Funding

Our scholars and students cultivate an environment that embraces inquiry through rigorous research in the laboratory, the clinic, and the community to help the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond to gain and retain the highest level of health.

The College’s current portfolio of extramurally sponsored grants is valued at more than $29 million. This work takes place across the primary campus in Lexington, on regional athletic fields, in rehabilitation clinics, on military bases, in public school classrooms, in rural communities in Eastern Kentucky, and elsewhere. Our inquiry knows no boundaries! The College’s investigative teams include faculty members, clinicians, post-doctoral scholars and fellows, graduate and under-graduate students. Working collaboratively across disciplines and with other research universities across the country, our researchers our working to solve some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges.


Current Extramurally Funded Faculty Projects

Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Senescence Research Project

This study examines the short- and long-term regenerative response in mice to the injection of a senolytic cocktail.
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Project Period: 11/01/2018 to 10/31/2019
Total Award: $38,464


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)
Exercise-induced Skeletal Muscle Exosomes Promote Adipocyte Lipolysis

The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanism through which resistance exercise causes skeletal muscle to communicate with adipose tissue to promote the burning of fat. The findings from this study are expected to provide the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to treat obesity using exosomal miR-1 delivery to adipose tissue.
Sponsor: National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Project Period: 09/19/2018 to 07/31/2023
Total Award: $1,945,714


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
The Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging

The Glenn Award is a one-time cash infusion of $60,000 to augment the research in Dr. Peterson's laboratory that furthers the mission of the Foundation, which is “to extend the healthy years of life through research on mechanisms of biology that govern normal human aging and its related physiological decline, with the objective of translating research into interventions that will extend healthspan with lifespan.”
Sponsor: Glenn Foundation for Medical Research
Project Period: 09/18/2018 to 09/18/2020
Total Award: $60,000


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC
Administrative Supplement: Mechanisms Underlying Anabolic Effects of Cyclic Compressive Loading in Muscle

This study will address the hypothesis that male and female rats will exhibit a different anabolic effect to cyclic compressive loading, a massage mimetic, during atrophy and during regrowth after atrophy with aging.
Sponsor: National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health
Project Period: 09/12/2018 to 03/31/2022
Total Award: $99,450


Ming-Yuan Chih, PhD, MHA
Integrating mHealth for Alcohol Use Disorders into Clinical Practice

Mobile health systems (such as applications on smartphones) can monitor patients almost constantly and deliver help (messages, support, reminders, information) just when it’s needed. This project examines if such systems help primary-care patients recover from alcohol use disorder. If so, is such a system more effective when used by patients independently or with monitoring from clinicians?
Sponsor: University of Wisconsin (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism)
Project Period: 08/01/2018 to 04/30/2023
Total Award: $182,346


Peter Meulenbroek, PhD, CCC-SLP
Development and Validity of the Feedback/Advice Spoken Task (FAST) to Assess High-level Pragmatic Language in Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury

Providing feedback and advice is a common communication genre encountered within work, family, and social settings. Persons with TBI demonstrate characteristic difficulties with employing effective communication strategies to execute this common speech act. This study analyzes existing raw data from the Feedback/Advice Spoken Task (FAST) using a sociolinguistic analysis procedure. Findings will result in pilot data for a new assessment for identifying higher-level spoken language deficits that can potentially impact familial, workplace, and social relationships.
Sponsor: American Speech Language Hearing Foundation
Project Period: 08/01/2018 to 01/31/2020
Total Award: $4,900


Nicholas Heebner, PhD, ATC & Tim Uhl, PhD, ATC, PT, FNATA
Biomechanical Validation of Push-up and Pull-up Progression Program

The purpose of this study is to determine the biomechanical demands placed on the shoulder, elbow, and wrist during push-up and pull-up exercises. A more comprehensive understanding of the biomechanical demands on the entire upper extremity kinetic chain will facilitate a scientifically based exercise prescription during rehabilitation.
Sponsor: American Hand Therapy Foundation Incorporated
Project Period: 07/01/2018 to 06/30/2021
Total Award: $12,000


John Abt, PhD, ATC, FACSM
Marines SpeCial Operations PrEparedness (M-SCOPE)

The overall purpose of this project is to develop and deliver a specific operational preparedness ranking system for the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC).
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research
Project Period: 06/07/2018 to 06/30/2021
Total Award: $4,001,621


Rachel Graham, DRPH, MA
Examining the Integration of Hospitals, Public Health, and Social Services to Target the Social Determinants of Health Using Patient-Centered and Comparative Effectiveness Research Methods

