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Byron Fellowship Supports New Research

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 17, 2014) — The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recently announced that two doctoral students in the Department of Psychology have received 2014 Mary Byron Fellowships to support their research. 

Kellie Lynch will receive a Mary Byron Fellowship to support her work on the use of applied psychosocial theory in understanding perceptions of rape and victim blaming. 

Jennifer (Jenna) Jewell will begin her dissertation research, which will address the victimization experiences of adolescents who are gender atypical, that is, they may not meet cultural expectations for what girls and boys are “supposed” to be like. 

The fellowships are part of the Mary Byron Scholars Program established at the university in 2003 with the assistance of Carol E. Jordan, now executive director of the OPSVAW.

“It is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the careers of these young scholars while also teaching them that there are real women behind the work that they do,” said Jordan. “I believe we help give real purpose and inspiration to their academic careers in the course of honoring Mary.”

The program is named after Mary Byron, a 21-year-old woman who lived in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1993, her abusive ex-boyfriend was arrested for kidnapping and raping her. She asked local law enforcement and corrections officials to alert her when he would be released from jail as she knew how dangerous he was to her. At the time, however, no automatic alert system was available, so Byron did not receive an alert. On her 21st birthday as she was leaving work, her ex-boyfriend shot and killed her. Byron’s death led to creation of a statewide automated victim notification system.

"Hearing about the UK students whose work will be supported by fellowships in Mary’s name reminds us of what we have been able to accomplish after our great loss," her father John Byron said. "One of those students just might make a contribution that will save a woman’s life. That is our great hope."

Mary Byron's mother, Pat Byron, agreed, "I find great comfort in knowing that Kellie and Jenna, who are so close to Mary’s age, will be doing their work in her name.”

UK Alum Secures National Art Grant for Louisville's Smoketown Neighborhood

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2014) — University of Kentucky alumnus Theo Edmonds has helped secure a $250,000 national arts grant for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and its ongoing project to develop a Creative Innovation Zone (CIZ) to fuel citizen engagement in the Smoketown neighborhood.

The CIZ will place artists and innovators in advisory and supporting roles in revitalization efforts in order to find new ways for themselves and the community to work together to create new opportunities in education, environmental design and entrepreneurial activity leading to more jobs. The initiative is a partnership between I.D.E.A.S. 40203, YouthBuild Louisville and other community partners.

The Louisville CIZ was one of only 55 applicants out of a pool of nearly 1,300 who were selected by ArtPlace America to receive one of its creative placemaking grants in 2014. ArtPlace America is an organization aimed at helping communities by advancing the field of creative placemaking, in which art and culture play an explicit role in shaping the communities’ social, physical and economic futures. To date, they have awarded $56.8 million through 189 grants to projects in 122 communities across the country, including this year’s $14.7 million.

The money from ArtPlace America will go to help rebuild the Smoketown community, an area of Louisville's 40203 zip code that has seen homes and buildings be torn down as a $100 million development project was established to create new energy-efficient, mixed income housing for the area. The CIZ was formed to aid in this effort and help fuel citizen engagement in the neighborhood as well as create new job opportunities and revitalize the area.

Theo Edmonds is a 2013 graduate of the UK School of Arts and Visual Studies with a Masters in Fine Arts. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Transylvania University, a law degree from Tulane University School of Law, and a master's degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. After working in administrative roles in hospitals and medical centers across the country, Edmonds decided to leave the medical professional world and focus on his artistic endeavors in New York City. It was there that he came up with the idea for his nonprofit organization, IDEAS 40203, bringing him back to Kentucky.

I.D.E.A.S. 40203 is America's first 501(c)(6) contemporary art chamber of commerce. The organization describes itself as being a community made up of progressive-minded individuals and businesses sharing new ideas, asking different questions and working together to accelerate sustainable, quantifiable economic and social change in Louisville and beyond.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, at the UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studies, and art education.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Brother's Love, Dedicated Rehabilitation Team Help Child Move Forward After Brain Injury

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:22

Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations and Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2014) — Like many big brothers, 6-year-old Ashaar Shaheen knows how to trigger a response from his younger brother Kheejee.

When Kheejee pouts or cries in frustration, Ashaar's words of reassurance calm him down. When Ashaar gives Kheejee pats on the head and kisses on the face, the 4-year-old's face breaks into a smile.  

