Campus News

UK Student's Enthusiasm for Water Slides Goes Beyond Summer Amusement

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 11:29


Video by Marcus Dorsey at Wet 'n Wild Orlando water park. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2016) When he's not in class at the Grehan Journalism Building or shooting video for the Lexington Herald-Leader, there's a chance Marcus Dorsey is skimming down a water slide with a go-pro in hand (or on head).


The University of Kentucky student has zipped and splashed through slides at dozens of water parks across the nation as well as parks in the Bahamas and in Dubai. It's all for fun, but it's also for his not-so-typical pastime: running a water slide database.


The idea came to him in June 2009 in Dubai, where Dorsey traveled to with his dad and brothers. After a thrilling time at a water park there, he wanted to document what it was like on the slides for theme park enthusiasts everywhere — providing an authentic review by filming his own experiences.


"I'm really interested in the amusement park industry and I know a lot of roller coaster websites, a lot of theme park websites; there's a ton of them out there, but almost none of them based around water parks," he said.


So Dorsey, a media arts and studies senior in the UK College of Communication and Information, combined his interest in photography with his enthusiasm for water slides to create the website


With every ride down a new slide, he writes reviews and documents the experience with photos and videos. His video of the Six Flags White Water amusement park in Atlanta, Georgia, has been viewed on YouTube more than 300,000 times. And his video going down the Deep Water Dive — a 12-story trap door slide and America’s tallest body slide - at Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay in Louisville, Kentucky, has more than 58,000 views.


His website has welcomed visitors from all over the world, and he credits a multimedia class with David Stephenson, lecturer and photojournalism adviser for the Kentucky Kernel, for helping him get started.


"The multimedia class I took with David Stephenson was very heavily oriented around structuring a website and building a website from scratch and I've applied a lot of what I've learned in there to structuring my website," he said.


Dorsey is getting ready to redo the entire website and said he'll be using HTML and hard code — takeaways from Stephenson's class — to enhance the site.  


Surprisingly, the only course he's taken related to videography is a documentary course. He taught himself how to work the camera, but is signed up to take a video production course in the fall. In the meantime, Dorsey has been producing videos for the Herald-Leader part-time and his website, and eventually, he hopes to go into documentary filmmaking.


But even then, he plans to continue capturing the thrill of different water slides and running the database.


So what is the best water slide, according to the expert? Dorsey said he'd rank both the Wildebeest and Mammoth, at Splashin Safari Water Park in Santa Claus, Indiana, as the best.


"They're actually water coasters," he said. "They use linear induction magnets to bring riders uphill after they've gone downhill. So they act like roller coasters."


For those heading to the water parks this summer, here's another think to keep in mind according to Dorsey: T-shirts or any large clothing item will slow you down. For his own summer break, Dorsey hopes to hit up Dollywood's Splash Country Water Adventure Park and Beech Bend Park's Splash Lagoon for the first time. 



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 #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

UK Receives $1 Million Grant to Connect Children in Appalachia to Health Insurance

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:49

Hazard, Ky. (June 29, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) is one of 38 community organizations to receive funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as part of the Connecting Kids to Coverage campaign. These awards, provided by the bipartisan Medical Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation, are designed to build on the historic progress already made in increasing the number of children who have health coverage.


Having health coverage improves health and socioeconomic outcomes for children. Recent research shows that these gains are long lasting, with children who gain coverage experiencing better health, higher educational attainment and higher earnings as adults.


“Working to improve the health of our children and youth is vital to the health of Kentucky families,” said Fran Feltner, director of the UK CERH. “This is the first CMS grant we have ever received and it provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to reach both children and parents with the services they need to improve health outcomes.”


The University of Kentucky Research Foundation, on behalf of UK CERH, is a first-time participant in the Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Program.  The award will support targeted strategies to enroll eligible children who do not have health coverage, including application assistance and targeted outreach for children and parents in 40 counties of the rural, mountainous, Appalachian region of the state.


Because it can be difficult to reach and engage individuals without insurance in rural areas, the CEHR will leverage an existing network of community health workers and community-based partnerships to enroll and retain eligible uninsured children and parents in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Targeted outreach will seek to meet individuals where they “work, pray and play” by tapping into local gatherings like churches, community dinners, school-based programs, local stores, sporting events, and volunteer fire departments. Home visits for in-person application assistance will also be provided.


Awardees in the Connecting Kids to Coverage program include states, school districts, and local community organizations from across the country in areas where access to health coverage has been lagging, including among American Indians, children with learning disabilities, children living in rural communities, and teens.


“Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsurance for children has declined to its lowest levels on record. Fewer than 1 in 20 children are now uninsured,” said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Today’s awards will accelerate efforts in communities across America to continue this progress and reach millions of children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not yet enrolled.”


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped increase the numbers of children who have access to quality, affordable health coverage. According to the National Health Interview Survey, only 4.5 percent of children remained uninsured in 2015. In addition, a recent analysis of the American Community Survey found that 91 percent of eligible children are now enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, an increase of nearly 10 percentage points since 2008, according to the Urban Institute. These researchers also found that health coverage increased all subgroups of children studied, including among all age groups and in all regions of the country in 2014. CMS data also demonstrates that an additional 1 million children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in 2015 as compared with 2014.


These awards represent the fourth cycle of outreach and enrollment grants with the broad goal to reduce the number of children who are eligible, but are not enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, and to keep them covered for as long as they qualify.


More information about this award and the Connecting Kids to Coverage Campaign can be found here.  



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,


Trustees Approve Fit-up of 12th Floor in Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees last week approved a plan to fit up the 12th floor in the Albert B. Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A.


Since the opening of the first two patient care floors in Pavilion A in May 2011, substantially increased patient volumes have strained UK HealthCare's patient care capacity. Fitting out the top floor of Pavilion A is intended to ease some of that pressure.


