Research

At the University of Kentucky we strive to be at the intersection of innovation and impact.

As a $3.7 billion academic, research and health enterprise, discovery is at the core of our institution – calling upon us to answer still lingering questions while daring to pioneer the questions yet asked. UK is one of only eight public institutions in the U.S. with colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine and Pharmacy on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration.

In an analysis conducted in 2015, an independent research firm concluded that UK’s research enterprise has an estimated $581.2 million economic impact on the Commonwealth of Kentucky, affecting some 8,100 jobs and $21.3 million in state and local taxes.

Across campus we are creating pockets of research excellence - multidisciplinary communities of top talent that address the relevant challenges of our day. The University’s sponsored research includes nationally recognized programs in aging, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease. Our emerging areas of discovery – renewable fuels and plant-based alternatives for industrial manufacturing – are closely linked to questions relevant to the Commonwealth we serve.

UK’s patent portfolio reflects a strong and diverse research enterprise that mirrors some of Kentucky’s most vital industries: drug development and design, plant biotech and equine health, as well as innovative materials for medical devices, implants and drug delivery systems. We recently established partnerships with leaders like GE-Appliances and Alltech to strengthen the research and development pipeline – an essential driver of our state's economy.

Kentucky suffers from high rates of preventable deaths related to a number of chronic illnesses. The life expectancy of Kentuckians is below the national average, and we have higher utilization rates of health services further compounding the cost of health care. These are the relevant questions of our day that the University of Kentucky is dedicated to confronting.

Kentucky’s health maladies are further compounded by low educational attainment, low socio-economic mobility, geography and low health awareness. As a result, addressing these health disparities requires a multi-disciplinary approach. To embolden our work on health research that addresses the myriad public and clinical health issues in the Commonwealth, the University  received approval from the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session to build a $265 million multi-disciplinary health science research facility. The facility will be financed with $132.5 million from the state and $132.5 million from various University resources. It will house diverse teams of experts from across campus that are focused on Kentucky questions that have a global impact.

Our research and scholarly endeavors offer the brightest hope for transformation and change for our Commonwealth and the broader world we serve. Our sense of connection to those we serve and our steadfast commitment to changing lives are integral to what makes our campus community special.

Unlike any other institution, our campus is the Commonwealth. Kentucky is in our DNA. We educate students, conduct groundbreaking research and heal communities in need of our care. Though the work we do looks different today than in 1865, the heritage of our land grant and flagship mission – as well as our responsibility to communities on our campus and throughout the Commonwealth – is resolute.

Learn more about research at the University of Kentucky.