More than his brother's keeper, Ashaar is his brother's champion and partner in recovering from a severe brain injury. In April, when Kheejee took his first steps at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, Ashaar was holding his hand, urging him forward with encouragement. It was an emotional moment that Dr. Erika Erlandson and members of the Kheejee's rehabilitation team will never forget.

"We all had tears in our eyes and were in awe," Erlandson said. "There was excitement oozing out of the whole team."

Erlandson, assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, said in Kheejee's case, involving Ashaar was one factor that contributed to his quick and unexpected progress after suffering from an anoxic brain injury. After three months of inpatient treatment, Kheejee has exceeded the recovery expectations of Erlandson, who leads interdisciplinary rehabilitation team. She attributes the success of Kheejee's case to a devoted team and a deeply involved family.  

"What's made this case so remarkable is that he broke all the rules," Erlandson said of Kheejee. "He didn't follow the natural progression of his diagnosis or what the medical literature suggested for recovery. He made a significant amount of progress in a short amount of time."

In January, Kheejee underwent a surgery to correct holes in his heart. A post-surgical complication stopped blood flow to his brain for several minutes, resulting in an anoxic brain injury. Kheejee came to Cardinal Hill for inpatient care in a vegetative state - unable to walk, talk, move his head or follow motion with his eyes.

"His recovery was very guarded when he first came in," Erlandson said. "Initially, I told his parents thought a good goal for him would be to have some head control and for him to be able to track them around the room."

An interdisciplinary team worked with Kheejee for three hours daily for three months. Erlandson said because a child's brain is still in its developmental stages, its neuroplasticity allows it the chance to repair from injury. Kheejee engaged in exercises designed to stimulate both sides of his brain and help him control his movements. Ashaar, who was attending school during the daytime in the winter, attended therapy sessions in the evenings or on snow days. Their mother Atiya Shaheen said before Kheejee was interacting with most adults, he was responding to his brother.

"If he got a little bit agitated, my older son told him not to cry and to be brave - 'I am here for you,'" Atiya Shaheen said. "Even when he was not communicating with me, or not in a condition that he could understand me, he started with his brother. Being a mom, I am confident that my older son has really helped him."

At an early July check-up with Erlandson, Kheejee was laughing at his doctor's funny faces, calling for his mom, scanning the room with his eyes and kicking his feet out of his wheelchair footrests. He is now able to walk with the aid of a walker, hold up the trunk of his body, say single words and feed himself baby food. His mother said he expresses excitement when he smells her cooking food and cries "no" in opposition when it's bath time.

Erlandson, whose passion for rehabilitation medicine stems from having a family member with a disability, said Kheejee has given her hope for all her patients. She considers his case a powerful example of what can happen when a family believes in a child.   

"This is a reminder that recovery is possible - and that his support system at home is very remarkable."

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams; elizabethadams@uky.edu

Kentucky, China Collaborate on Large-Scale Carbon Capture Project

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15. 2014) — The University of Kentucky has entered into an agreement with a major Chinese petrochemical conglomerate to develop technologies to capture, utilize and store 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from a coal-fired power plant in Dongying, Shandong, China.

The agreement, between UK's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the Sinopec Corporation's Shengli Oilfield Company and Petroleum Engineering Construction Corporation, is a project of the joint U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) as part of its Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage (CCUS) initiative. Preliminary work on the project began in 2012, and work is scheduled to continue through 2017.

The purpose of the project, with an estimated total investment of $320-400 million, is to develop a series of technologies to capture, transport, store and monitor carbon dioxide, along with technologies for by-product stream cleanup and carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery. The project will also provide basic data and operational experience to promote industry application process development.

Carbon dioxide will be captured from coal-derived flue gas at the Shengli power plant's third-stage 600-megawatt generating unit. The project involves chemical absorption, compression and dehydration of carbon dioxide, and its transport over some 50 miles (80 km) of pipeline to the Shengli Oilfield for injection and storage.

The capacity of capture and transportation is targeted at 1 million tons per year. Carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery and storage will be developed over two stages with a targeted injection rate of 350,000 tons per year in the first stage, and 650,000 tons per year in the second.

UK's contribution, led by Kunlei Liu, CAER's associate director for research in power generation and utility fuels, will focus on research in solvent purification technology, wastewater treatment and carbon dioxide capture system development and integration.

"With concerns about global climate change taking an increasingly prominent role in discussions about energy policy, greenhouse gas mitigation has become a topic of concern for the international community," Liu said. "This collaboration between the United States and China will demonstrate a chain of technologies for carbon dioxide capture, usage and storage on a large scale. Such technologies will prove to be critical to both nations, as we work to meet increasing demands for energy while striving to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide."