Opening the top floor of Pavilion A is part of Phase I-I of the HealthCare Facilities Development Plan.  With the board's approval of this latest phase, total investment in UK HealthCare facilities has topped $1 billion.


The 12th floor will house a 64-bed inpatient unit dedicated to acute and critical care.  



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: #uk4ky #seeblue

UK Adds 2 Majors, New Master's Degree

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:19
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016) Last week the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved three new areas of study to pursue at the university. Starting this fall, UK students may choose two new bachelor's degrees in liberal studies and digital media and design. In addition, graduate students can pursue a new master's degree in research methods in education.


The new major in liberal studies in the College of Arts and Sciences will allow students to:

· design individualized programs of study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences;

· develop a breadth of knowledge reflective of a liberal arts education;

· develop critical thinking and writing skills; and

· synthesize problem-solving strategies.

The target audience for the degree is expected to be diverse, including non-traditional students and those returning to college following an absence. Students who have switched majors multiple times will be able to utilize past credit hours while pursuing courses that correspond to changed interests or goals.


The new digital media and design major in the UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the College of Fine Arts was created in response to rapidly advancing digital technologies and student demand. The degree is intended to educate students in studio-based digital media practices at the pre-professional level. It will be available to students who plan to undertake careers that require creative use of digital imagery with artistic and/or commercial applications; and involving digital design and illustration, photography, video, sound and digital-based fabrication. Graduates with this bachelor's degree will be able to apply their knowledge and skills in digital software/hardware, and contemporary and past visual culture, to create innovative solutions to common problems.


The new Master of Science in Research Methods in Education (RMinE) in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation in the UK College of Education will provide students training for careers in academic institutions, school districts, state and federal agencies, health care, and certification, licensing and testing organizations. Students enrolled in the program, which is available both fully online and face-to-face, will learn to apply research methods, techniques and constructs across education settings, issues and data sets, while developing research knowledge and skills within a problem-of-practice framework. These students will develop a foundation in basic research methods in education, while completing a focused area of emphasis in quantitative methods, evaluation or research design. The interdisciplinary program will cross fields of study within education, drawing from perspectives in policy, psychology, pedagogy and history. This approach should attract those who want to develop academic and applied research skills, undertake commissioned research or evaluations, or progress to doctoral study, as well as those already working as a researcher or evaluator.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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



Fourth of July Fireworks Will Impact UK Campus

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 15:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2016) The University of Kentucky, in cooperation with the Downtown Lexington Corporation, wants to remind members of the campus and surrounding neighborhoods of the impacts of the Fourth of July Fireworks display, which will take place near Commonwealth Stadium.


The following road closures and restricted areas will be in effect Monday, July 4, at the times listed here:

· The Arboretum will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic at 8 p.m. for safety reasons.

· Alumni Drive between University Drive and Tates Creek Road will be closed from 9:30-11 p.m.

· College Way will be closed from 9:30-11 p.m.


Parking and viewing areas will be available around Commonwealth Stadium.


A viewing only area will be provided and people are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs, however tailgating will not be permitted, and concessions will not be available at the event.


For a complete schedule of Fourth of July events, visit



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 #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACTS:  Renee Jackson Shepard,, 859-335-8640; Carl Nathe,, 859-257-3200.

UK Superfund Center Identifies Potential Link Between Pollutants and Human Disease Risk

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 15:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016)  Appalachian Kentucky has some of the highest rates of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the country. Researchers at the University of Kentucky's Superfund Research Center (SRC), which is supported through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), are interested in understanding how exposure to environmental pollutants and poor diet and nutrition may interact to increase the risk of these diseases in people living in Appalachia and other at-risk populations.


Michael Petriello, a postdoctoral fellow working with UK Superfund Research Center faculty Bernhard Hennig, director of the UK SRC, and Andrew Morris, of UK HealthCare's Division of Cardiovascular Medicine with a joint appointment at the Lexington VA (Veterans Affairs) Medical Center, recently discovered a mechanism that may link exposure to environmental pollutants to increased human disease risk.


"A goal of our work is to identify human populations that are highly sensitive to pollutant-induced disease," Petriello said.


In laboratory experiments, Petriello found that exposure to a class of pollutants called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can increase levels of an enzyme in the liver that generates a metabolite in the blood called tri methylamine N-oxide (TMAO). PCBs are persistent organic pollutants that remain in the environment although their manufacture and use is now banned. Several large studies in humans have shown that circulating levels of TMAO are a powerful risk factor for heart disease. These observations may be relevant to other widespread classes of environmental pollutants termed dioxins and dioxin-like chemicals because these pollutants could also increase levels of a liver enzyme critical for TMAO production in lab models.


“Dr. Petriello’s research clearly shows that exposure to PCBs increases the circulating levels of TMAO, a biomarker of increased risks for cardiovascular disease," Hennig said.


The UK SRC group is now working with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention to see if the relationship between exposure to environmental pollutants and circulating TMAO levels observed in the lab also happens in people.


"Once we identify interactions between diet and toxicology, such as this observed link between TMAO and PCBs, we may be better equipped to educate and engage the public on ways to minimize risk," Petriello said.


Hennig added, “What makes Dr. Petriello’s discoveries significant is the fact that we can now use biomarkers like TMAO to estimate the cardiovascular risk of PCB exposure in humans." 


According to the UK scientists, the research findings contain some good news. TMAO is formed by metabolism of dietary lipids that are particularly rich in meat and dairy products. Petriello’s study suggests that healthy diets that reduce consumption of these lipids to decrease TMAO levels might be particularly beneficial for people who are exposed to these kinds of pollutants. 


