Campus News

UK College of Dentistry Introduces Craniofacial Genetics Externship

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 09:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) – The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry has expanded its continuing education options to include a flexible, one month to one year, externship in craniofacial genetics. This opportunity is designed to benefit individuals interested in expanding their understanding of clinical craniofacial genetics, and its application to clinical care and research, as well as faculty seeking a sabbatical experience.

 

The externship emphasizes clinical craniofacial, oral and dental genetics; and how molecular genetics can be applied to the diagnosis and study of these conditions. Participants will gain experiences in a broad range of topics in clinical craniofacial genetics, including craniofacial, oral and dental anomalies, disorders and diseases.

 

Opportunities are available to learn how to evaluate patients for diagnosis, clinical testing and research studies in the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs Cleft Lip & Palate/Craniofacial Anomalies Clinics, the Delta Dental Research Clinic and the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases Hereditary Genetics/Genomics Core within the College of Dentistry; as well as observation rotations in the College of Medicine with Dr. Stephen Amato, director of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism; and Dr. Sivakumaran Theru Arumugam, director of the Clinical Molecular and Genomic Pathology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

 

“In this time, when precision medicine is on the rise and fast-paced technology breakthroughs are enabling the discovery of key genetic components in normal development and disease, dental professionals often lack good educational resources for the genetic conditions affecting their patients, and/or they lack the know-how of when or to whom to refer their patients for a clinical genetics evaluation, testing, and follow-up,” said Dr. James Hartsfield, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Craniofacial Genetics Externship Director and UK College of Dentistry E. Preston Hicks Endowed Professor in Orthodontics and Oral Health Research. “Our externship aims to target these needs so that dental professionals can offer the best overall care to their patients; and current or future academic professionals can acquire the knowledge in this field to teach future practitioners.”

 

Participation may be tailored to fit an individual’s background in clinical and basic genetics, area of particular interest and overall length of participation time. Completion of the externship results in a continuing education certificate in Craniofacial Genetics from the University of Kentucky.

 

For more information on the College of Dentistry’s Craniofacial Genetics externship, visit https://dentistry.uky.edu/craniofacial-genetics or contact Dr. James Hartsfield at James.Hartsfield@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: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076

 

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Big Blue Madness Campout Begins Wednesday

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 17:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2016) – Fans looking to secure tickets to Big Blue Madness in person at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions may begin camping out at 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

 

No tents are permitted to be set up prior to 5 a.m. on Wednesday at either designated camping locations or the areas surrounding Memorial Coliseum. Any fans who set up tents prior to the designated move-in time will be instructed to take them down immediately and tents left unattended are subject to removal.

 

Additionally, sidewalks must be kept clear for pedestrians, and all chairs should be moved to the side of the sidewalk farthest from the road.

 

As a reminder, to support regular campus operations and to facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class – which have been affected due to surrounding campus construction – space will be limited to fans wishing to line up ahead of time for tickets. More information can be found at this link.

 

Fans are highly encouraged to use Ticketmaster.com to obtain tickets, though UK Athletics cannot guarantee fans will receive tickets either by lining up or going online. Tickets will be available on Friday at 10 p.m.

 

Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for UK’s 2016-17 men’s and women’s basketball teams, is Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. It will also air live on the SEC Network.

 

 

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:  Guy Ramsey, guy.ramsey@uky.edu, 859-257-3838

Professor's Math Education Blog Provides Important Teaching and Learning Resources

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 16:06

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) — A University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences math professor is founding editor-in-chief of a math education blog for the American Mathematical Society focused on providing mathematicians with commentary and resources regarding teaching and learning.

 

“My reason for starting the blog was to provide a source of high-quality information regarding mathematics teaching and learning for members of the American Mathematical Society, given that there are currently many changes taking place in mathematics education at the postsecondary level,” said Ben Braun, associate professor of mathematics.

 

Launched in June 2014, the blog has received more than 190,000 unique page views and currently has an editorial board of seven mathematicians located across the U.S. The blog focuses on postsecondary and pre-K –12 education, and explores issues that affect both high- and low-achieving students as well as issues that affect students who are minoritized in their mathematical communities.

 

The most shared article on the blog is about using unsolved math problems as homework in Braun’s upper-division UK math courses. Last fall, Braun co-authored a six-part series on active learning methods in mathematics education. The six-part series was developed collaboratively by Braun, Priscilla Bremser at Middlebury College, Art Duval at University of Texas at El Paso, Elise Lockwood at Oregon State University, and Diana White at University of Colorado Denver. Other UK contributors to the blog have included mathematics and STEM education double-major Morgan Mattingly, who wrote about her experience in a problem solving course, and Professor of Mathematics Carl Lee, who wrote about the importance of personal context and informal education for mathematics students.

 

Braun is an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics at the University of Kentucky, where he holds the Wimberly and Betty Royster Research Professorship. His mathematical research is in geometric and algebraic combinatorics, and he is active in mentoring graduate and undergraduate research students. Braun's scholarly interests in teaching and learning include active learning, using writing in mathematics courses, pre-service teacher education, pedagogical use of the history of mathematics, and connections between mathematics education and educational psychology. He serves as a member-at-large on the American Mathematical Society Committee on Education and as the editor-in-chief of the American Mathematical Society blog On Teaching and Learning Mathematics.

 

 

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. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

UK Launches Energy Conservation Program

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 15:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) — On July 1, 2016, the University of Kentucky launched an energy conservation program to reduce energy costs and conserve natural resources.

 

The program is a partnership with Cenergistic Inc., a leading energy conservation company with over 30 years of experience helping educational organizations nationwide optimize energy consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Cenergistic with an Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the past eight years.