Other collaborators include Peking University, North China Electric Power University, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China University of Petroleum.

Sinopec, a large, state-owned enterprise, has carried out research on carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage since 2008. The corporation has previously realized a whole-chain pilot demonstration of capture, transportation, enhanced oil recovery, and storage of carbon dioxide in Shengli Oilfield, with a capacity of 40,000 tons per year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

UK's New MOOC Prepares Students for College Success

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:25
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — The University of Kentucky’s newest MOOC (massive open online course) is focused on skills students need to transition into college, wherever they attend. Thousands of individuals have signed up to take the free, open college-preparatory course online.

"How to Succeed in College," beginning Tuesday, July 15, will be the university’s second offering on Coursera, a leading platform for MOOCs. The non-credit course is designed to prepare incoming and current students for college-level classes.

The five-week course is designed to help students think about the differences between high school and college, including class environment, studying techniques, exams structures and social encounters. After completing the online course, students will better understand what to expect upon arriving on campus, which should better position students to succeed in college. Successful completion of the course is expected to take about 1-3 hours of student work per week.

The multimedia course incorporates presentations, videos, discussion boards, and social media for students to interact and review materials. Each week, students will review lecture videos, which are between 8 and 12 minutes long. Students will interact weekly through Facebook and complete peer review assignments. Students may review the material at their own pace, within the weekly deadline.

UK psychology professors Jonathan Golding and Phil Kraemer, who designed the course, say it will benefit students as they transition from high school to college. 

"The course was designed to benefit all incoming students, many of whom are unprepared for the rigors of higher education," Golding said. "This is especially true of students who may not have been in an academically challenging environment in high school or may not have been exposed to issues of college life in the past, such as first-generation students."

In developing the course, Kraemer says he thought carefully about how to help students avoid major mistakes upon entering college, such as assuming college is simply an extension of high school.

Kraemer says he could have benefitted from this type of preparation in his own college experience.

"I did not appreciate the advantage of being informed about what turned out to be a very complex set of challenges," he said. "The differences between college and high school prevent many students from succeeding, and by not understanding the ways colleges and universities are organized and operate, I was at first unable to assume agency for my success in college."

Vince Kellen, UK’s senior vice provost for analytics and technologies, said development of this course was influenced by the university’s strategic plan.

"Helping incoming students succeed in their academic work is very important to UK," Kellen said. "The Coursera eLearning format is a great way to both reach a large number of students across the Commonwealth and support the university’s goal of helping students succeed."

Potential students can view the course overview video & enroll in the “How to Succeed in College” session at https://www.coursera.org/course/succeedincollege.

In addition, the second offering of UK’s free online “Advanced Chemistry” course will begin enrollment soon. Last offered in the spring, the five-week course covers key chemistry topics, correlating to the standard topics established by the American Chemical Society: kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base equilibria, aqueous equilibria and thermodynamics.

Successful completion of the course is expected to take about 6-10 hours of student work per week.

Each weekly lesson consists of a lecture video, about 10-15 minutes long, accompanied by corresponding practice problems, supplemental videos and answer sets. Tests are administered at the end of each of the five main course topics. Students may review the material at their own pace, whether they are encountering it for the first time or using it as a refresher course. The “Advanced Chemistry” course is scheduled to launch Aug. 11 and enrollment will open later in July at https://www.coursera.org/course/advancedchemistry.

New UK Study Helps Scientists Understand Melanoma Development

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows how a genetic defect in a specific hormonal pathway may make people more susceptible to developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Fair-skinned people who tend to burn (rather than tan) from sun exposure have a much higher risk for melanoma than darker-skinned people. On the surface, it appears that the amount of melanin,  the natural substance in the skin that determines pigment and acts as the skin's "natural sunscreen," would be the only determinant of melanoma risk. However, the truth is more complicated.

Published in Molecular Cell, the study looked at the role of the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R), the receptor on melanocytes in the skin that gets called into action following ultraviolet exposure to help the skin lay down more UV-blocking melanin to protect itself. Fair-skinned people are more likely to inherit a defect in this receptor, and as a result, cannot make enough melanin to fully protect themselves from UV damage. 