Addressing the health-related social determinants of health has emerged as a leading strategy to combat the increasing economic and financial burden of preventable hospitalizations and readmissions. This study will examine the models being used across the U.S. to integrate public health and social services with clinical care provided in hospitals as a mechanism to target the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that contribute to hospitalizations and readmissions.
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
Project Period: 05/01/2018 to 04/30/2023
Total Award: $598,922


Brian Noehren, PT, PhD, FACSM
Myostatin Alters Muscle Composition as the Result of an ACL Injury

The goal of this study is to determine the time course of deleterious changes within the injured limb muscle and identify myostatin as integral in the etiology of protracted muscle weakness in individuals following an ACL tear and reconstruction.
Sponsor: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (National Institute of  Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases)
Project Period: 05/01/2018 to 02/28/2023
Total Award: $923,879


Phillip Gribble, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Addressing Neuromuscular Deficits for Improved Outcomes in Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation

This project compares a novel sensorimotor rehabilitation protocol for lateral ankle sprain against a standard of care protocol to determine if it is more successful at producing successful one-year outcomes and lower rates of re-injury and improved health.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense, Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
Project Period: 03/05/2018 to 03/14/2022
Total Award: $2,494,695


Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP & Janet Kuperstein, PT, PhD, MSED
Speech-Language Therapy through Telepractice: Bridging the Gap for Rural Children

The objective of this project, the first step toward the goal of improving access to high-quality clinical speech language pathology services to rural, remote, and underserved children on Medicaid in Kentucky, is to demonstrate the viability of delivering home-based speech-language therapy via telepractice to children with communication disorders by leveraging parental support.
Sponsor: Passport Health Plan
Project Period: 03/01/2018 to 04/30/2019
Total Award: $46,192


Judy Page, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA, FNAP & Jane Kleinert, PhD, CCC-SLP
The Special Education and Communication Disorders - Interdisciplinary Training (SPEAC-IT) Project

This Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation project develops and implements a program designed to educate special educators and speech-language pathologists to collaborate in the development of effective communication systems for students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities and complex communication needs.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education
Project Period: 01/01/2018 to 12/31/2022
Total Award: $1,153,016


Rachel Graham, DRPH, MA
Aligning the Delivery and Finance Systems of the Social Service Sector to Absorb Hospital/Clinical Referrals

This project focuses on system alignment between the medical and public health referrals to community resources as the results of increased screening on social determinants of health. The goals of this project are to answer, “What kinds of resources and services does the nonprofit sector provide to changing health systems?” and “What is the impact on the carrying capacity of the nonprofit sector as health systems’ dependence on the sector increases?” With these findings, existing and potentially innovative financing mechanisms for integrating the delivery of health care and public health services in a way that is equitable for all populations will be identified.
Sponsor: Trailhead Institute (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
Project Period: 11/15/2017 to 11/14/2019
Total Award: $17,472


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Hepatocyte Growth Factor to Improve Walking Performance in PAD: the HI-PAD Study

The HI-PAD Study will provide preliminary data to test the hypotheses that VM202, a novel gene therapy injected into calf muscles, significantly improves walking performance as compared to placebo in older people with PAD.
Sponsor: Northwestern University (National Institute on Aging)
Project Period: 09/15/2017 to 05/31/2019
Total Award: $35,849


Brian Noehren, PT, PhD, FACSM
Mechanistic Assessment of Blood Flow Restricted Training for an ACL Injury

This project will mechanistically test the ability of blood flow restricted training to improve the underlying morphologic and cellular maladaptations within muscle, and improve knee mechanics and strength following an ACL reconstruction compared to usual care.
Sponsor: National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases
Project Period: 07/22/2017 to 06/30/2022
Total Award: $2,786,621


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC
Mechanisms Underlying Anabolic Effects of Cyclic Compressive Loading in Muscle

This study explores the use of massage as an intervention to decrease muscle atrophy during disuse and to increase the ability to regrow muscle size after inactivity and will determine underlying mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects.
Sponsor: National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health
Project Period: 04/01/2017 to 03/31/2022
Total Award: $2,122,436


D. Travis Thomas, PhD, RDN, CSSD, LD, FAND
The Contribution of Vitamin D to Muscle Metabolic Function in Cancer Cachexia - University of Kentucky Center for Cancer and Metabolism (Project 1)

This purpose of this research is to examine mitochondrial function and anabolic resistance as potential targets of action of vitamin D on muscle metabolism, size and strength in preventing the progression of cancer cachexia.
Sponsor: National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Project Period: 03/01/2017 to 12/31/2021
Total Award: $1,680,970


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Improve PAD PERformance with METformin: The PERMET Trial

