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Current Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Please scroll down to see which opportunities are compatible with your major, field of interest, or future career objectives, then contact Dr. Andreatta for an appointment.

Opportunities below are open to all undergraduate majors!  

ALL undergraduate research opportunities are ONLY offered for academic credit during the Summer and Fall 2021.  NO volunteer positions are provided.

**UK is currently in Phase 4 of Research Re-opening. Undergrads are allowed to work in-person in research labs during Phase 4.


Title of Opportunity:  Analysis of Patient Reported Outcomes in Audiology (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta  (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Anne Olson, PhD, CCC-A

Department: Communication Sciences & Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Summer 2021 through Spring 2022

Description: Currently there are hundreds of survey measures that clinicians can use in the treatment of persons with hearing loss. Because there are so many, it is often difficult to select which is the most appropriate to use. Clinicians are interested in having a resource that summarizes these surveys in one easy to located place for their use. The purpose of this project is to develop a summary of survey measures that clinicians in audiology can use to refer to when treating a child or adult with hearing loss.  This project is a collaborative one between audiologists and speech pathologists here in the US and those who are part of the Aural Rehabilitation Interest Group (ARIG) in Great Britain. 

The selected undergraduate student research assistant(s) for this project will work closely with the faculty mentor to evaluate the survey measures. Tasks include extracting key information from the surveys including: the concept the survey is evaluating; how clinicians can access the survey; the reliability and validity of the survey; the survey format; the scoring; and who developed the survey. Additional tasks include meetings with the investigator, database searches, reading and synthesizing research articles, and proofreading manuscripts. The students can expect to gain valuable experience in various aspects of clinical research and develop group management skills working as part of a research team.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Dependable, responsible, with excellent attention to details
  • Self-directed, with the ability to work independently
  • Interested in audiology and clinical research
  • Preference given to those willing to commit to 2 semesters of lab work

Posted: 4/21/21


Title of Opportunity:  Exploring the Experiences of Rehabilitation Therapists Using Telehealth.  (OPEN)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta. (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-CLP

Graduate Student Mentor: Hannah Douglass, MS, CCC-SLP

Department: Communication Sciences & Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Spring 2021

Description: The COVID-19 crisis has made telehealth service delivery models a necessity in providing rehabilitation therapies and medical care. Researchers are interested in studying the attitudes and experiences of rehabilitation therapists and related service professionals providing telehealth in the school setting and beyond. Current research projects include a review of the current existing literature and a mixed methods research study incorporating survey methods and interviews.  The selected undergraduate student research assistant for these projects will work closely with the investigator to identify and code “themes” found in the literature review using a software package called nVivo. The assistant will also work on subject recruitment, screening, and survey entry/logic on Redcap (a database program). Other tasks include meetings with the investigator, database searches, reading and synthesizing research articles, and proofreading manuscripts. The students can expect to gain valuable experience in various aspects of qualitative research and develop group management skills working as part of a research team.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Self-directed, with the ability to work independently
  • Very good familiarity with Excel, Word, and library databases
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Interested in telehealth and survey-type research
  • Preference given to those willing to commit to 2 semesters of lab work

Posted: July 30, 2020


Title of Opportunity: Appalachian Career Training in Oncology Program  (OPEN until APRIL 3rd - Deadline has passed)

THIS IS A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE OPEN UNTIL APRIL 3rd.  PLEASE NOTE:  Undergrads CAN apply for this special research opportunity DIRECTLY by going to the website listed below. To apply, you must meet the criteria listed in the description.

Program Description: The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (MCC), a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, is recruiting UK undergraduate students who are natives of Appalachian Kentucky into a cancer-focused training program. The MCC is dedicated to driving a measurable reduction in cancer incidence and mortality in Kentucky, particularly Appalachian Kentucky, through a comprehensive program of cancer research, prevention, community outreach, education, and patient care. As part of the MCC’s education initiatives, we have established a pipeline program – the MCC Appalachian Career Training in Oncology Program (ACTION) – for UK undergraduate students who are natives of Appalachian Kentucky (a list of counties is provided below*) to gain substantive cancer research, clinical, outreach and education experiences that will enrich their interest in science and enhance the likelihood that they will pursue careers focused on cancer research, education/prevention, and/or clinical care with a particular emphasis on addressing the cancer burden in Appalachian Kentucky.