Since UV from sunlight or tanning beds is a major cause of melanoma, inherited problems in the MC1R means that the skin lacks natural protection by melanin, which acts as a biologic sunblock. This leads to more UV light chronically getting through to the sensitive layers of the epidermis, where it can contribute to cancer. 

However, the UK study showed that MC1R defects contribute to melanoma development in ways other than melanin production. Besides regulating the amount of melanin that gets made in the skin, MC1R also controls how well melanocytes can repair their DNA from UV damage.  Having defects in MC1R signaling delays the body's ability to clear out existing DNA damage in the skin – leading to an increased potential for cancerous mutations. 

“Knowing whether people have a specific genetic predisposition for melanoma could potentially save many lives”, says Dr. John D'Orazio, Associate Professor and the Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair at UK’s Markey Cancer Center. “If you happen to be born with a problem in this MC1R hormonal pathway, then you need to be extra careful with respect to UV safety.” 

A good indication of a person’s MC1R status is what happens to the skin after sun exposure. 

“If you tan well, then your MC1R probably works well,” D'Orazio said. “If you tend to burn, then you may have inherited a problem with your MC1R, and you probably should avoid purposeful UV exposure like tanning bed use or unprotected sun exposure."

D’Orazio and his research team found an important molecular link between MC1R signaling and DNA repair in their study. The team hopes to use this information to develop new melanoma-preventive treatments, like additives that can be included in sunblocks to ramp up the skin’s ability to deal with UV damage. 

Melanoma incidence has increased steadily over the past few decades – in the 1930s, an estimated one in every 1,500 Americans developed the diseases. Today, the odds are about one in every 60. Having a problem with the MC1R pathway raises a person’s lifetime risk of melanoma about four-fold. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

Grant Allows Jewish Studies Program to Offer New Scholarships

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 00:11

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — More scholarship opportunities for students who want to minor in Jewish studies at the University of Kentucky. The  Interdisciplinary Jewish Studies Program in the UK College of Arts and Sciences has received an $85,000 grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (JHFE).

The grant will fund five undergraduate scholarships for students who minor in Jewish studies. Some of the scholarships are available for the 2014-2015 academic year, and the remainder are for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Students who want to apply for the scholarships should contact the Jewish Studies Program at 859-257-6973 or visit the website.  To learn more about the program visit  http://jewishstudies.as.uky.edu/video/why-jewish-studies.

The application deadline is July 31, 2014.

"The program has grown significantly in the last two years — tripling the number of yearly events we organize for the UK and Lexington communities, increasing local partnerships, returning Hebrew to the curriculum, and offering Yiddish language as well," said Janice Fernheimer, director of the Jewish Studies Program.  "We are excited to have this opportunity to broaden our reach among undergraduates, and look forward to this innovative new partnership.  Students selected for scholarships will have the chance to work closely with a mentor in Jewish Studies, gain access to primary materials through a unique undergraduate research experience, and strengthen our knowledge of Kentucky’s Jewish heritage, which is as broad and deep as the Bluegrass itself. We are absolutely thrilled to continue to expand the program’s reach and to embark on this partnership with JHFE."

An interdisciplinary program since 1996 at UK, Jewish Studies offers a varied curriculum including classes in Jewish culture and civilization, history of the Holocaust, Jewish rhetoric,  the Jewish graphic novel,  Israel studies, Jews in America, women in Judaism, and the Jewish musical tradition. It is the only Jewish Studies program in the Commonwealth to offer courses in both Hebrew and Yiddish language. The affiliated faculty are drawn from six UK colleges including Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, Communication, Medicine, Education, and Engineering. The minor in Jewish Studies familiarizes students with the historical and contemporary diversity of Jewish culture, language, literature, religion, history, and philosophy.

The Jewish Studies Program also offers a guest lecture series, a graduate essay competition and prize, an undergraduate research award, and support for study abroad through the Zolondek Travel Grant. It  also collaborates with the local Jewish community, Hillel, and the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass on annual major events.  For further opportunities, the university has agreements of collaboration with Haifa and Ben Gurion Universities in Israel. 

Based in Louisville, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence is a grant making organization with a mission to foster innovative medical research and health related programs, form community partnerships in the health care arena, and support and advance the Jewish community in Louisville and the surrounding area. 

VIDEO: 'MosquitoMate' Develops From UK Entomology Research

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 16:36

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — Who would have thought of mosquitoes being put to work to help decrease and control the mosquito population? University of Kentucky professor and researcher Stephen Dobson and his former graduate student, Jimmy Mains, that's who.

