is a light switch that you can flip and it turns on a light bulb. It is really available for anyone. Anyone can walk over, play around and see what they can explore there. The pulley is great, not only does it have the remote in there so patients and families can come up and see it. Pulling and grabbing is something that our therapists work with our patients on a daily basis. If a person had a stroke or lost some movement in their hand, they can bring them down here and use the door as part of their therapy." 


Next week the doors will be moved to the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center where the pieces of art will serve yet another purpose by raising money for the artists and nonprofit organizations they represent through an auction. Each artist plans to donate 50 percent or more of the proceeds from the doors to their partner nonprofit.


The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, at the Lyric, located at 300 E. 3rd Street. The silent auction will begin around 6:30 p.m. In addition to the Future Doors silent auction, the event will also feature local live music, local foods and a cash bar.


"We encourage everybody to come out even if you aren’t bidding on a door to come see the artwork and enjoy yourself, eat some food, listen to some music, hang out with some of our artists while you’re there," Silver said.


"For me, the real investment through Future Doors is empowering young people to see themselves as change-agents, leveraging their skills, knowledge, experience and passion toward providing hope for those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts," Rabideau said.


To help further support Art in Unlikely Places, the group also launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month. Funding received through the Kickstarter will be used to support the efforts of Art in Unlikely Places to partner with charitable organizations and to launch future cultural and social entrepreneurial projects.


In the future, Art in Unlikely Places hopes to present a variety of programs in different arts fields to support the community. "We would never limit ourselves to one art form. Everyone in the organization comes from different artistic backgrounds. We have painters, we have musicians, we have writers, we have all of it. It is very important for us to have that diverse artistic approach to it," Silver said.


For more information about Art in Unlikely Places or Future Doors, visit the organization’s Facebook page,​, or contact Mark Rabideau, at


The Arts Administration Program at UK College of Fine Arts offers one of the most comprehensive curriculums in the country and the first online master's degree in the field at a public university. The program is designed to teach students the concepts, technologies and skills necessary to successfully direct an arts organization in a competitive and changing environment.



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

UK Tractor Team Success Goes Beyond Trophies

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2014) — Cody Rakes grew up on a Marion County farm and quite naturally found a home in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment three years ago. As a freshman, he joined his peers on a very successful team that built the national champion quarter-scale tractor that year. The next year, they took second, and now in 2014, they’ve reclaimed the top spot at the recent American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.


“There were so many people on this team for so many years who never even got to experience a second place, and I’ve got to experience two first place finishes,” he said. “It’s great to be able to show those alums what we have done with the program they helped build.”


Rakes is majoring in agricultural education and plans to teach agriculture at the high school level in the future. Being on the team takes up a lot of time, and for most married students that might be an issue. But Rakes actually gets to spend a lot of time with his wife Angela; she’s on the team, too and is entering her senior year in the college’s Department of Community and Leadership Development.


Along with their team members and advisors, the Rakes’ brought home the overall trophy as well as category wins in manufacturability, safety (tied), first-time-through tech (tied), report, second place presentation, three out of four pulls, and the overall pulling award.


ASABE states that the International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition is unique among student engineering design contests in that it provides a realistic 360-degree workplace experience. Student teams are given a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. The team then determines the design of their tractor. A panel of industry experts judges each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and on-site, they must sell their design in a formal presentation to industry experts playing the role of a corporate management team. Finally, the teams put machines to the test in a performance demonstration comprised of four tractor pulls.


Through involvement in the competition, students gain practical experience in the design of drive train systems, tractor performance, manufacturing processes, analysis of tractive forces, weight transfer and strength of materials. In addition, they also develop skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, fundraising and testing and development.


UK team advisors Michael Sama and Tim Smith are faculty and staff members, respectively, in the college’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.


“This process is a great hands-on experience,” Smith said. “It teaches them how to do things they’ll be doing when they get out there working in industry; it teaches things that we just can’t teach in the classroom.”


Sama was actually a team member for several years.


“It’s a true design experience and for someone like Cody, who isn’t in an engineering degree, the experience is valuable,” Sama said.


This year’s winning team was comprised of Cody and Angela Rakes; Michael Blum, Louisville; Shawn O'Neal, Laurel, Delaware; Alex Kloentrup, Burlington; Brad Wilson, Henderson; Brent Howard, Bardstown and Charles Crume, Bloomfield.


The team relies heavily on sponsors to provide supplies and fuel. Altec Industries, Inc. supplied the laser-cut steel, Qualex Manufacturing provided metal forming assistance and the Kentucky Corn Growers provided funding for the team and also sponsored all of the fuel at the competition. Funding was also provided by the UK College of Engineering, and the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering provided shop space and much support to get the tractor built and transported. Team members spent many fall Saturdays parking cars for football games to raise funds for team expenses. They plan to auction off some previous years’ tractors to possibly fund a future scholarship for team members. More information on the auction is available online at:




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

Gatton College Receives $1 Million Gift From Forcht Bank

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2014) — At its June meeting, the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees — at the recommendation of President Eli Capilouto — accepted a $1 million commitment from Forcht Bank. The pledge is part of UK’s Gatton College of Business & Economics’ $65 million capital campaign for the renovation and expansion of the Gatton College building.