The goals of the program are to:

  1. provide a core cancer research and clinical experience for participants in the ACTION Program through cross-disciplinary research training and clinical observations;
  2. motivate and support students with experiential training in cancer through courses, seminars, and workshops that will build their research skills and confidence as future cancer-focused professionals; and
  3. actively support and encourage outreach and dissemination opportunities for ACTION Program students locally, regionally and nationally.

Our overarching goal is to generate the enthusiasm and instill passion in our Appalachian undergraduate students to address the significant cancer burden in their home communities through a lifelong commitment and dedication to cancer research, better preventative strategies and enhanced clinical care. We invite UK undergraduates who meet the program requirements to apply. Students will be expected to commit two years to this program and earn a monthly stipend for their participation.

How to Apply: Visit the ACTION Program website and complete the ACTION Program Undergraduate Application.  The application can be completed completely online and applicants have the ability to save their progress so that they do not have to complete the entire application at once.  The ACTION Program website can be found at this link: www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/action 

Deadline to Apply: The online application will close at 5 pm on April 3, 2021

For more information, please contact:  Chris Prichard, Program Coordinator II - ACTION Program - UK Markey Cancer Center

Phone: 859.323.4780  |  Email: chris.prichard@uky.edu  |  Website: www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/action

*Appalachian Kentucky Counties: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe.

Posted: 3/10/21


Title of Opportunity: Promoting the Health of the Equestrian Athlete Initiative (OPEN)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Tumlin, PhD

Graduate Mentor: 

Department: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition

Position Type: Undergraduate academic credit

Position Availability: Fall 2021

Description:

The Equestrian Athlete Initiative in the UK Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI) is performing groundbreaking research on the equestrian athlete. We are conducting various exercise-based experiments and motion-capture data analysis to promote increased occupational and recreational longevity of athletes in equestrian sports. As an undergraduate research student, you would help conduct surveys, strength, flexibility, body composition, balance, and reaction time tests that are currently part of our experimental procedures.

Since this is a new project for our lab group, undergraduate research students will have the opportunity to learn about and use wearable biometric devices including accelerometers and heart rate monitors in different groups of test populations. We will mentor the student on how to complete a biomechanical analysis during a simulated ride, including motion-capture camera set up, marking subjects for limb motion, labeling, and calculating joint angles. Both field and lab-based opportunities are possible during this project. For any field experiences, you must have your own means of transportation to the off-campus location.

Prerequisites:

  • Motivated individual with an interest in equestrian sport
  • Hardworking, detail-oriented, organized, and reliable
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 and sophomore or higher standing.
  • Prefer students with sports medicine, biomechanics, and/or an engineering and physics backgrounds
  • Familiarity with computer programs such as MATLAB and SPSS are desirable

Posted:  3/17/21


Title of Opportunity: Analyzing muscle changes in female rats following massage  (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD

Graduate Mentor: Alex Sklivas

Department: Rehab Sciences Doctoral Program

Position Type: Undergraduate academic credit

Position Availability: Spring 2021

Description:  Due to the aging population, there is a growing need for discovering different therapeutic methods that may be able to recover some of the lost muscle function and mass following an injury that may leave an individual sedentary. The loss of muscle function due to a lack of use is called disuse atrophy and, in our lab, this is studied using elderly animals (rats) to test different functional and structural muscle changes resulting from conditions that mimic disuse in the human. Previous work from our lab has found that muscle massage may have important therapeutic effects on the muscles of old rats following disuse atrophy of their hind limbs. We are currently working on examining and comparing the sex differences (male vs. female) in animals that may be present during muscle recovery using therapeutic massage. 