Dobson, professor of medical and veterinary entomology in the Department of Entomology,   College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Mains have developed a technology that uses male mosquitoes to effectively sterilize females through a naturally occurring bacterium.

"Most mosquito control companies use chemical pesticides which are sprayed out of trucks and planes, or maybe out of a backpack sprayer," Dobson said. "Ours is a very different approach. By using a natural bacterium called Wolbachia and the mosquitoes' innate ability to find mates, we are applying an approach which does not require chemicals."

Mains is a medical entomologist with the company recently formed by Dobson, MosquitoMate. The principal investigator on the project, Mains earned his Ph.D. from UK in 2012 while working in Dobson's lab. Mains just received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to begin field trials that both men hope will demonstrate that this technique can be effective across the nation and beyond.

"A big advantage to our method is that the male mosquitoes are ‘self-delivering.’ We don't need to devote hours in finding and treating all the mosquitoes in your yard. The male mosquitoes find the females for us," Mains said. 

Mains and Dobson credit UK's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, housed within the Gatton College of Business and Economics, with helping them to take their research from the lab to the field. The center assists UK faculty and others in commercializing their research so they can transfer the technologies they have originated to the outside world for eventual far-reaching application.

"MosquitoMate has obtained an experimental use permit for open field releases," said Dobson. "We're now able to apply the bacterium in small defined areas. The idea is to develop data which we can give to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to demonstrate that it works and hopefully, MosquitoMate can move into actual sales and commercial use of the product."

The primary target for MosquitoMate is the Asian tiger mosquito and as the name suggests, it is an introduced pest.

"It came to the U.S. in the mid-1980s and spread throughout the country," Dobson said.  "By eliminating this mosquito, we will be going back to a more natural state."

Mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger historically have been much more than a nuisance, transmitting diseases to humans.

“Now we are getting new reports of a new pathogen called the Chikungunya virus, in which there is an epidemic in the Caribbean and we're starting to get cases to show up in the U.S.,” said Dobson.

“Recently cases have popped up in the United States, including right here in Kentucky,” Mains said. 

The researchers believe that at this point, the cases are thought to be from tourists who leave the country, become infected and then return to the U.S.  “But there is the concern that we could start having local transmissions where mosquitoes are picking it up and transmitting it here within the U.S.,” Dobson said. 

Female mosquitoes bite and can transmit pathogens like the Chikungunya virus.  Male mosquitoes, though, do not bite, instead they are pollinators. They spend their lives hunting for females and drinking nectar.

"The Asian tiger mosquito is a container breeder," said Mains. "One homeowner's yard can contain hundreds of sites, such as gutters, flower pots, other receptacles and essentially anything that contains water."

Dobson said the MosquitoMate team is rearing large numbers of mosquitoes in the laboratory and removing the females before going to the field.

"We gather the males into cages and then transport the mosquitoes to the targeted site," Dobson said.

"Our employees basically walk around the perimeter of the house releasing the mosquitoes from the cage," said Mains. "This distributes the mosquitoes within the area pretty evenly."

An important advantage of this methodology over the traditional mechanical spraying of pesticides is that chemicals have the potential to affect non-targets, such as bees, butterflies and other insects that are beneficial to the ecosystem. The MosquitoMate approach only impacts female mosquitoes.

In addition to testing in Kentucky, MosquitoMate has collaborators in California, Florida and New York who are carrying out trials to prove that this method can be effective at multiple sites.

Dobson and Mains intend to take the evidence they gather back to the EPA and apply for a full registration, which would enable them to market their technology throughout the U.S. and in time, to other countries around the world that are trying to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases to their citizens.

"To play a key role in helping to reduce or eliminate a significant health threat to our population while building a company which potentially will create a large number of new jobs is a thrilling proposition," said Mains. "We believe MosquitoMate can do just that."

MEDIA CONTACTS: Amy Jones-Timoney, 859-257-2940; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

Vasconez Elected President of Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 14:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Dr. Henry Vasconez has been elected the 2014-15 president of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.

Previously, Vasconez served as vice president for the society. At UK, he is the chief of the division of plastic surgery and is a professor of surgery and pediatrics in the UK College of Medicine. He also holds the William S. Farish Chair of Plastic Surgery.

Vasconez received his medical training at Central University Medical School in Quito, Ecuador. He completed a general surgery residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a plastic surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He also completed a fellowship at the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  

His main research interests include bone metabolism, bone substitutes and wound healing. He also specializes in craniofacial surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, breast reconstruction and aesthetic surgery.

The Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons strives to maintain professional excellence, provide forums for the exchange of information among members, and promote and further medical and surgical training within their society and amongst other regional and national groups of plastic surgeons.

Three Researchers from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Awarded Bright Focus Grants

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — The Bright Focus Foundation has announced that three different researchers from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky have received Bright Focus grants for 2014.

Professor Steve Estus and associate professors Harry LeVine and Paul Murphy were each recognized for their work on Alzheimer's disease.

"Only 25 Bright Focus grants are awarded worldwide each year, so it's an achievement to get one. But three Bright Focus grants in a single year is truly exceptional," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK HealthCare's executive vice president of health affairs. "These awards are an appropriate reflection of Sanders-Brown's international reputation for groundbreaking research into the causes and treatments for Alzheimer's and other cerebrovascular disease."

The Bright Focus programs are designed to provide initial funding for highly innovative experimental ideas. Most awardees use the grant funds to demonstrate key findings that lead to later interest and additional funding from industrial or governmental funding agencies. This year, Bright Focus awarded 25 grants worth a total of $8.7 million. The three grants awarded to the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging total $605,000.

Each of the three grants awarded to Sanders-Brown addresses a different aspect of Alzheimer's disease (AD) detection, prevention and treatment.

Building on previous research identifying hereditary differences in a gene known to be associated with a reduced risk of AD, Dr. Estus and his lab will try to demonstrate that this gene inhibits the production of cells beneficial to the prevention of AD.  Ultimately, this work could lead to new treatments for the prevention of AD.

LeVine's lab will be looking into a molecule that helps in early detection of AD. By honing in on the specific neurons in the AD brain marked by this molecule, Dr. LeVine and his team hope to learn what makes humans uniquely susceptible to AD, with long term goals to improve animal models of AD and identify potential therapeutic strategies.

In 2012, Murphy worked with fellow Sanders-Brown researcher Dana Niedowicz to create a genetically engineered mouse with obesity, diabetes and AD-like symptoms to study why obese people seem to have a higher risk for AD or other dementias.  This mouse with "mixed dementia" will be used to search for treatments among therapies that have already undergone clinical safety trials or are already being used to treat other conditions.

Dr. Guy Eakin, vice president of scientific affairs for the Bright Focus Foundation, notes that three Bright Focus awards for Sanders-Brown researchers isn't a complete surprise.

"Sanders-Brown has long been a well-recognized leader in Alzheimer’s disease research," Eakin said. "Their work is exceptionally compelling, and ranks amongst the most promising ideas currently being studied in the effort to understand and conquer Alzheimer’s disease."

Bright Focus Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting research and providing public education to help eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.  Bright Focus awards are intended to advance early-stage, investigator-initiated research around the world by providing funding for unique research hypotheses with the potential to grow into future clinical realities. For more information on the Bright Focus Foundation and its 2014 grants, go to www.brightfocus.org/Grants2014

The University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) was established in 1979 and is one of the original ten National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s disease Research Centers. SBCoA is internationally acclaimed for its progress in the fight against illnesses facing the aging population. 

Keeping Acute Back Pain from Becoming Chronic

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:36

LEXNGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2014) — Chances are, you're one of the eight in 10 people who experience back pain during their lives. Daily life, job conditions, recreational activities, and simple aging have left most of us acquainted with some sort of back pain, ranging from acute and temporary to chronic and disabling. The good news is that most back pain resolves on its own and doesn't need serious medical treatment. However, even a single, acute episode of back pain can leave small but consequential impairments that can lead to further incidents or chronic pain. For this reason, it's important to be proactive in keeping your back pain from becoming serious.

Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent acute back pain from progressing:

1.     Know that you need to address the problem. While very few cases of back pain require serious treatment like surgery, it's important to take steps to prevent the problem from worsening.

2.     Pay attention to your body position and posture. Like your mother said: Sit up straight! In sitting up straight, we engage the muscles in our core, which protects the back and decreases the likelihood of progression from acute to chronic pain.

3.     Stay fit. When it comes to back pain, general fitness counts. In addition to the need for strong core muscles to protect our backs, cardiovascular fitness is also associated with protection against back pain.

4.     Maintain healthy body mass index/weight.  Research shows that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience back pain.