“Partners like Terry Forcht and Forcht Bank are critical to the University of Kentucky as we continue transforming our campus for faculty, staff and students,” Capilouto said. “We are grateful to the Forcht family for this generous gift, which will help build a modern business facility that will educate and prepare students to compete and succeed in a global economy.”


Forcht Bank Chairman Terry Forcht said, “We believe in the mission of the Gatton College of Business and Economics to provide a quality education for future entrepreneurs and business leaders in Kentucky. Education is the key to moving our state forward, and we want to support it in every way we can.”


The Forcht Bank gift will fund the grand staircase in the newly renovated Gatton College facility. Located at the main entrance of the expanded facility, “the staircase will be a focal point of the building,” described UK Gatton College Dean David W. Blackwell. “The grand staircase is the primary access to the atrium, which we refer to as the ‘living room' of the building.  It also provides ‘stadium seating’ where students can relax and study between classes.  It is a spectacular feature of the new Gatton College facility.”


“Forcht Bank’s $1 million pledge will help us build a technologically advanced business education complex, which will benefit students for decades to come,” Blackwell said. “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Terry Forcht for his commitment to the Gatton College and the University of Kentucky.  Forcht Bank is a key partner in educating the next generation of business leaders.”


The expansion and renovation of the Gatton College facility will allow for enrollment growth of more than 40 percent and faculty/staff growth to support the additional students, as well as incorporating state-of-the-art technology throughout the building.


Construction of the facility is underway with completion of the project slated for spring 2016.


This project is part of UK's $1 billion campus transformation plan initiated under President Capilouto's leadership. The Gatton College was approved in 2013 with House Bill 7, which also included a new Academic Science Building and improvements to Commonwealth Stadium and football training facilities. The House Bill 7 projects, as well as a new student center, the continued capital construction for UK HealthCare, and the complete revitalization of UK's residential communities are self-financed without state tax dollars


Forcht Bank ( operates 30 banking centers in 12 Kentucky counties — Fayette, Jefferson, Boone, Grant, Madison, Taylor, Pulaski, Laurel, Whitley, Knox, McCreary and Green County — and has total assets of $938 million (, as of 3/31/14).


For more information about the new Gatton College facility, visit




MEDIA CONTACTS:  Michele Sparks, 859-257-0040; Carl Nathe,  859-257-3200.



Program Provides Professional, Personal Development for Researchers in Women's Health

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:24


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2014) -- New researchers in any field face challenges--limited research experience, competing demands for time, diminished levels of and increased competition for funding. Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH, pronounced "birch"), a mentored career development program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports junior investigators with training and protected research time to overcome these challenges and excel early in their careers, while simultaneously advancing an area of research priority: women's health and sex differences.


At UK, the BIRCWH program has become an invaluable professional and personal development program for its scholars and associates, as well as a template for other mentored career development programs on campus.


In 1999, BIRCWH was established in the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health in order to train junior faculty in becoming successful research investigators in the field. Since the program was created, 77 grants to 39 institutions supporting more than 542 junior faculty have been awarded.  UK received $2.5 million in the initial round of funding in 2000 to develop and implement the BIRCWH program for junior M.D. and Ph.D. faculty members interested in establishing research careers related to women's health. Scholarship efforts of the UK BIRCWH program focus on health challenges unique to Appalachian Kentucky, which is disproportionately affected by drug abuse, violence and poor health.


Now in its 13th year, UK's BIRCWH program has been extremely successful. In the first 10 years alone, BIRCWH scholars secured 71 grants and contracts as principal investigators, including 15 R01 grants, five R21 grants, four R03 grants and two National Science Foundation grant, for a total of $30,573,700.


Tom Curry, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, serves as principal investigator of the UK BIRCWH program. Dr. Catherine A. Martin, the Dr. Laurie L. Humphries Endowed Chair in Child Psychiatry and director of the child psychiatry division in the Department of Psychiatry, and Ann Coker, Ph.D., professor and Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, serve as co-investigators. The leadership team thus brings together expertise in bench science, clinical research, and public health and epidemiology.


"We have a complementary trio of expertise. We all see the world a little differently, and can help find the appropriate people and resources to support the BIRCWH Scholars and Associates," said Curry.


Career and Personal Development

BIRCWH Scholars, who are selected through a competitive application process, are junior faculty from the colleges of medicine, public health, pharmacy, nursing, health sciences, dentistry, or arts and sciences who have the potential to establish their own funded research programs. They remain in the program for one to three years, during which time they are expected to complete training in the ethical conduct of research, participate in seminars and retreats, and ultimately complete a mentored research project that culminates in becoming an established, independent researcher in women's health.


In order to accomplish these goals, scholars receive 75 percent protected time (50 percent for scholars with clinical surgical responsibilities) to dedicate to their research, as well as a research stipend and funding for travel to academic meetings. 


"With this time, I have been more productive submitting papers and writing grants," said Emily Brouwer, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and a BIRCWH scholar whose research focuses on HIV, Medicaid, cardiovascular disease, and gender. Like many BIRCWH scholars, Brouwer has seen her research productivity increase since being accepted in the program, having submitted four external grants in hopes that the support, mentorship, and protected time that she gained from the program will demonstrate a significant investment in her success as a women's health researcher.


While only four BIRCWH scholars are funded at a single time, the UK BIRCWH recently developed the Associates Program in order to train additional faculty who aren't directly funded as BIRCWH Scholars.  