Our lab is seeking motivated students with an interest in muscle biology and who wish to gain hands-on experience in laboratory skills that are used to study muscle physiology. Students will be assisting in the preparation and analyses of muscle samples taken from treated animals. Students will learn how to cut and collect muscle sections onto slides, how to chemically stain tissue samples for different features of interest, and how to analyze and quantify these findings using software packages. Additionally, this opportunity will familiarize students with how a basic science lab operates, as well as learn how to handle tissue samples, conduct lab tests, and analyze data. 

Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum 3.3 GPA
  • Some knowledge & interest in muscle biology is strongly preferred
  • Some laboratory experience preferred but not required
  • Very detail-oriented, organized, reliable, and careful
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team of lab members

Posted: 2/14/21


Title of Opportunity: “All About Communication” Research Lab Projects.  (Enrollment on hold)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Drs. Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, Janine Schmedding-Bartley, & Judith L. Page

Graduate Mentors: Katie Slone & Annaliese Norris

Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit only

Position Availability: Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021

Description:  The All About Communication Research Lab (AAC) is comprised of 3 faculty members in the Dept of Communication Sciences & Disorders (Drs. Cooley Hidecker, Schmedding-Bartley, & Page) who together investigate communication assessments and various treatments for children and adults with complex communication needs.

The AAC Research Lab faculty are in search of several student research aides to assist with the overall work of the lab in several ongoing projects. The undergraduate positions offered by the AAC Lab will provide an opportunity for students to become actively involved in one or more ongoing projects with different combinations of faculty and doctoral students.  All students will have an opportunity to assist with a variety of tasks including: application preparation for human subjects approval, transcription of client data, data entry, data cleaning, data coding, data management and library research, research poster preparation and presentation, and lastly material preparation for use in assessments and interventions.  

No prior experience is needed to participate in this research opportunity. Training will be provided for you. All participating students must be available on Wednesdays between 2 and 4 pm for on-line Zoom meetings among lab participants.  

Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Availability Wednesdays 2 to 4 pm
  • Any major is welcome, but CSD students are preferred
  • Opportunity is open to 2nd semester Freshman through Seniors
  • Student must be detail-oriented, very organized, reliable, and responsive to email
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team

Posted: 1/28/21


Title of Opportunity: Literature review of current best practices in synchronous teletherapy. (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty: Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Department: Communication Sciences & Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit

Position Availability: Fall 2021

Description:  The recent global pandemic has highlighted the need and benefit for speech-language teletherapy services.  With many therapy sessions being offered virtually in the school and clinical setting due to COVID-19, best practices need to be applied and integrated more than ever. Not only does teletherapy require evidence-based therapeutic practices but also best synchronous and multimedia practices, principles, and procedures foreign to most practicing clinicians. Our research group is seeking student research volunteers to help us further our research work in applying computer mediated learning practices to telehealth pediatric speech-language practices. 

As a student researcher you will help to prepare a comprehensive literature review on emerging trends and practices in teletherapy when providing vocabulary instruction for children with language impairments. You will additionally conduct a systematic rating of publications selected for inclusion in a larger study investigating the current state of multimedia vocabulary instruction.  Your assistance will be invaluable for developing publications and grants that will help further extend the research work performed by our group.  The selected students may also have additional opportunities helping support associated faculty and graduate student research as well. Selected students can expect to learn about the research process, the use of research databases, learn how to produce a literature review, and deepen their knowledge in the teletherapy realm. All of these skills are easily translatable to the student’s own academic and clinical work.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Strong basic writing skills
  • Strong motivation and curiosity to learn more about teletherapy
  • Open to constructive feedback 
  • Very detail-oriented, organized, reliable, and diligent

Posted: 1/23/21


Title of Opportunity: Emerging Practices in Quality, Safety, and Patient Experience (OPEN)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta  (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Karen Clancy, PhD

Department: Health and Clinical Sciences

Position Type: Academic credit

Position Availability: Spring 2021

Description:  

Recent legislative changes have highlighted the need to understand how quality, safety, and patient experiences fit into the mainstream of healthcare management strategies.  These factors, combined with the global pandemic response to COVID-19, are influencing the re-design of health delivery organizational frameworks and many healthcare practices. Our research group is seeking student assistance to help us further our research work in these areas. 