 

"This program will improve building energy efficiency and optimization on campus, allowing us to maximize our investments and realize energy savings that can be aligned with the institution’s strategic initiatives," said UK Vice President for Facilities Management Mary Vosevich.

 

The program does not require the university to increase its utility budget, purchase new energy equipment or upgrade existing equipment. Instead, Cenergistic engineers will work on-site with Facilities Management employees to monitor energy usage in campus facilities, find conservation opportunities and implement energy savings strategies.

 

While energy usage patterns may change; employees, students and visitors should not experience discomfort in campus buildings during occupied hours. This comprehensive, rigorous and sustainable energy program will help conserve resources and reduce energy costs.

 

 

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. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

 

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

Information Session Explores Language/Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 13:48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards will host an information session on language/study abroad programs. The session, which will include information on the Boren Scholarship, Boren Fellowship and the Critical Language Scholarship, will begin 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the William T. Young Library Alumni Gallery.

 

The Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), provides funding for undergraduates to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Scholarship recipients must work in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

 

Additionally, NSEP offers the Boren Fellowship, which provides funding to graduate students who are looking to study languages in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Like recipients of the Boren Scholarship, Boren Fellows are also be expected to work in the federal government for at least a year.

 

Also being discussed at the information session is the Critical Language Scholarship Program, a program that provides intensive language instruction for less commonly taught languages during an eight- to 10-week program in the summer. The CLS Program is also part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.

 

Spaces are limited for this information session. Students interested in attending should register at https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7OjvDcArAx4nstn.  

 

Part of the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Student and Academic Life at UK, the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards 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 the office's director, Pat Whitlow, 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

Kentucky Cancer Registry Uses Power of Data to Fight Disease

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 12:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2016) – When most people think of the "fight against cancer," mental images of doctors counseling patients or white-coated researchers looking through a microscope often come to mind.

 

However, clinicians and researchers across the country wouldn't be able to make major strides forward in cancer care without the critical information provided by cancer registries.

 

In the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Cancer Registry (KCR) has been dedicated to providing medical personnel with valuable cancer data for 30 years. Originally beginning as a voluntary reporting system in 1986, the KCR has grown into a robust, unique registry that catalogs uniform data on approximately 29,000 cases of cancer occurring in Kentucky citizens each year.

 

KCR was selected in 2000 to join the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, a group considered to be among the most accurate and complete population-based cancer registries in the world. KCR is currently one of only 17 SEER cancer registries in the country.

 

Housed at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the registry is overseen by Director Thomas Tucker, who also serves as associate director for cancer prevention and control at Markey. Tucker has been working with the surveillance program since its inception, an era when cases were mailed to the registry via paper forms and manually edited.

 

"The Kentucky Cancer Registry has evolved quite a bit over the years," Tucker said. “In the beginning, if data errors were found, we had to go back to the source hospital and pull the patient's chart a second time to correct the errors. Now, cases are entered directly from the chart into a state-of-the-art computer program and hundreds of edits are automatically run to ensure data accuracy while the chart is open and being abstracted.”

 

Tucker also noted that registry data standards have change over time as cancer experts' understanding of the disease has progressed.

 

"Even how we define cancer changes as our knowledge and understanding of the disease evolves," he said. "For example, the way we define and classify hematopoietic cancers has changed significantly in the past 10 years.”

 

Using a sophisticated informatics method called Natural Language Processing, the KCR now receives pathology reports in real time from all of the pathology labs that see histologic material from Kentucky cancer patients. Many patients have no time to waste in pursuing their best option for treatment. That's where the real-time pathology reports become especially important, says Eric Durbin, director of cancer informatics for KCR.

 

"For example, in late stage lung cancer patients, median survival time is between eight and nine months," Durbin said. "If you're going to recruit those patients into a study, you have to get to them quickly. Using the electronic pathology reporting for patients seen at the University of Kentucky, we know about their cancer diagnosis almost at the same time as their physician. It gives us an opportunity to reach out to those patients and determine if they're interested in enrolling in a trial."

 

In addition to providing data on cancer patients, the KCR also serves as a "virtual population-based tissue repository." By keeping track of electronic pathology reports for every cancer patient, KCR is able to locate the tissue taken from patients at the time of their surgery or biopsy. These tissues can be invaluable for specific research projects. 

 

Though tissue repositories exist across the country, the KCR is unique in that its data is truly population-based.

 

"This process allows us to generalize the findings from individual studies to the underlying population, and that dramatically elevates the science." Tucker said.

 

KCR is one of five other registries in the country to receive funding from the National Cancer Institute to develop the process behind using a registry as a virtual population-based tissue repository.

 

The registry has grown tremendously since its launch. In 1986, only about 60 percent of Kentucky hospitals were voluntarily reporting their cancer cases. In1990, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law making KCR the official population-based cancer surveillance program for the state and mandating reporting to the system. The KCR has been recognized for its completeness, accuracy and timeliness on a national level, including being one of only six U.S. population-based registries to earn a gold certification from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries every year since the certification program was initiated in 1997.

 

The registry has played an important role in aiding researchers and clinicians throughout Kentucky, and Tucker says it will continue to be a major part of the cancer center's efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in the state.

 

"If you can't see where incidence is occurring, you can't allocate resources to address the problem, and you won't be able to see if your efforts to reduce the cancer burden are being effective," Tucker said. "The registry is the eyes of our public health effort to control the cancer burden in the Commonwealth.”

 

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. #uk4ky #seeblue

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@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. #uk4ky #seeblue

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