This work has already generated substantial interest. In addition to a recent publication reporting the results of his studies, Petriello recently won an award for presentation of this work at the European Atherosclerosis Society Meeting in Innsbruck, Austria. And, the UK team has been invited to make a presentation about their work at the upcoming international Dioxin Symposium in Florence, Italy.


Petriello, Hennig and Morris have received additional grant support from the NIEHS, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to pursue their studies of the link between environmental pollutants and TMAO with Sudha Biddinger of the Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Biddinger is a physician scientist who is an expert on the enzyme that makes TMAO in the liver.


“Dr. Petriello received a NIEHS/NIH/SRP research supplement and is spending this summer at Harvard Medical School to study further our hypothesis that PCB-induced increases in TMAO can be a novel mechanism linking nutrition, exposure to environmental pollutants, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic disorders,” Hennig said.



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



MEDIA CONTACT:  Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200;


Kara Richardson, 859-327-2825;

Skype for Business Migration Scheduled for Holiday Weekend

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 13:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2016) University of Kentucky Analytics and Technologies (UKAT) will begin the migration of Lync 2010 to Skype for Business at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 1. The migration will update each Lync-enabled University of Kentucky account to Skype for Business. As part of the process, each UK Lync account and any meeting data associated with it will be migrated.


This migration is expected to be complete by 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, so that limited users will be affected during online meetings. Any account logged into the Lync 2010 service at the time it is migrated will be logged out of the Lync 2010 service and logged into the Skype for Business service and disconnected from any meeting as part of that process. The client must then rejoin the meeting after the account has migrated. The user will not notice any differences when logged into the account after it has been migrated.


Several new features and functionalities in the new software include a simpler meeting joining and interface experience; updated functionality for external meeting invitees who do not have Skype for Business; and an improved Skype for Business mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile smart phones. All users can download and use the Skype for Business mobile app on their smartphones, regardless of the desktop version being used.


Lync 2010 clients will not receive any of the updated features or meeting experiences. It is recommended that users update to the Skype for Business 2016, part of the Microsoft Office 2016 suite.


For more information and to access user guides for Skype for Business, visit, which requires signing in with UK Office 365 credentials ( and linkblue password).



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 #uk4ky #seeblue




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

UK Alumni Association Announces New Officers for 2016-2017

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 12:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016) The University of Kentucky Alumni Association announced a new slate of officers at its annual Board of Directors Summer Workshop in Lexington. At the helm for 2016-2017 are: Peggy S. Meszaros, president; Susan Van Buren Mustian, president-elect; J. Fritz Skeen, treasurer; and Stan R. Key, secretary.


Meszaros, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, earned a master’s degree in education in 1972 and a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland. She is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association and a UK Fellow. Meszaros has served four three-year terms on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. She has held several committee leadership positions with the association, including chairwoman of the Distinguished Service Awards, Communications, Nominating for Board, Scholarships/Great Teacher Awards and Budget, Finance and Investments Committees.


In the 2015-2016 year she served as chairwoman of the strategic planning process. Meszaros retired this year as the William E. Lavery Professor of Human Development and director of the Research Center for Information Technology Impacts on Children, Youth, and Families at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State College. She was then conferred the title of William E. Lavery Professor Emerita of Human Development and Provost Emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. She served from 1993-1994 as dean of the College of Human Resources at Virginia Tech and from 1994-2000 served as senior vice president and provost, the highest-ranking female in the history of the school.


From 1985-1993 Meszaros served as dean of the UK College of Human Environmental Sciences. She was inducted into the UK Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame in 2002. She served on the UK Athletics Association Board from 1986-1992. She is a founding member of the Erikson Society at UK. Meszaros was inducted into the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1995 and was a 2011 recipient of the prestigious UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. She is a member of the Blacksburg Rotary Club and has served on its board of directors and as co-chairwoman of Membership and Attendance Committees. She was married to Alex Meszaros and they had three children. Their son, Louis, graduated from UK.


Mustian, of Hebron, Kentucky, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1984 from the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. She is a UKAN Advocate and a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association. Mustian is serving her third three-year term on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. She has held several committee leadership positions with the association including chairwoman of Membership, Club Development and Budget, Finance and Investments, and vice-chairwoman of Diversity and Group Development Committees. Mustian was also chairwoman of the Strategic Plan Governance Focus Group.


A former president of the Student Activities Board, Mustian also led the Student Alumni Association as an undergraduate. She continued her involvement with the association serving as president-elect of the Northern KY/Greater Cincinnati UK Alumni Club and also as vice president and secretary. She helped develop alumni clubs in South Bend, Indiana, and Hong Kong, where she was appointed to the Strategic Plan Accreditation Leadership Team with the Hong Kong International School. She is currently president of the Southwest Ohio Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Directors and served as the Cincinnatian of the Year Gala co-chairwoman in 2015 and 2016. In 2014 she received the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council Voices of Giving Award and in 2015 she received Lead’s Cincinnati Women of Influence Award. She is a 2012 recipient of the prestigious UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. She is married to Scott J. Mustian ’85 BE, a UK Fellow and also a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association. They are the parents of Sam, Nathan and Sarah.


Skeen, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972 and an MBA in 1973 from the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. He is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a Wildcat Society member, a UK Fellow, a member of the K Fund and returns to campus to play tuba in the UK Alumni Band. He is serving his second three-year term on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. Skeen has held committee leadership positions with the association including chairman of the Scholarship/Great Teacher Awards, vice-chairman of Distinguished Service Awards and vice-chairman of the Budget, Finance and Investments Committees. He has also served on the Membership Committee.