We are seeking student help to prepare a comprehensive literature review on emerging trends and practices in health care related to quality, safety, and patient experience. Student help in preparation of this review will be invaluable for developing publications and grants that will help further extend the research work performed by our group.  Selected students may also have additional opportunities helping support associated faculty and graduate student research as well. Selected students can expect to learn about the research process, the use of research databases, writing skills associated with creating annotated bibliographies, and learn how to produce a literature review. All of these skills are easily translatable to the student’s own academic and clinical work.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Strong basic writing skills
  • Experience with writing annotated bibliographies and literature reviews is preferred
  • Experience with Word and Excel, or similar types of software.
  • Very detail-oriented, organized, reliable, and careful

Posted: 1/12/21


Title of Opportunity: Impact of Stuttering on Healthcare Access (OPEN)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta  (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Anne Olson, PhD (in consultation with Dr. Richard Andreatta)

Department: Communication Sciences & Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit (1 credit worth of effort is needed)

Position Availability: Spring 2021

Description:  Stuttering is known to negatively impact career advancement and social engagement in individuals with this class of fluency disorder. Previous research has demonstrated that persons who stutter (PWS) generally face negative reactions to their ability to communicate and often face negative biases and perceptions from various professionals including teachers and healthcare professionals. We are interested in the potential negative impact that such documented biases may have on the ability of person’s who stutter to obtain fair and appropriate healthcare services from medical professionals. In other words, while we know that negative biases exist, we are uncertain of the impact these biases may have on the welfare and health of PWS. 

Our research project needs student assistance (1 or 2 students) to help us begin identifying critical research studies that can help us develop this idea into a pilot research agenda. Students who participate in this pilot research work will compile relevant background research such as prevalence and demographics of stuttering, overall outcomes from therapy, and health care disparities in other disordered populations that can operate as an example for our potential work. Student help in preparation of this review will be invaluable for developing future information that will help extend this pilot research work.  Selected students can expect to learn about the research process, the use of research databases, writing skills associated with creating annotated bibliographies, and learn how to produce a literature review. 

This research experience is only offered for 1 credit (3-4 hours per week of worktime). We are looking for at most 2 students to assist with this work. 

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • CSD major with strong interest in stuttering and fluency disorders
  • Strong basic writing skills
  • Experience with library databases, writing annotated bibliographies and literature reviews is strongly preferred
  • Experience with Word and Excel, or similar types of software.
  • Very detail-oriented, organized, self-sufficient, and responsive to email

Posted: 1/18/21


Title of Opportunity: Recovery of skeletal muscle following ACL injury (FULL)

Contact person: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faulty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Fry

Department: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition

Position Type: Undergraduate academic credit

Position Availability: Spring 2021

Description:  Our lab is interested in promoting skeletal muscle health and strength. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries result in significant weakness that is not restored with traditional rehabilitation strategies. This weakness prevents a return to sports/activity, increases re-injury rates, and promotes overall poor health outcomes. We have recently shown that ACL injury up-regulates myostatin signaling in quadriceps muscle, which promotes muscle fiber atrophy along with dysregulated activity of other cells residing within muscle (muscle stem cells) to reduce muscle quality through fibrosis. These changes likely promote weakness after ACL injury, and our lab is interested in preventing these molecular changes to improve functional recovery after injury. We have collected clinical muscle samples from patients with ACL tears, and the student will have the opportunity to perform immunohistochemical laboratory techniques on muscle fibers from these human samples to assess molecular and cellular changes to skeletal muscle and how different types of physical therapy may impact muscle health after the injury. We have also developed a mouse model to simulate the clinical condition in which we will probe the mechanistic role of myostatin on muscle adaptations after ACL transection. We will be utilizing multiple transgenic mouse models along with a pharmacological inhibitor or myostatin, and the student will have the opportunity to be involved in immunohistochemical, biochemical, and/or in vivo functional strength experiments using mouse skeletal muscle. Additionally, the student will have the valuable opportunity to be a co-author on a peer reviewed research article.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Enthusiastic about science and learning
  • Preference given to students who can commit to multiple/consecutive semesters
  • Detail-oriented, organized, reliable/responsible