"The Associates Program grew out of the need to train more women's health researchers," said Curry. 


He explained that the UK BIRCWH program was already offering many resources, like mentorship, grant writing assistance, and manuscript sprints (day-long "lock-in" sessions to focus on writing) that could benefit researchers beyond the funded BIRCWH scholars.


BIRCWH Associate Daniela Moga, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and science, appreciates the opportunity to interact with and get advice from successful researchers who serve as mentors.

"It helped me to participate in the extended meetings and get a sense of what other people are doing to be successful. It also provides good opportunities, like the manuscript sprint, or other grant writing workshops," she said. "I really appreciate the opportunity that I was given."


BIRCWH scholars and associates benefit not only from the expertise and guidance of Curry, Martin, and Coker, but also from a cadre of faculty who mentor scholars and associates in five focused and interacting areas of women's health: drug abuse and its relationship to sex and gender differences; cancer as it relates to women's health; hormonal regulation across a woman's lifespan; oral health and its impact on women's cardiovascular and endocrine health and pregnancy outcomes; and prevention of violence against women.


Katherine Eddens, assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior, is a BIRCWH associate who studies the intersection of social, economic, and behavioral determinants of health and health disparities. Through mentorship in the BIRCWH program, Eddens has gained insight into the systems of academic research and how to best structure her own research to obtain funding.


"As junior faculty, particularly those of us who came straight into faculty positions from our doctoral programs, you're thrown into a world of research and funding that can be difficult to navigate and somewhat overwhelming. Mentors can help you set goals, structure your time, navigate the funding opportunities and institutions, provide guidance on developing your research program, and provide feedback on grant applications," she said. "It's also helpful to simply have someone to talk to who has been where you've been and can provide guidance on how to develop your career as a scientist." 


For current scholars and associates, the BIRCWH program has also become a support group of sorts, providing regular interaction with colleagues who not only have interconnected research interests but who are also at similar points in their careers and are therefore experiencing many of the same challenges--not the least of which is how to maintain work-life balance while advancing a research career and juggling instructional and/or clinical demands.


"It's been great to have a 'space' to come together and share, vent, strategize, and support one another through the trials and tribulations of academia," said Robin Vanderpool, assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and a BIRCWH scholar whose research focuses include breast cancer, employment, health disparities, longitudinal studies, and intervention development.


At the moment, it just so happens that all of the BIRCWH Scholars and Associates are women (an atypical scenario), several of whom are balancing their rapidly advancing research careers with the unique challenges parenting young children. When UK Provost Christine Riordan came to speak with the BIRCWH scholars and associates, she was asked about advice on handling a sleepless infant alongside demands of a new career. Her suggestion? Make sure you get at least some uninterrupted sleep by giving both parents four hour "shifts" through the night.


Eddens has appreciated the personal support, in addition to the professional development, that she's found in the BIRCWH community.


"Meeting regularly with other women who are in a similar role, professionally and personally, is extraordinarily beneficial. Our lives aren't simply our careers — it's a complete package with family, career, and personal enrichment all intertwined," Edden said. "Being a part of BIRCWH has allowed me to gain support in managing the complicated life of a female junior faculty member who is also a wife, mother, and individual. It can be overwhelming at times, and the women in BIRCWH have been a tremendous support to one another."


Increased Focus on Women's Health and Sex Differences Research

The BIRCWH program constitutes one element of a broader and growing federal focus on advancing research in women's health and sex differences. The NIH Office of Resaarch on Women's Health, which houses the BIRCWH program, was itself established more than two decades ago in order to better include women and women's health in clinical research and science.


More recently, in May 2014 the NIH unveiled policies to ensure that preclinical research funded by the agency equally considers females and males at the cellular and animal research levels. This is a growing priority as the scientific and medical communities increasingly come to understand the consequences of historic overreliance on male-only research models that potentially obscure findings of key sex differences that could guide clinical studies, contribute to irreproducibility in biomedical research, and create risk for patients. Women, for example, experience  higher rates of adverse drug reactions than men do. 


"There's a huge need to understand the gender differences in biomedical research and medicine," said Curry.


Furthermore, sex differences research is a developing field and is often considered a difficult and tricky topic--so much so that Michelle Martel, BIRCWH scholar and  assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, was discouraged from studying sex differences early in her career. Impassioned and undeterred, she now studies the nature of sex differences in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in hopes of identifying any distinct pathways to ADHD for girls (vs. boys) and providing useful information for devising personalized prevention and intervention strategies to mitigate negative long-term outcomes of ADHD, especially for girls. The BIRWCH program has provided her with the time and guidance to make strides in work.


"Historically, the study of sex differences and women's health, in psychology at least, was fairly controversial. Further, there are few provided frameworks in place, which means it can take more time to get projects in this area off the ground and to garner the support necessary to have success in this area," she said. "It has been very helpful to have structured meeting with a supportive network of individuals from all across campus who share this interest in women's health and to have access to their expertise, connections, advice, and resources."


For more information about the UK BIRCWH program, including eligibility and a list of current Scholars and Associates, please visit



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


UK HealthCare to Offer New Weight Management Clinic in Two Locations

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2014) - Losing excess weight can be challenging whether it’s five pounds or 50, but health providers at UK HealthCare's new UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center (BBDOC) Physician Weight Management Program are committed to helping patients achieve their goals by offering an individual lifestyle plan to meet the needs of each patient.