This study explores if Metformin, an inexpensive, widely available, and well-tolerated medication for Type 2 diabetes, will improve walking ability and prevent mobility loss in people with PAD.
Sponsor: Northwestern University (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)
Project Period: 12/09/2016 to 11/30/2021
Total Award: $121,031


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Assessing the Health Effects of Blast Injuries and Embedded Metal Fragments

The primary objective of this project is to determine if the adverse health effects caused by embedded metal fragments can be predicted by changes in gene and microRNA expression in the surrounding muscle, urine or serum. The identification of such an early biomarker has important clinical implications in providing treatment to wounded warriors before the onset of adverse health effects.
Sponsor: University of Maryland at Baltimore (U.S. Department of Defense)
Project Period: 09/30/2016 to 09/29/2021
Total Award: $1,845,214


Anne Olson, PhD, CCC/A Audiologist & Sharon Stewart, PhD, CCC-SLP
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students: SUCCESS in Speech-Language Pathology

SUCCESS leverages and augments our existing infrastructure, expertise, and retention resources to increase diversity in Kentucky’s speech-language pathology workforce. SUCCESS aims to 1) Target recruiting efforts to reach more educationally disadvantaged students from Kentucky, with a special emphasis on students from Appalachia, first generation college students, and under-represented minority students (URM); 2) Increase enrollment of educationally disadvantaged students, including URM students, each project year; and 3) Retain at least 85% of SUCCESS students through graduation.
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration
Project Period: 07/01/2016 to 06/30/2020
Total Award: $1,593,799


Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP
Linking Kids to Speech-Language Pathologists (LinKS)

The objective of this project is to prepare 40 (8 each year) graduate-level speech-language pathologists in the effective utilization of telepractice, thereby increasing students’ access to speech-language services in rural Kentucky schools.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education
Project Period: 05/16/2016 to 05/15/2021
Total Award: $1,221,679


Tim Uhl, PhD, PhD, ATC, PT, FNATA
Using Prospective Outcome Measures to Determine the Risk of Re-injury

This purpose of this study is to determine if athletes return to baseline value of physical capability when return to play is permitted and if athletes not returning to preinjury level of physical activity are at greater risk for re-injury than those athletes who have returned to pre-injury level of capability when both return to sport participation.
Sponsor: American Physical Therapy Association
Project Period: 04/15/2016 to 05/01/2019
Total Award: $8,230


Phillip Gribble, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Association of ankle joint cartilage health and functional measures in patients with chronic ankle instability

This study will elucidate the paradigms between lateral ankle sprain, chronic ankle instability, and ankle joint post-traumatic osteoarthritis that is likely to initiate in early adulthood, and how this degenerative disease is impacting patient function.
Sponsor: Southeast Athletic Trainers Association
Project Period: 03/01/2016 to 05/31/2019
Total Award: $2,000


Charlotte Peterson, PhD & John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)
The Effects of Exercise on Satellite Cell Dynamics during Aging

This purpose of this study is to better understand how aging and exercise affects satellite cell dynamics and the regulation of fibrosis.
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
Project Period: 01/01/2016 to 11/30/2020
Total Award: $1,751,753


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Telmisartan Plus Exercise to Improve Functioning in PAD: The TELEX Trial

Based on promising preliminary evidence, this study explores whether or not Telmisartan, an oral angiotensin receptor blocker, will improve walking ability and prevent functional decline in people with PAD, and if Telmisartan combined with supervised exercise will have substantially greater benefit than either individual therapy alone.
Sponsor: Northwestern University (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)
Project Period: 08/17/2015 to 04/30/2019
Total Award: $204,342


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and Philip Kern, MD (College of Medicine)
Novel Actions of Metformin to Augment Resistance Training Adaptations in Older Adults

This study explores the central hypothesis that adjuvant Metformin may improve the responses to progressive resistance exercise training (PRT) in the elderly by altering the muscle tissue inflammatory environment, thereby enhancing mechanisms that drive PRT-induced myofiber hypertrophy.
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
Project Period: 09/01/2014 to 05/31/2019
Total Award: $2,908,709


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)
Novel Roles for Satellite Cells in Adult Skeletal Muscle Adaptation

This study will test the hypothesis that activated satellite cells are capable of repressing the synthesis of extracellular matrix components by fibroblasts through exosomal delivery of satellite cell-derived microRNAs and to determine if the increased fibrosis is responsible for limiting long-term hypertrophic growth.
Sponsor: National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases
Project Period: 09/17/2010 to 06/30/2020
Total Award: $1,627,725