Re-posted: 12/14/20


Title of Opportunity: Exploring Neurophysiological and Functional Deficits in Those with Ankle Sprain History (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Dr, Phillip Gribble, PhD, ATC, FNATA

Graduate Mentor: Katherine Bain, PT, DPT, ATC, LAT

Department: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition

Position Type: Academic credit

Position Availability: Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Description: Our research team is interested in promoting health-related quality of life and lifelong participation in physical activity across the lifespan following musculoskeletal injury. We are specifically studying musculoskeletal, biopsychosocial, and neurophysiological impairments and functional limitations associated with sustaining an ankle sprain. As a member of our research team, the qualified student(s) will work closely with faculty and other lab members to interact with patients who have sustained an acute ankle injury, participate in recruitment and enrollment, and aid in the delivery of effective intervention strategies, both in-person and via telehealth. The student(s) will also be exposed to experimental methods used to better quantify neurophysiological changes following injury, as well as commonly utilized clinical functional tests and patient-reported outcomes measures. Students will have opportunities for presentations at professional meetings and co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications.

Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Interest in sports medicine research
  • Must be comfortable interacting with patients and participants
  • Dependable, responsible, and detail-oriented
  • Self-directed, with the ability to work independently
  • Familiarity with Excel, Word, and library databases is a bonus
  • Preference given to those willing to commit to 2 semesters of lab work

Posted:  11/4/20


Title of Opportunity: The Impact of Workplace Distractions for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Peter Meulenbroek, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Graduate Mentor: DeAnna Pinnow, MA, CCC-SLP

Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020 with potential for Spring 2021

Description:  Managing workplace distractions is a major factor for optimal task completion and successful communication for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Researchers are interested in studying the lived experiences of persons with TBI and their observations and management of workplace distractions. Our research goals include identification of common themes of workplace or volunteer environments and their associated distractions.  This important work will be the foundation for future research. Current needs include a review of the existing literature and a qualitative study using interview methods. The selected undergraduate research assistant for these projects will work closely with the investigator and aide in reading and synthesizing research articles, and performing qualitative analysis on collected data. The potential experience gained by students participating in this opportunity includes learning to collaborate as part of a team performing science, literature review skills, data transcription skills and methods, and qualitative analysis methods

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others in an organized fashion
  • Experience using online communication tools
  • Basic familiarity with Microsoft Office
  • Detail-oriented and self-motivated

Posted: 8-21-20


Title of Opportunity: User experience of online treatment for social skills (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Peter Meulenbroek, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Graduate Mentor: n/a

Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description:  The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the awareness that telehealth and online/mobile resources for intervention service delivery are important additions or replacements for in-person therapy. However, user experience of such products and services is essential to understand as treatment providers are asked to increasingly provide more virtual treatment opportunities. The Social Communication and Cognition Lab ran a research study recently looking at the experiences of online and in-person treatments for social skills training before COVID-19. We have video and audio data of the interactions and the user descriptions. This data needs to be transcribed and analyzed and we are looking for undergraduate assistance to help us complete this important research. You will be asked to work with others on managing and organizing data files and other related tasks. The ability to work cooperatively with others in an organized fashion and seek out assistance when necessary are important requisite characteristics we are looking for.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others in an organized fashion
  • Experience using online communication tools
  • Basic familiarity with Microsoft Office
  • Detail-oriented and self-motivated