Patients will have a choice of two clinics with different providers: the Internal Medicine Clinic with Dr. Stephanie Rose, or the Endocrine Clinic with Dr. Barbara Fleming-Phillips. A doctor's referral is not necessary for an appointment.


Dr. Rose, a general internist, is a recent Diplomate in Obesity Medicine through the American Board of Obesity Medicine and a contributing investigator at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center.  Dr. Fleming-Phillips is a Family and Community Medicine Specialist at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center and has worked with patients at Health Management Resources (HMR). 


Both physicians will offer weight loss programs based on individual lifestyle assessment, a food journal, exercise contract, and mindful eating, using a combination of lifestyle  and behavioral modification and, if medically indicated, weight loss medications and referral to bariatric surgery centers.


Patients will start with an hour-long appointment that will include a comprehensive evaluation of weight and diet history as well as evaluation of existing conditions that can cause or are caused by obesity, and may include physical exam and lab work.  After evaluation, patients will be given personalized weight management options and goals.  Patients may  be referred to outside weight loss programs as needed to assist in meeting their needs and ensure success, such as HMR, UK Health and Wellness, or Weight Watchers.  The frequency of follow-up appointments will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Patients at each clinic will receive individualized counseling sessions with a dietitian that includes a comprehensive review of diet history and a personalized diet approach to fit each person’s lifestyle.  Dietitians will teach a 12-week curriculum based on the Diabetes Prevention Program. Patients will work through the 12-week curriculum at their own pace, and at each visit a different topic related to lifestyle change and weight loss will be discussed.


Cost of visits to the Weight Management Clinic will be determined by each individual's insurance coverage. Although most insurance companies do not reimburse for weight loss, the doctor will bill based on other health issues such as diabetes or hypertension.


To schedule an appointment in the Internal Medicine Clinic, call 859-323-0303, or the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center, 859-323-2232.  To refer a patient to the clinic through the Ambulatory Electronic Health Record (AEHR), click “Consult: Other” and type in “UK BBDOC Weight Management Clinic.”

UK Named a Top 5 Fashion School in the South

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 19:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) — The website recently ranked the University of Kentucky Department of Retailing and Tourism Management as a top 5 fashion merchandising school in the South.


Schools were ranked based on academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of program and faculty, value as related to tuition and student debt, and geographic location. The region included schools in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.


The website also ranked the department as the No. 28 fashion merchandising school in the nation.


Retailing and Tourism Management, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, includes two degree programs—merchandising, apparel and textiles, and hospitality management and tourism.


“We really try to focus on what the industries expect from our graduates and work hard to develop relationships within the industries to create opportunities for our students,” said Vanessa Jackson, chair of the department, which is in the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences.


This includes recently creating an advisory board for the department, comprised of both academic and industry professionals in merchandising and hospitality fields.


While the two tracks may sound distinctly different, they constantly crisscross paths in and out of the classroom. The department’s students are heavily involved in its two student organizations, the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles Club and the Hospitality Management Association. The groups recently joined forces to host the department’s annual fashion show that raises money for department scholarships, with the MAT Club handling the clothing selection and the hospitality group focusing on planning the event and logistics.


The department also includes a Textile Testing Laboratory that conducts research for national textile companies.


All students in the department have the opportunity to take study tours to fashion capitals of the world. Tours for the 2014-2015 school year include Italy, Greece, New York City and Ghana.

Carvalho Named Interim Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) — Susan Carvalho, professor of Hispanic Studies and associate provost for internationalization at the University of Kentucky, has been named interim associate provost and dean of the UK Graduate School.


Carvalho will maintain her role as associate provost for internationalization, a positon she has held since 2010 that involves overseeing the UK International Center and the implementation of UK’s comprehensive internationalization agenda. A part-time interim assistant provost will be appointed during this transition period to assist Carvalho with the internationalization portfolio.


"Graduate education is essential to our mission as a research university," said UK Provost Christine Riordan in a message sent to faculty and staff of the university. "To this interim position, Susan brings a wealth of experience and a history of building successful partnerships, collaborations and programs. There are great synergies between the areas of internationalization and the graduate school, especially with the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and growing international graduate enrollments.  The Graduate School is also home to our top ranked Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. I know Susan will lead these areas well."


In her more than 25 years at UK, Carvalho has served in a number of key leadership roles including associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, chair of the General Education Reform Steering Committee and interim chair of the Departments of Hispanic Studies and Political Science.  At the graduate level, she has been a recipient of UK’s highest award for graduate education, the William B. Sturgill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education, and she has directed 32 doctoral dissertations to completion.


Last year, Jeannine Blackwell announced her intent to retire from her position as dean of the Graduate School, which she has held for 11 years, and return to the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences.


"I know everyone across the UK family joins me in thanking her for her leadership and commitment to our university," said Riordan.

Only Three More 'Grand Nights' Remain

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:38


Ad for "It's a Grand Night for Singing!" 2014. A transcript of this video can be found here. Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre.



LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) — At the University of Kentucky, the music doesn't stop for summer break. UK Opera Theatre stages its final three performances of this year's "It's a Grand Night for Singing!" 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.


In its 22nd year, "Grand Night" has become known for performances of beloved Hollywood, Broadway and Top 40 tunes. More than 100 university and community talents come together to present a musical extravaganza of these classic songs.