Skeen and two fellow UK alumni restarted the Jacksonville UK Alumni Club, where he continues to serve as treasurer. During his 30-year career with the IBM Corp., he held a variety of sales, marketing and executive positions, relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina; Chicago; Los Angeles; White Plains, New York; and again to Chicago. As general manager of the Chicago area for all divisions of IBM, he hosted two receptions for the then deans of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He serves on the board of governors of the Sawgrass Country Club and is the treasurer. Skeen is president of the Northgate Homeowners Association and a past member of the board of directors of the Sawgrass Association. He is married to Helen Morse Skeen.


Key, of Lexington, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from UK in 1972 and a master’s degree in education from Murray State University in 1977. He is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association and a UK Fellow. He has served as executive director of the UK Alumni Association and as secretary to the association’s board of directors since 1998. Key was in the position of associate director of the UK Alumni Association from 1990 to 1998. He is married to Mary Jane Key, a UK graduate. Their two sons, Ryan and Neil, also have degrees from UK.


The UK Alumni Association is a membership supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit or call 1-800-269-2586.



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 #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

No Campus Bus Service on Monday, July 4

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 11:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2016)  In observance of Independence Day, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services will not offer any bus service on Monday, July 4. This includes the Blue and White Routes, the Purple Route (UK HealthCare Shuttle), and the Pink Route (Kentucky Clinic Shuttle).


All bus service will resume normal operations on Tuesday, July 5. As a reminder, the Summer Route has been discontinued; the Blue, White and Green Routes now serve campus year-round.


Campus buses can be tracked in real time using the TransLoc Rider app on iPhone and Android devices or at, allowing for users to plan for delays caused by traffic, accidents or inclement weather.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Retired UK Pediatrician Passes the Torch to Geneticists in Hopes of Finding a Therapy for the Disorder Bearing His Name

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 20:08

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2016) — In December 1968, a widowed mother from Knoxville, Tennessee, arrived with her two sons, daughter and nephew at the University of Kentucky's pediatric clinic.


The four children were afflicted with severe intellectual impairment, presenting at the clinic with IQs of 10 or lower. The children showed normal development at birth, but during the first year of life experienced neurological deficiencies that rendered them unable to speak or walk. In the second and third years of life, the children were stricken with intense epileptic seizures.


Dr. Charlton Mabry, an original member of the Pediatric Department at the University of Kentucky, examined the four children in the hospital’s care-by-parent unit. After completing neurological examinations, Mabry, who was an assiduous record-keeper, took samples of the children’s blood and urine for further testing. He also denoted personal characteristics of each patient and family dynamics in his case reports. He took the specimens to the UK College of Medicine lab, finding elevated levels of the protein known as alkaline phosphatase (AP), a finding called hyperphosphatasia. Eighty percent of these cases were involved in bone metabolism, but Mabry’s study showed hyperphosphatasia occurring the metabolism of the liver.


In 1970, decades before the brink of personalized medicine and genetic specialization, Mabry described a novel metabolic syndrome characterized by hyperphosphatasia, intellectual impairment and seizures in an article published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Eighteen years passed by before the disease resurfaced in medical literature in 1988. More than 40 years passed before Miles Thompson, a geneticist from Toronto, Canada, named the condition Mabry syndrome in medical literature.


“Biochemical disorders were not known then,” Mabry said, reflecting on his discovery. “Everything was new.”


On June 9, Mabry, who is now retired from the College of Medicine, joined Thompson for a grand rounds presentation at the UK Chandler Hospital. In addition to explaining the phenotype for the rare disorder, Thompson reported scientific progress toward the development of an enzyme therapy targeting Mabry syndrome. He credited the foundational work of Mabry for galvanizing future research on the disease, setting the stage for the next phase of scientific advancement through molecular and genomic innovation.


The visit from Thompson was symbolic a passing of the torch between two researchers who held interlocking pieces to the Mabry syndrome puzzle. Mabry’s thorough case reports identified the condition in medical literature, while Thompson’s expertise capitalized on Mabry’s contributions by tracing the origins of the disease in the human genome.


“The identification of new genes will result in better treatment,” Thompson said.


As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. David E. Cole in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology working on Ontario New Born Screening at the University of Toronto, Thompson encountered a specimen with the genetic composition that mirrored the condition of hyperphosphatasia presented in Mabry’s patients. Tracking down the first reports of cases and possible treatments, Thompson studied Mabry’s seminal work describing the condition. He started publishing and presenting his own laboratory findings at conferences, where he discovered researchers around the world were also coming across new cases in the Netherlands, Tokyo and Germany.


“When I started this study, the only useful guide to the condition was Dr. Mabry's original article from 1970,” Thompson said. “Until recently, there had been few definitive attempts to understand the genetic condition these patients and their families face.”


With knowledge and advanced expertise in genomic mapping, Thompson is working to identify the proteins within the genotype responsible for the developmental deficiencies caused by Mabry syndrome. Understanding the genetic factors underlying Mabry’s syndrome would allow him to test enzyme therapies targeting the disease. To accomplish this next step, he needed more samples of DNA, so having established a relationship with Mabry in 2009, he asked for the retired doctor’s assistance.


Thanks to his detailed medical records, Mabry was able to locate three of the afflicted boys, now men, who appeared in his clinic on that December afternoon in 1968. After the grand rounds session, Thompson accompanied Mabry on a visit to two assisted living centers in Tennessee where the men receive care in a group home setting. With the family’s permission, Thompson took current blood samples from the patients for genomic sequencing.


For Mabry, the experience of seeing the profound degradation caused by the disease was sobering. Mabry hadn’t seen the patients since the day they appeared in his clinic as young boys. The reunion with the men accentuated the need to understand how the disease manifests at the genetic level.


“It is a rare disorder, a grave disorder,” Mabry said. “And for many similar disorders, there are only a few effective treatments.”