Posted: 8-19-20


Title of Opportunity:  Twitter Use and Social Media Content Analysis for Telerehabilitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-CLP

Graduate Mentor: Kristen Weidner, MS, CCC-SLP

Department: Communication Sciences & Disorders

Position Type: Academic Credit

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description: During the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians, organizations, companies and patients have made rapid shifts from in-person care to telehealth service delivery. These shifts are being captured in real time in social media posts by many of these users as the pandemic proceeds forward in time. This study examines the content and volume of social media posts on tele-rehabilitation during the evolution of COVID-19. We will use previously established methods to examine the social media footprint in tele-rehabilitation and Twitter use during the current pandemic event. Our research goals include identifying barriers and opportunities that telehealth use can have on a wide scale during a pandemic. The study involves qualitative methods characterizing the types and content of Twitter posts as well as descriptive quantitative analysis of tweets (e.g., number of tweets per week). 

Undergraduate research students will be responsible for examining an existing social media data set under the supervision and guidance of the principal investigator. Students will learn how to sort and categorize Twitter posts based on a coding scheme, assist with basic descriptive statistical analysis and/or data visualizations (e.g., making graphs and charts), proofread manuscripts, and meet with the investigator on a regular basis. All tasks at this time are expected to be achievable through remote work. Potential experience gained by students in this opportunity include interdisciplinary collaboration, working on large data sets, social media research techniques, and qualitative analysis techniques.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Self-directed, with the ability to work independently
  • Basic familiarity with social media platforms i.e., Twitter
  • Very good familiarity with Excel and Word
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Interested in telehealth and telerehabilitation

Posted: August 6, 2020


Title of Opportunity: Biases, stereotypes, and misconceptions about disability in healthcare professions (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Kitzman, PhD, PT

Department: Physical Therapy

Position Type: Undergraduate academic credit

Position Availability: Spring and Fall 2021

Description:  This project is focused on developing and evaluating an educational training program for students in healthcare professional programs about biases, stereotypes and misconceptions concerning disabilities that individuals with disabilities perceive from their healthcare providers. Analysis of a current ongoing survey will be used to create (1) a series of  instructional videos focused on “uncomfortable” conversations, and (2) written materials that will be incorporated into an innovative training module. This training module will then be used widely by students in healthcare areas to better appreciate their own personal biases toward those with disabilities. Preliminary work on this project will also be used to develop several grant applications to further our research.

Students will assist with literature reviews of biases and stereotypes regarding disability in healthcare, existing training materials, as well as educational offerings through national organizations such as the Christopher Reeve Paralysis foundation. Students will also assist with developing our educational materials, infographics, and evaluation forms. Students with skills in video editing (Camtasia, iMovie, Quicktime) may also be involved with the development of the initial videos with our community members.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Working knowledge of PowerPoint and Excel. 
  • Knowledge of programs such as Adobe Illustrator or other graphic drawing software would be useful, but not mandatory.
  • Knowledge of research databases such as PubMed and CINAHL for performing literature reviews
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and reliable

Posted:  12/8/20


Title of Opportunity: Studying patient recovery after surviving an ICU stay for COVID-19. (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta (richard.andreatta@uky.edu)

Faculty Mentor:  Kirby Mayer, PhD, DPT

Department: Physical Therapy

Position Type:  Undergraduate academic credit

Position Availability: Summer 2021, and Fall 2021

Description: Our critical care research team is seeking one or two individuals to assist with research studying the recovery of patients surviving an ICU admission due to COVID-19.  Students can participate in one of two different activities. First, we need students to transcribe video-taped interviews from survivors of the ICU due to COVID. These are 60-minute interviews conducted by a nurse asking about their experience in the ICU, their recovery, and specifically their experience participating in rehabilitation during and following their illness. The activities for this part of the project can be completed entirely at the student's dorm or home. Secondly, we need assistance extracting data from hospital charts for the main study. COVID survivors will be participating in studies comparing outpatient physical therapy treatment versus physical therapy delivered via telehealth. Through participation in our study, students will have the opportunity to learn about critical illness, recovery, and rehabilitation. This opportunity also includes possible interactions with physicians, pharmacist, nurses, and physical therapists. Given these interactions and their importance, the research team is looking for more senior and academically experienced Pre-Med, Pre-PA, or Pre-PT HHS majors.