Ticket prices for "Grand Night" range from $17-45. Group rates are available for groups of 25 or more. A processing fee will be applied upon completion of all transactions.


In honor of Russ Williams, the university's first representative of the staff on the Board of Trustees who died in 2009, each performance of “Grand Night” will also have select seats available to UK staff for only $25, plus processing fees. There is a limit of two tickets per valid UK staff I.D.


To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, online at, or in person.


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;

Markey Patients, Survivors Showcase Their Expressions of Courage

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:33


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


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2014) —  Facing a cancer diagnosis is no easy feat. Patients at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center have always inspired the community with their strength and courage, and Friday, June 6th was no exception, as Markey honored the experiences of those who have battled cancer with a day of recognition and celebration. 


June is National Cancer Survivorship Month, and to mark the occasion, Markey held its inaugural Expressions of Courage event, an art exhibit showcasing original, artistic expressions connected in some way to an experience with a cancer diagnosis, or crafted by or in memory of a Markey patient whose battle has ended.


"We sent out over 6,000 letters," said Cindy Robinson, a nurse practitioner at Markey and one of the organizers behind the event. "And we asked people for any type of creative modality that they wanted to share with us, to share their cancer journey, whether it be positive or negative."


More than 30 artists responded. Entries of visual arts included paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, and quilting. The performing arts involved vocal music, instrumental music, and dancing, and poetry and short stories encompassed the literary arts.


The creations were on display all day in the Combs Research Building at Markey, with readings and performances starting in the afternoon and continuing into the early evening.


"The artwork is very moving and inspiring, and actually will bring tears to your eyes if you read some of the pieces," Robinson said. " We have some pieces here from patients that are no longer with us, and we personally know those people."


Expressions of Courage was made possible by gifts from the Markey Cancer Foundation and Biological Systems Consulting, Inc. With the help of Carla Repass, the assistant director for administration at Markey, and fellow Markey staff members Christie Daniels, Valeria Moore and Mincha Parker, Robinson said she felt they planned and pulled off the cancer center's first-of-its-kind celebration with flair.


"I think for our inaugural event, it's gone beautifully," Robinson said. "We have a lot of survivors here. They've shared their joy."


Shawna Cassidy Quan of Richmond, Ky., was one of the survivors in attendance, having been diagnosed with four different primary cancers over the course of fifteen years. Her expression of courage was an essay about her struggles with her multiple diagnoses.


"You figure out the answers to a lot of your problems even while you're sitting down writing," Quan said. "It's just been a wonderful, theraputic thing for me."


Norton Cancer Center and Markey patient Phillip Meeks traveled nearly two hours from Jeffersonville, Indiana, to attend the event. Meeks' art piece, a drawing by his daughter, was inspired by the unlikely good fortune of his treatment. In 2012, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, requiring a bone marrow transplant to survive.


As an African-American -- a population which only makes up roughly 7 percent of the bone marrow registry -- and with an adopted son with no biological family members to get tested, the odds of finding a match were against him.


The day he was admitted to the hospital, Meeks said, they found a token underneath his hospital bed: one side said "Believe in Miracles" while the other side said "Faith."


"To me, that was God's way of saying that I'm there with you, you know, don't be scared," Meeks said.


A donor match was found for him, and he received his life-saving transplant in January 2013. He notes that Expressions of Courage was not only a day to showcase talent, but a day that survivors could show their appreciation to the staff of Markey.


"I just want to give back," Meeks said. "That's my big thing. How can you thank so many people that are involved in saving your life? There's not a gift that you can give that's big enough. Hopefully this is my one little piece to say thank you for everything that everybody has done for me."


Many survivors and their families expressed their appreciation of the love and support of the UK and Markey community.


"You live life just as fully as you can, because you're not promised even another hour," Quan said. "I think we've done that today… I hope Markey does this again and keeps on doing it."


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


Aphasia is Treatable and Often Misunderstood Communication Disorder

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:38


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2014) -- Aphasia is a language problem caused by brain injury, typically a stroke.  Aphasia occurs when a stroke or other brain injury damage and disconnect areas of the brain responsible for language, which includes not only speech, but also the ability to comprehend, read, write, and even gesture. Approximately one million people in the United States have aphasia, and more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed each year.  Aphasia is sometimes mistaken for intellectual impairment, and so they are often ignored because they may seem not to understand, or “shouted at” as if they have a hearing loss.


Individuals with aphasia are like snowflakes because no two people communicate the same way. For example, when asked about the 2014-2015 UK basketball team, Mr. Z might just smile and nod his head enthusiastically; Mr. Y might say, “Wow good”; and Mr. H. might say, “They are going to go all the way.” While all reflect hope for the coming season, they do so differently. Aphasia clinicians and researchers have the skills and experience to examine these varied responses and use this information to determine the severity and type of aphasia and its causes and to develop a treatment plan. 


Currently, individual or group speech and language therapy from licensed speech-language pathologists is the primary means of treating aphasia. Aphasia therapy seeks to restore as much communication as possible, promote the use of compensatory strategies, and help the patient and the family resume desirable pre-stroke activities.


The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates treatment for people with aphasia both in  the short-term (when survival from the stroke is the first priority) an in the long-term when functional (i.e. having a conversation) and psychosocial (i.e. going back to meaningful activities) needs are paramount. The National Aphasia Association (NAA) ( is promoting June as National Aphasia Awareness Month.