Since Mabry’s initial case report, 40 cases of Mabry syndrome have been reported worldwide. Based on preliminary findings, Mabry and Thompson believe a deficiency in the Vitamin B-6 metabolism might alleviate seizures in some cases of Mabry syndrome.


Mabry said Thompson will analyze portions of the genome from Mabry’s original patients in conjunction with the University of Kentucky in the next few weeks, with the expectation that understanding the genetic basis of the disorder that Mabry originally described will provide insights into how to treat the disease.




MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,

High Street Lot to Close Wednesday for Expansion Construction

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 15:12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2016) — As announced in April, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) will be increasing the number of spaces in the employee parking lot located at the corner of E. High Street and S. Martin Luther King Boulevard. In order to facilitate this expansion, the High Street Lot will be closed beginning Wednesday, June 29.


This closure has been scheduled to take place during the summer months to minimize the impact to the university community, as campus parking demand is decreased and permit holders experience more flexibility in student parking areas. Employee parking lots in the vicinity include the Linden Walk Lot, the King Alumni Lot, the Career Center Lot, the Coliseum Lot, the College View Lot, and the South Limestone Garage (PS #5). Go to to view a campus parking map.


Currently, the High Street Lot has 81 parking spaces. PTS anticipates the addition of 77 new spaces — nearly doubling the parking capacity. The expansion of the High Street Lot will provide proximate parking for North Campus employees, including those who work at UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital and the Kentucky Utilities building.


The expansion is expected to be completed by Tuesday, Aug. 23.



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Latest Research on Physical Therapy in ICU Setting a 'Surprising Reversal'

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 14:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2016) — In a surprising reversal, researchers have determined that a particular protocol providing physical therapy to intensive care unit patients with acute respiratory failure did not shorten hospital length of stay. 


Secondary measures of physical function and health-related quality of life were split.


The study, which is the largest to date on this topic, was not able to confirm the findings from earlier pilot and quality improvement studies. 


“This results are astonishing and somewhat controversial. We all expected the results to be positive,” said Dr. Peter Morris, corresponding author for the study, which was published in the current issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  “This doesn't sound the death knell for the concept of early rehabilitation in the ICU, but we need to explore new delivery methods and timing."


The study randomized 300 ICU patients to receive either standardized rehabilitation therapy or routine care.  Outcomes were measured by hospital length of stay (LOS) and other secondary outcomes, such as physical function and health-related quality of life, which were assessed at hospital discharge and again at two, four and six months post-discharge.


The researchers found no difference in median hospital LOS between the group that received therapy and the control group that received routine care. Some of the strength measures were the same in both groups at each interval; however, objective measures of function and self-reported quality of life were improved in the test group at six months post-discharge.


According to Morris, it’s been a long-accepted point of view among medical professionals that early intervention with ICU patients could have a positive effect on outcomes, and the findings from this study signal a need for reexamination of established views in the field of early ICU rehabilitation.


“We’ve known for a long time that spending even short periods on life support can elicit long-term physical and psychological effects, and pilot studies on smaller cohorts implied that physical therapy could help alleviate that,” he said.  “But the protocol we tested didn’t bear this out.”


Morris cautions against abandoning all exploration of the concept,.


“I’m optimistic that some form of therapy can provide some long-term benefit to patients on life support.”


Morris is the chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the University of Kentucky. His research was funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of Nursing Research.


MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Dawahare,, (859) 257-5307





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 #uky4ky #seeblue


UK Alum is Editor of New Book on Changes in Appalachia

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 13:31

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2016) University of Kentucky alumna Rebecca Adkins Fletcher is one of the editors of the new book "Appalachia Revisited: New Perspectives on Place, Tradition, and Progress," published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK). The book's contributors explore how the Appalachia region has changed in recent years.


"Appalachia Revisited" is the story of how the Appalachia region is being viewed within and beyond its borders. Fletcher and co-editor, William Schumann, gather both scholars and nonprofit practitioners to explore how Appalachia is being observed after some of its most recent changes.


Inside the new book, readers will find a variety of different topics that are being studied, including race and gender, environmental transformation, university-community collaborations, cyber identities, fracking, contemporary activist strategies and Appalachia in the context of local-to-global change. The publication is a "must read" for scholars, students and policymakers of Appalachia alike.


"Appalachia Revisited" is one of five in a UPK series of books about Appalachia called, "Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies." The series is edited by UK Professor of Sociology Dwight B. Billings.


Rebecca Adkins Fletcher earned her master's degree in of anthropology from UK in 2003 and her doctoral degree in anthropology from UK in 2011. In addition to her master's and doctoral degrees, Fletcher also obtained a graduate certificate in gender and women's studies from UK in 2009. Fletcher is an assistant professor in the Department of Appalachian Studies and assistant director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University.


Co-editor, William Schumann, is currently the director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. 


UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that includes all of the state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. The press’ editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation through the UK Libraries.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



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


Campus Bus Service Changes Set for July 1

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 13:07


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2016) — Beginning July 1, 2016, University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) will make several changes to campus transit operations.


As previously announced, the Blue and White Campus Shuttle routes (Lextran 14) will operate year-round beginning July 1. This popular bidirectional campus shuttle service, which began last fall, is a simple and convenient way to traverse campus. Despite reduced campus population, expansion of this service during the summer and other breaks will allow consistency of service year-round. The Blue and White routes will run from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer and academic breaks. During the fall and spring semesters, service hours have been extended and routes will run from 6:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Also on Friday, July 1, the Green Route (Lextran 26) will extend to year-round service; this route will be operated by Lextran going forward. This route provides a connection from the Greg Page and Shawneetown residential areas to the Blue and White Route bus stop at Commonwealth Stadium. The Green Route will run from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during summer and academic breaks, and 6:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters.