Please note: Students will not be interacting directly with COVID patients, but instead will have video recordings or documentation to work with. 

Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Pre-Med, Pre-PT, or Pre-PA HHS track is strongly preferred
  • Commitment to at least 2 semesters of research
  • Great communication skills
  • Have taken a medical terminology course preferred
  • Experience or training in Excel or RedCap
  • Must have great organizational skills

Posted: 12/3/20


Title of Opportunity: Mobile Health Technology Research in Rural Kentucky  (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Ming-Yuan Chih, PhD

Department: Health and Clinical Sciences

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description:

Dr. Ming-Yuan Chih’s mHealth research lab is currently working to develop and evaluate several mobile technology-based interventions to enhance patient health and improve care. Students who are interested in joining his mHealth research lab will have opportunities to work on one of two current mHealth projects.

In the first project, the research team is developing, and pilot testing an Apple Watch app to monitor bone marrow transplant patients’ physical activity and collect their patient reported outcomes.
In the second project, the team is collaborating with researchers from several universities, federal agencies and private companies to pilot test a mobile app to enhance symptom reporting and management among cancer patients from the Appalachia region.

Regardless of the study, all students will assist with patient education, technical support, data collection and analysis. Students will have exposure to mHealth research and acquire skills in patient communication and research data management.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 or above
  • Prefer HHS majors, or those with interests in cancer research
  • Students with prior experience with the Appalachian region and/or rural healthcare are preferred,
  • Strong work ethic, a fast learner, and flexible
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and reliable
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Analyzing human tissue in health and disease (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentors: Kate Kosmac

Department or Center: Center for Muscle Biology

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description: 

In this lab, we are studying muscle adaptation to diseases including osteoarthritis, peripheral artery disease, and sarcopenia. The qualified student will be sectioning muscles tissue, staining muscle tissue and imaging muscle tissue. Opportunities for presentations at professional meetings and co authorship on peer-reviewed publications.

Prerequisites: 

  • Preference will be given to students who can commit to multiple semesters
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (especially Excel) a plus
  • Responsible and eager to learn
  • Outstanding attention to detail

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Balance and Postural Control in Adults with Degenerative Neurological Disease (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentors: Geetanjali Gera

Department: Physical Therapy

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description: Many adult degenerative neurological diseases manifest with challenges in balance and postural control including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. In our lab, we are studying issues of balance and postural control in multiple ways. Selected students will assist with motion analyses, balance assessment, and neuroimaging to better understand the impact of neurological disease on function.

Prerequisites: 

  • Minimum GPA 3.4
  • Must be available to work two consecutive semesters (Summer 2019; Fall 2019)
  • Responsible, dependable and excellent attention to detail

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Girls Can…Move!  Testing a physical activity intervention for adolescent girls  (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Dee Dlugonski, PhD.

Department: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability:  Fall 2020

Description: Our research study is designed to investigate physical literacy and physical activity among 6th – 8th grade adolescent female participants. We will recruit 30 girls from a local middle school to be randomized into an experimental or control group. The study itself will occur at a local middle school in the Lexington area.

Middle school participants will receive:

  • personalized physical activity assessment using accelerometers
  • exposure to a variety of physical activities
  • and an active female mentor

Pre- and post-testing will include:

  • wearing an activity monitor
  • completing physical literacy and evaluation surveys

Undergraduate students who are selected to participate as research assistants must have their own transportation to the study site and be available to assist with intervention delivery for 1 to 2 days per week from 4 pm – 6 pm each of those days during the entire fall semester. We are especially interested in research assistants who are able and willing to serve as active female role models during the intervention.