Current Extramurally Funded Student Projects


Paige Clawson
The Role of Hip Strength Deficits on Dynamic Function in Those with Chronic Ankle Instability

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the expected deficiencies and anticipated associations of isometric hip strength and self-reported function and disability in individuals with chronic ankle instability.
Sponsor: Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association
Project Period: 04/01/2019 to 03/31/2020
Total Award: $1,000


Kathryn Lucas
The Evaluation of Postural Stability and Balance after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

The purpose of this study is to integrate tools used in neurological conditions to evaluate postural control after ACL reconstruction.
Sponsor:American College of Sports Medicine Foundation
Project Period: 07/01/2019 to 06/30/2020
Total Award: $5,000


Oliver Silverson
Reliability and Validity of a Clinical Assessment Tool for Measuring Scapular Mobility in Healthy Subjects

This study aims to establish inclinometry as a viable and valid method for evaluating scapular rotation in the sagittal and transverse planes. By establishing inclinometry as a reliable method of assessing scapular motion, clinicians will have a more sensitive clinical tool to evaluate impairments of scapular positioning.
Sponsor: NATA Research & Education Foundation
Project Period: 07/27/2018 to 12/31/2019
Total Award: $996


Shelby Baez
Implementation of In Vivo Exposure Therapy to Decrease Fear in Females after ACL-Reconstruction: A Pilot Study

The aims of this study are to determine the effectiveness of In Vivo Exposure Therapy on self-reported fear avoidance beliefs and fear of reinjury and neurocognitive functioning in females post-ACLR reconstruction.
Sponsor: NATA Research & Education Foundation
Project Period: 07/10/2018 to 12/31/2019
Total Award: $2,488


Cory Dungan, PhD
Obesity- and Exercise-Mediated Alterations in Serum Exosomes that May Affect Brain Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease

The purpose of this pilot study is to explore the connection between Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and skeletal muscle by determining a mechanism by which obesity and metabolic dysfunction can increase AD risk, and the role of exosomes in AD progression.
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
Project Period: 07/01/2018 to 06/30/2019
Total Award: $37,625


Alexa Johnson
Connecting the Pieces: How Low Back Pain Alters Lower Extremity Biomechanics and Shock Attenuation in Active Individuals

The purpose of this project is to determine how low back pain influences lower extremity biomechanics and shock attenuation in active individuals compared to healthy individuals and examine how altered biomechanical characteristics are related to clinical outcome measures.
Sponsor: American Society of Biomechanics
Project Period: 06/01/2018 to 05/31/2019
Total Award: $2,000


MAJ. Jennifer Mullins, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
The Effect of Dry Needling on Clinical and Neurophysiologic Components of Balance in Individuals with Chronic Ankle Instability

The overall objective of this research study is to empower physical therapists to return Soldiers to their assigned duties faster following an ankle sprain and keep them there longer by reducing the likelihood for recurrent sprains through the evidenced application of dry needling (DN).
Sponsor: Retired Army Medical Specialist Corps
Project Period: 05/01/2018 to 04/30/2019
Total Award: $2,000


Kyle Kosik, PhD
Cartilage Deformation and Gait Biomechanics in Patients With and Without Chronic Ankle Instability

The overall goal of this project is to examine the influence ground reaction forces and gait biomechanics during walking have on cartilage health in patients with chronic ankle instability.
Sponsor: Southeast Athletic Trainers Association
Project Period: 04/01/2018 to 04/01/2019
Total Award: $2,000


Kevin Murach, PhD
Fusion-Independent Roles of Satellite Cells in Muscle Adaptation

Using a novel transgenic mouse model, this project will elucidate whether satellite cell-mediated regulation of the muscle extracellular environment or contribution to muscle fibers is necessary to sustain prolonged muscle fiber growth, and whether satellite cells can communicate to muscle fibers without fusing.
Sponsor: National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases
Project Period: 03/01/2017 to 02/29/2020
Total Award: $177,222


Haley Mills
Impact of Supervised Rehabilitation on Patient Reported Function and Re-injury Rates Following Lateral Ankle Sprain

The purpose of this study is to determine the ability of patient reported outcomes and rehabilitation experiences to predict recurrent lateral ankle sprains
Sponsor: Southeast Athletic Trainers Association
Project Period: 03/01/2017 to 08/01/2019
Total Award: $1,000


Monica Soyk
Patient Reported Outcomes and Self-Assessed Function after Lateral Ankle

The purpose of this study is to determine the ability of patient-reported outcomes and rehabilitation experiences to predict recurrent lateral ankle sprains.
Sponsor: NATA Research & Education Foundation
Project Period: 08/31/2016 to 09/01/2019
Total Award: $1,000

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