The campus Summer/Break Route will end operations at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 30.


The trial MoveWell shuttle will also be discontinued at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 30. Current riders of this shuttle are encouraged to visit for suggested transportation alternatives.


Campus buses can be tracked in real time using the TransLoc app on iPhone and Android devices allowing for users to plan for delays caused by traffic, accidents or inclement weather. TransLoc is a GPS-based tracking system that tracks all campus buses as well as the Red Mile Route (Lextran 15) frequently used by the campus community.


More information about all the bus routes, including maps and schedules, can be found at



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, 859-257-6398;

Social Work Professor Turns Foster Care Journey Into Life of Research, Education, Advocacy

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:00

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016)  Justin "Jay" Miller, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, likens the years of his youth to that of a carousel ride — up and down, round and round, in and out of foster care. The memories weren't always pleasant, but his personal experience during that time led him to where he is today, passionately advocating for the lives of young people in and from foster care through his teaching, research and community involvement.


After graduating from Western Kentucky University in 2003, Miller went to work for Kentucky’s Child Protective Services. Coming full circle, he went from being in foster care, to removing kids and placing them in foster care, to now conducting research about how to best change the foster care system.  


"It has really been a holistic experience," he said.


At just 7 years old, Miller's mother died leaving him and his younger sisters in the care of their father, who battled addiction to crack cocaine. Because of his father's inability to kick his addiction, Miller and his sisters suffered from neglect and physical abuse. Eventually, Miller was placed in foster care while his sisters went to live with their grandmother.


Miller had his own battles to fight and remembers feeling fearful and alone, grief over his mother's death, and angry with his father who couldn't seem to "get it together." He felt his life was out of control and the only way to feel like he had any control at all over his situation was by rebelling. Thus, began the carousel of placements in the homes of family friends, to state foster homes, to running away and staying with friends, to brief periods of time back with his father, and back into foster care.


"I recall having a case worker that seemed preoccupied with other things," Miller said. "I had so many things that I wanted to tell her but I didn't feel that I had the space to do so. While I didn't know at the time what she did, or how to become what she was, I did know that I wanted to do it and do it better."


Life did get better for Miller when he was pulled from the system and he and his sisters were taken in by an aunt and uncle in Germany. He describes his life there as stable, loving, supportive, and most of all, committed. He was allowed to be a "teenager" and do the things that most teens get to do. He stayed in Germany until he went to college at Western Kentucky University in 1999.  


Miller has since used the experiences of his youth as the fuel that has helped shaped his adult life.


"I don't want young people to experience the system in the way that I had to experience it," he said. "I experienced things as a young person that no youth should have to experience."


"I see my research as a vehicle to shed light and give voice to experiences that can really shape foster care practices. I am not interested in doing research for the sake of simply 'knowing' about the phenomenon that is foster care —  I am interested in doing research that can positively impact the lives of young people in and from foster care. Through my research, I hope that I can give youth a voice in the system. They are the experts, not me. I am simply the means to carry their expertise to different audiences."


In addition to his teaching and research at UK, Miller is heavily engaged in foster care advocacy and serves as president of Foster Care Alumni of America – Kentucky, where he consults and leads a myriad research projects and initiatives. He also serves as chair of the Kentucky Children's Justice Act Taskforce, vice-chair of the Kentucky Board of Social Work, and is a member of the Federal Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, among other service endeavors.  


In retrospect, the road Miller traveled as a youth in the foster care system, has merged seamlessly into the road he travels today.


"At the end of the day, I know what is at stake. These young people are depending on us and they don't have time to wait," he said. "This work is not just about grants or publications, presentations or lectures, or promotions or awards. While those things are certainly important, the work is so much bigger than those things — it is about making the difference in the life of young people in the foster care system. As long as we can hold tight to that notion, I truly believe that we can continue to build a better system, and as such, a better future for these young people."


"If I can make even the smallest difference in the life of someone impacted by foster care — youth, foster parents, social workers, etc. — then I am satisfied. But, I know that tomorrow will come and I'll be looking to pick up the work and continue the journey."


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 #uk4ky #seeblue


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or

Interprofessional Care for the Multi-Part Problem of Orofacial Pain

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 08:46

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 05, 2016) – As one of only seven institutions with all academic colleges housed on a single campus, the University of Kentucky provides a collaborative environment for students, professors, researchers, health care providers and patients.


As a comprehensive medical center, and the largest academic medical center in Kentucky, UK and UK HealthCare deliver specialized medical care to patients. Accessibility to various providers can be invaluable when patients seek medical attention for complex health issues.


The collaboration between the University of Kentucky Orofacial Pain Clinic, the College of Health Sciences and the Department of Psychology began more than 25 years ago when Charles Carlson, a professor of psychology and joint professor of dentistry and behavioral science, approached Jeffrey Okeson, chief of the division of orofacial pain, about collaborating on research to assist orofacial pain patients whose outcomes were worse due to issues with anxiety and depression. Joining this collaborative effort later was Anne Harrison, physical therapist, associate professor and director of professional studies in the College of Heath Sciences.


Orofacial pain is a complex issue that affects 30 million Americans each year. As the oldest clinic in the United States, UK’s Orofacial Pain Clinic often leads the field in developing treatment and educating providers. While collaborating across disciplines is not uncommon, according to Isabel Moreno Hay, assistant professor in the College of Dentistry, working closely in the same clinical setting is uncommon, especially working in tandem with psychologists and physical therapists.


Currently, UK offers the only orofacial pain program with combined psychology and dental residencies. The benefit of having health care providers available at one location can be reduced travel time for patients and better communication between clinicians.


“We all get the chance to meet the patient and then sit around the table to discuss the best treatment options,” Moreno Hay said. The opportunity to see all health care providers at one time in one location can help reduce patient stress.