Student research assistants involved with this project will help with recruitment, testing sessions, and data entry. Students will learn how to use accelerometers to measure physical activity and will learn to conduct tests of motor competence and evaluation surveys as part of the total assessment. Students will work directly with Dr. Dee Dlugonski (AT Faculty member) or with one of her graduate students during the course of the project.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and reliable
  • Willing and able to engage in physical activity sessions with the study participants.
  • Have their own transportation to travel to study site
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Muscle Adaptations After Massage (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Esther Dupont-Versteegden

Department: Physical Therapy

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description:  Our laboratory is studying the effect of massage on muscle function and their biological/cellular effects. We use both animals (rats) and humans to test how muscle tissue changes in response to massage as an intervention and as a therapy. We are currently looking at the anabolic effects of massage, but we are also interested in studying the changes in the inflammatory response environment and the changes to the extracellular matrix of the tissue.

Students will participate in the analysis of muscle tissue collected from rats and humans after atrophy and following massage. The student will learn about:

  • the research process in basic science,
  • techniques related to analyzing muscle tissue,
  • muscle biology, and
  • the impact that therapeutic interventions have on the biology of muscle tissues

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Very detail-oriented, organized and reliable
  • Some experience and background in cell biology
  • Have an interest in working in a basic science lab
  • Ability and time to attend lab meetings on Friday afternoons

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Understanding the Pathogenesis of Periodontal Disease (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentors: Octavio Gonzalez 

Department/College: College of Dentistry

Position Type: Academic credit ONLY

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description: 

Our group is interested in identifying the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, particularly associated with: 1) the role of host-bacteria interactions and 2) the effects of aging on the gingival innate immune responses. These studies seek to identify new molecular pathways that would provide the foundation to prevent/treat periodontal disease, which is still affecting 50% of the US adult population. For this, we use in vitro (cell cultures) and animal models combined with several molecular techniques.

Previous undergraduate students have had very productive experiences in our group with the opportunity to present the main findings at local scientific meetings as well as co-authoring publications in top dental and immunological journals.

Prerequisites: 

  • GPA 3.5 or better
  • Availability for lab work at least 6 - 8h/week for at least 1-2 years
  • Complete UK online training (4 courses) for working in the lab
  • Preference will be given to students with excellent academic performance, interested in pursuing dental education and involved in the research certificate program from UK CHS

Re-posted: 7/22/20


Title of Opportunity: Acute Care Speech Language Pathology Dysphagia Research - Various Projects  (FULL)

Contact: Dr. Richard Andreatta

Faculty Mentor: Sarah Campbell, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Department: UK HealthCare Speech

Position Type: Academic Credit

Position Availability: Fall 2020

Description: Exposure to acute care speech-language pathology services can offer a unique insight into complex medical issues and patients. The speech-language pathology (SLP) team at UK HealthCare provide high quality care daily to adult and pediatric patients within our Level I trauma center, certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, and in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. In addition to our daily patient care, several research initiatives are in progress to collect data on dysphagia (swallowing disorders) in specific patient populations, including patients who are currently requiring high-flow nasal cannula oxygenation and patients who have received single/double lung transplants.

In this position, 2 selected undergraduate research students will assist the SLP team in completion of critical appraisals of existing research literature on very specific clinical questions. In addition, the student will assist in data mining from the medical charts of the aforementioned patient populations. Other projects will be included for participation by the student as they come online. The student will work closely with the department supervisor (faculty mentor) and various SLPs on this project to learn the methods and processes involved in the required research activities.  

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Interest in acute care speech language pathology
  • Interest in dysphagia and other medical speech pathology areas
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and reliable
  • Friendly and able to work as part of an interactive team

Re-posted: 7/24/20