5.     Use specific exercises for your needs. If you're sitting or standing in your job all day, there are specific exercise that can help your back. The Mayo Clinic provides guides for healthy back exercises in 15 minutes a day, available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/multimedia/back-pa....

6.     Resume normal activities as soon as possible. Bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow your recovery, so stay active and try to perform as much of your normal routine as you can.

However, it's also important to know the "red flags" that might indicate you're dealing with something more serious than garden variety back pain. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if your pain isn't resolved in three-to five weeks.

·      Pain that goes below the knee

·      Severe, unrelenting pain that wakes you up at night or gives you cold sweats

·      Sudden, unexplained weight loss  

If you have back pain and are interested in participating in back pain research at the University of Kentucky, contact the Human Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab, 859-323-3876 or hmbl.uky@gmail.com

Dr. Arthur Nitz is a professor of physical therapy in the UK College of Health Science.

This column appeared in the July 13, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Supafunkrock, Jazz, Latin, Celtic and Classical Music, Singletary Center Has It All

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 18:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts kicks off its 2014-15 Singletary Signature Series with the man behind the Supafunkrock sound, Trombone Shorty, in a season that also includes performances from popular jazz, Latin and classical artists as well as a holiday program with Celtic flair. All tickets to Trombone Shorty, Branford Marsalis, Diego Garcia, Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" and Joshua Bell go on sale 10 a.m. today (Monday), July 14.

Trombone Shorty performing "Fire & Brimstone." 

The 2014-15 season will open in September with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is a rare artist who can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy show capable of mesmerizing audiences worldwide. With an unprecedented mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, he had to create his own name to describe his signature sound: Supafunkrock. Andrews is the kind of player who comes along maybe once in a generation. Lexington audiences can hear Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue beginning 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

Returning to Singletary Center this fall is a legendary jazz musician from the celebrated Marsalis family, Branford Marsalis. A Grammy award-winning and Tony award-nominated saxophonist and composer, Marsalis is joined by the renowned Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for 20 performances only, on his national "Well-Tempered" tour, featuring Baroque masterpieces by Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and more. Leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. Branford Marsalis and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will take the stage 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.

Diego Garcia video of "Sunnier Days." 

Warm up your chilly November nights with the Latin sounds of Diego Garcia. Prior to his successful solo career, Garcia made his mark on the indie music scene as front man for the popular New York indie rock act Elefant. Drawing from his Argentine roots, he explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro and Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 albums of the year.” His poignant first single “You Were Never There,” features lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor. Diego Garcia brings his sound to the Singletary stage 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

A preview of Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas."

Kentucky families looking for a different way to celebrate the holidays can take in Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas." Now in its 17th season, "A Celtic Christmas" recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in the parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the west of Ireland. The show remembers when neighboring families gathered around the fire to grace the wintry night with haunting melodies of traditional Irish Christmas carols, to raise the rafters with the joy of their music, to knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances, and to fill the night with the laughter of their stories. Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" will warm your heart beginning 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21.

Joshua Bell performs "The Four Season" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.

Classical aficionados will not want to miss violinist Joshua Bell as he makes his debut at the Singletary Center next April. Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most celebrated violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar." Bell will join conductor John Nardolillo and the acclaimed UK Symphony Orchestra to perform a program that includes Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto #1 in G Minor Op. 26 and Camille Saing-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28. Joshua Bell and UK Symphony Orchestra grace the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

Ticket prices vary for the 2014-15 Singletary Signature Series performances and are on sale today beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets to Singletary Signature Series shows can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Sports Center Garage Construction to Begin July 14

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 17:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2014) — As part of the annual routine maintenance work on the University of Kentucky's parking structures, construction will impact the Sports Center Garage (PS #7) starting Monday, July 14. UK Parking and Transportation Services says the work will cause approximately 50 parking spaces on the top level of the facility to be blocked.

During the summer months, parking demand is reduced, providing increased flexibility in parking alternatives. Employees who normally park in the Sports Center Garage should allow extra commute time.

If the facility is full, employees may park in any E or R areas or the K areas at Commonwealth Stadium. Visit www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps to view the campus summer parking map and identify alternate parking locations.

The work on the Sports Center Garage is expected to last approximately one week. However, as always, construction is weather-dependent and the timetable may change.

Members of the campus community are encouraged to tune into 1700 AM (WQKH 253) to hear campus parking and transportation information. The station broadcasts 24 hours, seven days a week.