Garrett Naze is currently pursuing his doctorate in rehabilitation science through the College of Health Sciences Division of Physical Therapy. Naze currently holds a clinical fellowship position in the Orofacial Pain Clinic. He works to screen patients and provide physical therapy services such as spinal and soft tissue mobilization. In addition, Naze provides education to patients about techniques they can use themselves to relieve pain. He also teaches them the difference between managing acute and chronic pain. Before beginning his service in the clinic, Naze was unaware of the caliber of the clinic. 


Walter Roberts and Josh Oltmanns are psychology graduate students in the clinic. They teach self-regulation skills to help patients manage the pain they experience. On average, patients experience four years of pain before their first visit to the clinic. For many patients, the orofacial pain specialist can be the fifth, tenth or twentieth clinician they have seen for their issue. Many have spent years being told their pain is all in their head or they’re seeking attention. These experiences create distress that the treatment team can often address.


The clinic provides education to the dental, psychological and physical therapy communities. Dentists, psychologists and physical therapists can come to the clinic and shadow the health care providers. This experience helps improve their treatment practices and ability to conduct more efficient screening and exams.


Tori Justice, a clinical physical therapist for KORT PT, participated in the shadowing program in June 2016. Through the experience she learned how to give better treatment, conduct better patient interviews and get experience that will assist her in receiving additional certification. This opportunity benefits both Justice and the clinic. Not only can the clinic refer patients to Justice, so they can receive care closer to home, Justice is now able to identify symptoms of orofacial pain and knows where patients can receive the best care in the area, UK’s Orofacial Pain Clinic.


“If we want patients to adhere to the treatment, we have to make it easier for them,” Moreno Hay said.


The partnership between the Orofacial Pain Clinic, the College of Health Sciences Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Department of Psychology and the community creates an environment where patients can see their care providers all in one location and where providers can give the best care possible, and treat the patient from an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates dental, physical and psychological care.


MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy,, (859) 257-1076



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: #uk4ky #seeblue


Gill Heart Institute Earns American Heart Association Award

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 14:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2016) — All heart attacks are serious, but one type – called STEMI — is particularly deadly. 


“A STEMI, or ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, means an artery to the heart is 100 percent blocked, which is associated with a much higher short-term risk of death or disability compared to other types of heart attack,” Dr. Adrian Messerli of the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart Institute said.


More than 250,000 Americans suffer a STEMI each year and once heart muscle is damaged it will never grow back.


“That’s why immediate access to treatment for STEMI patients is critical to their recovery,” said Messerli.


The Gill Heart Institute has been recognized by the American Heart Association for their high quality treatment of STEMI patients with a 2016 Mission: Lifeline® Receiving Center BRONZE Recognition Award.   


According to the AHA, the Gill is “part of an elite group of hospitals recognized…for quality heart attack care…. treating patients according to nationally accepted guidelines.”  


The AHA requires award recipients to adhere to rigorous standards including time to treatment of 90 minutes or less, administration of certain medications to reduce the chance of another heart attack, and other counseling such as smoking cessation.


“We have an incredibly talented and hard-working team, including nurses, staff and emergency medical personnel, all of whom contribute to successful patient outcomes,” said Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the Gill Heart Institute.  “This award justly recognizes their work and ultimately is a reflection of the high standard of care we provide to the communities we serve.”


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: #uk4ky #seeblue



Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,


Family Dairy in Muhlenberg County Going Strong for 66 Years and Counting

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 12:20


Video by Jeff Franklin/UK Ag Communications


GREENVILLE, Ky., (June 27, 2016)  Many dairy producers would say if they didn’t love and live the business, they wouldn’t be in it. Wade Mathis, of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, is one of those people. His family has run a Greenville-based dairy for 66 years and most recently brought the fourth generation onto the farm, when his son Will graduated high school.


Five years ago, the Mathis family found themselves at a crossroads with the dairy farm. A trip on the Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange showed them areas where they were lacking and one of them was facilities. The Mathis family were using a freestall barn built in the 1960s and had maxed out production in it. Building a new one would be quite a financial undertaking, especially during a time with low milk prices.


“It was time to either quit or build a new one,” Wade Mathis said. “We didn’t want to quit milking, so we decided to build a new barn.”


They set their sights on constructing an alternative style barn bedded with 18 inches of sawdust and equipped with fans. The barn’s design will allow the cows to roam freely and be fed in a separate alleyway in the barn and have 24/7 access to fresh, clean water. By constructing this barn, they hope to improve cow comfort and subsequently increase their herd’s milk production. For help, they turned to Darrell Simpson, their county agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, much like they have done in the past.


“I don’t have another dairy farmer in the county to bounce ideas off of, so Darrell’s my place to bump ideas,” Mathis said. “Darrell’s got a lot of knowledge and a lot of ‘want to,’ and he wants to be helpful.”


Simpson has been the county’s agriculture and natural resources extension agent since 1989. He has worked with all four generations of the Mathis family to find answers to issues that have come up with the dairy and their other agricultural endeavors over the years. In addition, to the dairy, Wade and Will Mathis have four poultry houses. The family raised tobacco and hogs in the past.


“I started working with him years ago, when the float beds for tobacco came in,” Wade Mathis said. “Darrell has helped with everything. If he doesn’t have the answer, he gets the answer.”


Simpson and the Mathis family have worked very closely on the barn, talking almost daily. They sought advice from Jeffrey Bewley and Joe Taraba, extension specialists in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, with everything from lighting to airflow to retaining walls.


“This barn didn’t happen overnight, and extension doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually an educational process,” Simpson said. “Hopefully when this project is done, we’ve asked all the right questions and have provided good research-based answers to the family, so they have spent their money in a way that’s going to help them be more efficient.”


