'Generation Open' Focus of Open Access Week

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2014) — Free access to funded research has gradually surfaced to be the new standard in academia. In recognition of this change, University of Kentucky Libraries will host a panel discussion titled, "Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness," as one of the events presented to celebrate Open Access Week 2014, Oct. 20-26. The panel discussion begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the  UK Athletics Auditorium in William T. Young Library.


Research funding agencies across the world have implemented policies that require grant recipients to ensure free online access to the results of their funded research. The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum last year that required federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop strategies to enable public online access to the findings and underlying data of funded research. Students and scholars who plan to pursue their careers in academia today are "Generation Open".


The event will commence with the director of the Research Data Center at UK Libraries, Mary Molinaro. She will provide a description of the current research environment and expectations of researchers' roles today. Dr. Douglas Scutchfield, founding director of the College of Public Health and founding director of the Center for Health Services Research and Management, will be the first panelist. Scutchfield will discuss the benefits of open access from the researcher's perspective as well as his personal experience of taking the lead to support open access by creating a new open access journal, Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research.


The second panelist, Professor Matthew Zook, of the UK Department of Geography, will focus on the value of openly sharing research data, especially in terms of how it contributes to scholarship, innovation and the public good.


Immediately after the discussion panel, there will be a question and answer session followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public.


Additional events for Open Access Week include the Kickoff Event Webcast from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, in the Niles Gallery, at Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. The panel is moderated by early career researcher, Meredith Niles, of Harvard University. There will be a discussion about early career researchers and their institutions supporting and rewarding open access research.


"Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal" will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Medical Center Library Computer Lab. UK Libraries is hosting this workshop to help researchers consider what open access journals to consider when getting their research published.


"Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session" will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Alumni Gallery, Young Library. The information session will assist graduate students with the process of submitting a thesis or dissertation. Graduate School and UK Libraries representatives will be available to answer questions at this session.


Open Access Week is an annual global event that provides an opportunity for academic and research communities to gain greater knowledge about the benefits of open access. These communities share what they have learned with colleagues and aim to inspire more extensive participation to make open access a norm in scholarship and research.


All UK Open Access events are free and open to the public. For more information about Open Access Week events happening at UK visit For more information regarding open access, visit UK Libraries' website For more information about research available online via UKnowledge, visit this

UK Researcher Awarded $100K Grant To Study Protein Associated with Alzheimer’s

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 09:05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2014)The Alzheimer’s Association has awarded a $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant to Jose Abisambra, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), to study a brain protein that becomes abnormally modified in the course of developing Alzheimer's disease.


The New Investigator Research Grant program is part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s effort to increase the number of scientists conducting Alzheimer’s research by supporting early-career development that will lay the groundwork for future research grants. Only investigators with fewer than 10 years of research experience are eligible for these particular grants.


"This is a particularly great honor for Jose, since his lab is not yet two years old," said Linda Van Eldik, SBCoA director. "His work will most likely inform how we look at the disease process and find ways to prevent or cure Alzheimer's and other diseases of the aging brain."


“It is an honor to receive this recognition and support, which will propel our research. This is a very competitive award, and we are thrilled that the scientific community is as excited as we are to see the project through.” said Abisambra. “Support from Sanders-Brown has been instrumental in helping us develop our data, and the continued support by the Sanders-Brown team will be critical for our success."


Abisambra’s research focuses on tau, a brain protein that stabilizes microtubules, which, in turn, help maintain cell structure. Abnormal tau modification leads to the cell death that is prevalent in brains affected by Alzheimer’s, but the mechanisms that lead to tau abnormalities and the reasons why a change in tau’s structure becomes toxic are not known.


According to Abisambra, compelling evidence indicates that abnormal and toxic tau associates very strongly with ribosomes, which are the hub of new protein production.


“Our research will lead to a better understanding of the process by which tau mediates ribosomal damage and how this phenomenon impairs memory in Alzheimer’s disease," said Abisambra. "This understanding is an instrumental next step toward developing new therapeutic strategies, which are urgently needed."


Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death, and the most expensive disease, in the United States.  Alzheimer’s kills more Americans than diabetes, and more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.  More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including more than 167,000 residents of Kentucky and Indiana.


The University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging 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.