In Lexington, the University of Kentucky Speech and Hearing Clinic provides speech and language therapy to individuals with aphasia and also sponsors the Greater Lexington Aphasia Support System (GLASS), a support group for people affected by aphasia. For more information on the GLASS program, contact or log on to the UK College of Health Sciences website at


Robert C. Marshall is a Professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky and an internationally recognized authority on aphasia and its treatment. 


This column appeared in the June 15, 2014, edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Current Students Help New Wildcats "see vision." at UK

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2014) — As the newest members of the Wildcat Family arrive on campus for what is now known as the “see blue." U Orientation, a group of current UK students will be ready to show them what college life is all about.


"This is our two-day university orientation where students and their families can begin the transition to the University of Kentucky,” said Stephen Barnett, senior associate director of admission and senior associate registrar.  “The main focus of the event is to begin preparing students academically by meeting with their academic advisor and registering for their fall courses.”


As part of that preparation, students will spend time with their "see blue." Orientation Leaders. 


"What's amazing about working with "see blue." U Orientation is that it gives me an opportunity to share my love for this university with all of the incoming students," said Cassidy Teager, a sophomore from Morehead, Ky.  "My first year at UK was one of the best years of my life, and I can't wait to see what this university can do for them, as well!"


Teager and her fellow student leaders will stay busy throughout the summer, as the two-day orientations for freshmen begin June 23 and run through July 17. 


“The success of “see blue.” U is the direct result of the collaborative spirit of numerous colleagues across the UK campus,” said Don Witt, associate provost for enrollment management.  “It’s one of the most exciting events of the year as we welcome new students and their families to their new Kentucky home.”


Formerly known as summer advising conference, the name was changed so that the brand could be renewed and revamped to ensure a smoother, more cohesive transition for students from high school to the University of Kentucky.


"We wanted to make a stronger transition opportunity for our students and given the current two-step orientation process that includes the outstanding K Week program, we believe the combination of “see blue.” U with K Week will provide additional excitement and enhanced connections for an optimal introduction to our campus," Barnett said.


In addition to updating the brand of the orientations, there will also be some changes made in the two-day schedule. One major change will be the addition of small group time, referred to as UKonnect.


"These UKonnect groups will allow students to meet twice in a small group with other new students and a “see blue." U Orientation leader to start developing friendships and learning about UK in a smaller setting,” Barnett said. 


If you are attending “see blue." U Orientation, there are a few things you need to know before arriving on campus. 


"We encourage students and their parents to take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions of representatives from around campus so they feel prepared and comfortable when arriving for the start of classes in August," Barnett said.


Barnett encourages all incoming students to watch this short video before arriving for their “see blue.” U Orientation. 


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


To browse through more resources for incoming students, visit:

UK Superfund Research Center Receives $12.2 Million Federal Grant

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 14:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014) — The University of Kentucky has received a $12.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its work to better understand and minimize negative health and environmental impacts from hazardous waste sites.


The Nutrition and Superfund Chemical Toxicity grant funded through the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is administered through the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. It supports the efforts of more than 50 scientists and students from 15 departments within the colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Medicine; and Public Health.


UK is one of only four programs funded in 2014, placing it in a very elite group of just 19 centers nationwide. UK has received funding for its Superfund work since 1997, with this being one of the largest NIH grants ever received by UK.


UK Superfund Research Center’s biomedical research focuses on the idea that nutrition can help reduce negative health effects from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Environmental science researchers at the center are working to develop new methods to detect hazardous chemicals and clean up contaminated sites.


Kentucky has rates of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, well above national averages. The state is also home to more than 200 federal Superfund sites, including 14 active sites that are on the National Priorities List, a list of the worst sites in the country. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines Superfund sites as uncontrolled or abandoned places where hazardous waste is located.


In Kentucky, such sites include abandoned waste dumps and large industrial facilities.  Many of these sites are contaminated with environmentally persistent chlorinated organic compounds, molecules which contain carbon and chlorine, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichloroethylene (TCE).


"Our biomedical research goal is to help offset the negative health impacts that can occur when humans are exposed to toxic chemicals, thus improving health and disease outcomes, which can be associated with such exposures,” said Bernhard Hennig, center director and professor of nutrition and toxicology in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “The team is also looking at the impacts of such exposures on prenatal development.”


“We are optimistic that the results from our environmental science research will help accelerate the clean-up of several Superfund sites in Kentucky, such as the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Our research is likely to have other applications as well, including uses in treating drinking water and removing toxic metals from power plant water," said Lindell Ormsbee, associate director of the UK-SRC and a Raymond-Blythe Professor of civil engineering.


“This project brings the best scientists from many different disciplines and colleges together for a high-impact collaboration that advances our knowledge of some of the most pervasive chemical contaminants in our environment,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “These scientists also collaborate with colleagues from other state and national agencies and work within affected communities to educate individuals about strategies that may help combat the effects of contaminants and improve overall health.”


For more information on the Superfund Research Center, contact the UK-SRC Research Translation Core at 859-257-1299 or visit the center’s website,

New Class Registration System Easier to Use, Supports Retention Efforts

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014)  Underscoring the University of Kentucky's efforts to place students first, a sophisticated new course registration system debuting today will make it easier to sign up for classes and also will significantly assist efforts in degree planning.