Their goal is for the new barn to be fully operational by July 1. In the meantime, Wade is also getting advice from Carmen Agouridis in UK’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering about another project, constructing a pond to provide another water source for his cattle and chickens.


“This is my love,” Mathis said. “What sacrifices are made I feel like are worth it for getting to do it.”


For Simpson, the success of the Mathis family and his other farming clients is personal.


“They are more than just a number for me,” he said. Over the years, they have become my friends. I take it personally if they are not doing well, and I want to make sure they are doing well.”



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Pratt, 857-257-8774.


Alternative Vegetable May Be Just Right for Kentucky Gardens

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 11:58

LEXINGTON, Ky., (June 27, 2016)  While it’s definitely not the prettiest vegetable at harvest time, celeriac has many potential uses and may be a natural fit for Kentucky gardeners.


“This is a vegetable that dates back to the Middle Ages in Europe,” said John Strang, horticulture specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “It’s also known as turnip-rooted celery, knob celery and what many people maybe more familiar with, celery root. Celery is typically difficult to grow in Kentucky, but celeriac thrives and has nearly zero pest or disease problems.”


Celeriac is related to celery. The entire plant looks like and even smells like celery, however it’s the root that stands out. Cooks use it much like a potato; they peel it then roast it, steam it, mash it, blanch it or use chunks or slices in stews and soups.


Strang said it is a long-season crop, taking more than 110 days to mature, but gardeners can harvest the root at all different sizes. Most gardeners harvest celeriac in the fall.


“A great thing about celeriac is that you can store it for six to eight months,” Strang said. “Storing it longer is possible, but you may lose flavor and the texture could change. It is a good source of fiber, and it only has about 30 calories per cup.”


Strang said gardeners should grow celeriac in full sun to partial shade and that it needs a moist environment with good drainage.


This year Jesse Dahl, horticulturalist at The Arboretum on UK's campus in Lexington, is growing a small crop of celeriac with the help of volunteers. Volunteers work in the garden and learn about different crops and garden techniques and then donate produce to local organizations that feed the hungry.



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: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Nielson, 857-257-7707.


'I Was Running Out of Time:' Louisville Man Receives New Heart, Kidney at UK

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 11:17

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2016) – He pushed through a failing heart for a decade, determined to avoid undergoing a transplant. But in the past year, 49-year-old Conrad Webster knew its time was almost up.


The stoic Louisville resident and Operation Desert Storm veteran, who was used to showing no weaknesses, was ready to seek serious help.


“I was getting scared because I was just getting so sick,” he said. “I was sick all the time, it just drained me.”


Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy – thickening and weakening of the heart muscles – in 2006, Webster spent the next several years managing the disease with medications. As his condition worsened, he experienced transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) from blood clots around his neck and heart.


Complicating matters further, Webster had also inherited polycystic kidney disease unrelated to his heart problems. This condition causes the kidneys to fill with cysts and ultimately fail. He began going in for dialysis three times a week, ultimately receiving medication for his heart during these trips as well.


In March, Webster’s problems came to a head when he collapsed at his fiancee’s house in Cincinnati, complaining of a severe headache.


“I couldn’t stand up,” he said. “I think I was crashing.”


As his daughters held him up, his fiancée, Leticia Willis, called 911 and he was rushed to a local community hospital. But Webster needed both a heart and kidney transplant, and dual organ transplants aren’t performed at every transplant center. After being turned away at three different regional transplant centers, Webster's sister contacted UK's transplant coordinators and he came in for an evaluation.


“Nothing seemed to work,” Willis said. “We were happy to come here. We were ready to try anything.”


At UK, he was evaluated by members of both the heart and kidney transplant teams. Due to the severity of his medical issues, Webster says UK cardiothoracic transplant surgeon Dr. Alexis Shafii told him he needed to be admitted right away.


“Dr. Shafii looked at me and said, ‘you’re not gonna leave here today,” Webster said. “He said I probably wouldn’t have made it back home.”


On April 11,  he was listed for transplant, holding a spot high on the waiting list.

Many patients endure a lengthy hospital stay once they’re listed for transplant, but Webster’s wait was surprisingly short – just three weeks after he was admitted, and only a week of being listed for transplant, he learned that doctors had found a compatible donor. Willis, a nurse who works night shift, had returned to Cincinnati to work when she got a call from Webster to come back to UK.


“He called me and said, ‘you have to get back right away, they have a donor,” she said. “He was talking so fast and crying, I could barely understand him.”


On April 18, around 2 a.m., Webster officially received his new heart, while his kidney was transplanted about 12 hours later. Following heart transplants, patients are usually encouraged to become mobile, often walking laps with assistance around the cardiovascular intensive care unit on the 8th floor of UK Chandler Hospital’s Pavilion A. A few days after Webster’s surgery, medical staff had him up out of bed and moving around, and within weeks, he had already regained a surprising amount of strength and stamina.


“I was walking so fast, they said they knew I’d be out of there real quick,” Webster said.


On May 14, just under a month after his double-organ transplant, Webster was discharged to go home. Since then, every day is an improvement on the last.


“I already feel a lot better,” he said. “I’m getting my stamina back, I’m breathing better.”


After overcoming a decade of serious illness, Webster can finally focus on enjoying life. He’s making plans to travel more, and in October, he and Willis – partners for 11 years – plan to get married. Though Louisville is his hometown, UK and its staff of transplant specialists will always hold a special significance.


“They’re unbelievable, they keep up with me all the time,” he said. “I found the right place. No one else would do my transplant, and I was running out of time.”



Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and allow the organ donor procurement program to inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested. To join the registry, visit or sign up when you renew your driver’s license.  The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested. 


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