"For the first time, we will have a registration system completely integrated with all of our customer management services and outreach," said Don Witt, UK's associate provost for enrollment management. "The student user experience will be greatly improved and advisors will have an additional, powerful tool to aid students as they plan throughout their academic careers toward a degree."


The system is open today for students to start pre-registering for classes. And, most significantly, new, first-year students will be able to use the new registration system for the first time during summer advising conferences -- 'see blue.' U, which starts June 23 on the UK campus. A guide to the new system is on the registrar's website.


Witt said the new system, which has been in development by Enrollment Management and the Enterprise Application Group (EAG) and its Mobile Portal Workflow Team for more than a year, offers several powerful tools and insights for students and advisors to utilize, including:


·         Easier searches for information, such as class availability and capacity, numbers of open seats in a class and wait list information


·         A display of the class schedule in a calendar friendly view and format


·         Vastly improved speed of the system and performance


·         Greater access for students at pre-registration stage to see what classes they are eligible for and to work with advisors on a formalized degree plan


Witt said several focus groups were held with students last year as the new system was being developed. Open forums also have been held with advisors to better understand their needs and how to make the system better.


One student from a focus group said of the new sytem that "the course registration app allows me to find my classes both more quickly and easily.  It allows me to see a plan of what my schedule would look like without having to continuously create a hand-drawn one.”


Still another student remarked that the new system is "a lot easier than the old registration process, and I like this tool better because you can see your classes on a weekly schedule rather than having to go to several different tabs.”


In the past, Witt acknowledged that some students also utilized third-party sources and platforms to help with class registration and degree planning. But the new system, with a complete integration of all the university's available technology, should alleviate the need for that.


"Our entire focus — our only focus — has been to create a new registration system that makes it as easy as possible and as intuitive as possible for students and advisors to use," Smitha Nair, manager of the UKIT Mobile Portal Workflow Team. "We know one of the first impressions that students have of UK is the registration process. We also know that the ability to quickly register for classes and to understand how that experience fits with planning toward a degree is critical. I'm excited we have a system that will help us maximize the experience our students have in this vitally important process."



MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155,

UK Students Take Top Honors at 'University Open'

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2014) — Two University of Kentucky art studio students, Roya Ramezankhani and Kwang Won Son, have taken first and third place at the eighth annual "University Open."


Sponsored by LexArts, "University Open" features 33 pieces of artwork from the state's best students, including nine works from UK. The juried competition and exhibition between fine arts majors attending Kentucky universities opened May 16, at the Downtown Arts Center City Gallery. A closing reception for the exhibition will be held as a part of Lexington's Gallery Hop June 20. The show and reception are free and open to the public.


“University Open provides an exceptional opportunity for Kentucky’s emerging artists to be critically judged amongst their regional peers,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of LexArts. “It is exciting to see the wealth of talent that exists in this next generation of Kentucky artists.”


The 33 pieces of art selected to exhibit at the "University Open" represent eight public and private colleges in the Commonwealth. The winners were announced at an award ceremony during the show's opening reception. Ramezankhani, a 2014 art studio graduate from Lexington, took first place for "Exhale," inkjet photography on silk. She received a cash prize of $500. Son, an art studio senior from Lexington, took third place for his set of ceramics titled "Dragon Pot." He received a cash prize of $100.


This year’s guest juror was Mary Rezny, owner of M.S. Rezny Studio and Gallery, a local photography studio that specializes in fine art.


Other UK students whose work was selected to be featured in the "University Open" alongside Ramezankhani and Son are: Hayley Black, a 2014 art studio graduate from Lebanon, Ohio; Katelyn Gabbard, an art studio senior from Frankfort, Ky.; Taran Parsons, an art studio senior from Eastern, Ky.; Melissa Shelton, an art studio and integrated strategic communication senior from Hopkinsville, Ky.; Abigail Taylor, an art studio junior from Lexington; and Ethan Wooldridge, a 2014 art studio graduate from Columbia, Ky.


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, offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations, as well as competitive grants for community outreach projects. For more information, visit their website at     


The public can view the UK students' winning artwork and art from the state's other featured student artists in the "University Open" through June 20th, at the Downtown Arts Center, located at 141 E. Main St. Gallery hours for viewing are from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturdays.


"University Open" will be among the slate of exhibitions included in the Gallery Hop, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 20.


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.  




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

Portion of Washington Avenue to Close on UK Campus Monday

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) — Utility upgrades and construction of the new University of Kentucky Academic Science Building will require portions of Washington Avenue and Rose Street on UK's campus to close for an extended period of time.  The first phase of this work is slated to begin next week.


On Monday, June 16, Washington Avenue from South Limestone to Gladstone Avenue will close. This phase is scheduled to last until Friday, July 4. During this time, the Graham and Gladstone parking areas off Washington Avenue will only be accessible via Rose Street.


A map of the affected areas can be accessed here:


Vehicle traffic will be rerouted along Huguelet Drive to Rose Street, with access at the east end of Washington Avenue.  See map here:


In response to the upcoming street closure, UK Parking and Transportation Services has announced that the CATS Summer/Break Route will now travel down Huguelet Drive instead of Washington Avenue, resulting in the addition of a bus stop at Scovell Hall and the elimination of the Donovan Hall and Washington Avenue stops.


The sidewalk that runs from South Limestone to Rose Street on the Scovell Hall side of the street will remain open throughout the project.


University of Kentucky Environmental Health & Safety has compiled a list of safety tips that pedestrians should keep in mind:

  • Barriers are in place for a reason. Please respect all barriers and do not trespass or attempt to "shortcut" across any construction zones.
  • Take extra precautions when walking along construction zones, particularly when approaching gates/openings in these zones.
  • When construction activities result in sidewalk closures and pedestrian detours, follow the detours. Do not walk in areas not designated for pedestrians.
  • Cross streets only at designated crosswalks.
  • While it is always safest to walk on a sidewalk or designated pedestrian area, if for some reason you must walk in a street, walk facing traffic.
  • Distracted walking caused by using a cell phone can be as dangerous as driving while distracted. Attention to your surroundings while walking and crossing streets will keep you safer.


To report any unsafe conditions to University of Kentucky Environmental Health & Safety, call (859) 257-3827.


More information about road closures, detours, utility work and the construction projects of the Academic Science Building, Commonwealth Stadium, Gatton College of Business and Economics Building and University Lofts Building can be found here:


If you want information about traffic impact only, please visit:


If you want regular email updates about campus construction and its impact on traffic, please visit to sign up for a listserv.

WUKY's 'UK Perspectives' Looks at UK's Record Budget for 2014-15

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 23:22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's program features UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday discussing UK's new budget that exceeds $3 billion for the first time. 


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


"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.

Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Day Combines Research, Opera

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:44


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2014) -- The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center hosted its fourth annual Diabetes Day on Tuesday, May 20. With a focus on current findings in obesity and diabetes research, the day's program featured presentations by nationally prominent physician-scientists as well as regional researchers chosen from abstract submissions.  A reception and awards banquet was held in the evening, including performances from established and upcoming stars of UK's opera theatre program.


The event, co-sponsored by the Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease and the Nutrition and Oxidative Stress Training program, included three invited speakers. Dr. Dale Able, director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, presented his research on the relationship between insulin, diabetes and heart failure. Dr. Jennifer Pollock, co-director of cardio-renal physiology and medicine and associate director of the Center for Free Radical Biology at University of Alabama-Birmingham, discussed novel therapeutic strategies for diabetic nephropathy. Dr. Ananda Basu, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, presented the "bench to bedside" process of developing an artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetes patients.


A number of UK researchers also delivered podium presentations, and more than 70 posters competed for judged awards. Recipients of poster awards were:


Marcielle de Beer (Physiology), Ailing Ji (CVRC), Yepeng Sui (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Carie Boychuk (Physiology), Prabhakara Nagareddy (CVRC), Robin Shoemaker (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Yu Wang (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences), Kate Townsend Creasy (Microbiology and Immunology), and Robert (Nate) Helsley (Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences).


"This was a great day where diabetes and obesity researchers came together to exchange ideas, to view each other’s ongoing work, and to become recharged in the search for new treatments for these major metabolic diseases," said Dr. Philip Kern, director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center. "The program is especially helpful to junior investigators who get to present their work to a friendly audience, and everyone was edified by our guest faculty, who contributed eagerly of their time during the day."


Following the day's academic proceedings, a reception and awards banquet at the Hilary J. Boone Center recognized the outstanding science of the day and also served as an opportunity to thank the members of Barnstable Brown family, who gave the founding donation to establish the center and reamin avid fundraisers to support its work.


The evening's entertainment was provided by Everett McCorvey, director of UK's opera theatre, who has performed at the event every year. McCorvey became involved in the event because he has Type 2 diabetes and wants to support efforts to find a cure.


"I’m always honored to perform and also to join in the celebration of what the Barnstable Brown family means to the University and also what the center that they helped to create means to the citizens of Kentucky," said McCorvey.  


He particularly appreciates the collaborative spirit of the arts and health care fields working together to solve serious problems.


"Professors in all disciplines are seeking and finding ways to work collaboratively across campus in order to solve the complex challenges facing not only Kentucky’s citizens but the world’s citizens," he said. "In solving the problems of the world, there is a place for the arts."


In this year's performance, McCorvey was joined by singers from the cast of “It’s A Grand Night For Singing,"  Endowed Chair of Voice and Metropolitan Opera Soprano Cynthia Lawrence, UK Artist in Residence and Metropolitan Opera Tenor Gregory Turay, and UK vocal coach Dr. Tedrin Blair Lindsay.  Some of UK's youngest opera stars also performed, including incoming freshman Clark Davis, undergraduate student Mary Catherine Wright, and doctoral student Ryan Traub.  The artists performed favorite opera selections from UK's past opera season and introduced selections from the upcoming season, which will include Sweeney Todd, The Tales of Hoffman, Amahl and The Night Visitors, and It’s A Grand Night For Singing!  


At the reception, the Second Annual Fred and Marcielle de Beer Award in Diabetes was presented to Dr. Lisa Cassis, professor and chair of the UK Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology and interim vice president for research.  Cassis is currently principal investigator on several multi-million dollar federal grants, including serving as program director of an $11.3 million National Institutes of Health grant that supports the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) focusing on obesity and cardiovascular diseases.


"Diabetes Day brought in great scholars and research, and provided a wonderful night of entertainment to thank the family for their continued support," said Kern.



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,