One Year After NCI Designation, Markey Continues to Grow

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 17:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2014) — A year ago, a crowd of hundreds gathered in Pavilion A of the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital to celebrate a long-awaited special announcement – the unveiling of the UK Markey Cancer Center as the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

The designation was the culmination of years of tireless work by the faculty and staff of Markey and its supporting service lines and colleges – all guided by Director Dr. Mark Evers, who came to UK in 2009 with the vision of propelling Markey to NCI designation.

"Even before earning the NCI designation, we'd already taken extraordinary steps in the past few years in terms of combating cancer incidence and mortality through preventative measures, treatments and research," Evers said. "But having the support and approval of the NCI has already made a huge impact in terms of both research and our clinical care."

Patient Care at Markey

As the word spread about Markey's NCI designation, clinicians and staff experienced an increase in the patient population in almost every clinical area. In 2014, Markey saw nearly 150 more new patients over the previous year, with total patient visits increasing from roughly 75,000 last year to more than 85,000 this year – which also marks a 29 percent increase in patient visits compared to just five years ago.

In particular, Markey's outpatient clinics are growing -- the Comprehensive Breast Care Center, the Multi-Disciplinary Clinic, and the Gynecology-Oncology Clinic saw unique patient growth of 29 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent, respectively, over the past year.

With such an increase in patient volume – and variety – Evers and his team have also stepped up recruitment, seeking out the best cancer specialists in their fields to join the Markey Cancer Center. Markey's already vast team of specialists now includes a bevy of new team members added in the past year, including four medical oncologists; three hematology and blood and marrow transplantation specialists; three surgical oncologists; two genitourinary cancer surgeons; two oral and maxillofacial surgeons; and a specialist in oncofertility, a new program starting up at the cancer center. 

Cancer Research

Recruiting strong researchers is a major aspect of earning and maintaining an NCI designation, and this year Markey landed a major established research team in metabolomics. Rick Higashi, Hunter Moseley, Teresa Fan, and Andrew Lane joined Markey last fall, bringing with them more than $18 million dollars in funding. One of the major focuses of the team's work is to develop early diagnostic approaches for lung cancer based on metabolism markers, which is especially important in Kentucky, where we own the distinction of having the worst rates of lung cancer incidence and death in the country.

Over the past two years, Markey has increased its funding from the NCI by 27 percent and from other National Institutes of Health divisions by 16 percent. Overall, since the end of calendar year 2012, Markey's total research funding from both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed sources has increased by $7.3 million.

Additionally, Markey researchers continue to push major findings out to their peers in academia – in 2014, Markey authors published 528 scientific articles, 49 more than the previous year.

Moving forward, Evers notes that his team will continue to seek out new clinician-scientists who have experience in clinical trials and early phase drug development, with the goal of significantly increasing the number of patients who participate in trials. Another emerging field of research for Markey is molecular epidemiology, the study of potential genetic and environmental risk factors for disease identified at the molecular level, which has the potential for great impact in Appalachia.

Markey's Reach Across the State

Though based in Lexington, Markey also strives to provide access to top-notch cancer care across the state and beyond through the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. The Affiliate Network is a group of healthcare facilities that provide high-quality cancer services and programs in their communities with the support and guidance of the UK Markey Cancer Center, allowing patients to receive their care closer to home.

Currently, the network comprises nine hospitals across the state of Kentucky:

  • Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville
  • Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland
  • Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown
  • Frankfort Regional Medical Center, Frankfort
  • Georgetown Community Hospital, Georgetown
  • Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana
  • Appalachian Regional HealthCare (ARH), Hazard
  • St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead
  • Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mt. Vernon

Since Markey earned the NCI designation, demand for new affiliations has grown. Two new ARH hospitals will be added this summer, moving Markey further into Eastern Kentucky, an underserved area known for some of the worst rates of cancer incidence and death in the country. Additionally, evaluations are under way for seven other hospitals, including two outside the state of Kentucky, extending Markey's reach further and establishing it as the destination cancer center for the region. 

The Future of Cancer Care in Kentucky

Following last year's announcement of Markey's NCI designation, Evers joked with his staff that they had one day to celebrate – and the next day, they'd be back in full swing, ready to propel Markey to the next level of designation: an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 41 of the 68 total NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status.

To earn this top level of designation, cancer centers must show a depth and breadth of research in each of three major areas: laboratory, clinical, and population-based research, as well as substantial transdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas. Additionally, outreach is especially important, and comprehensive cancer centers must demonstrate professional and public education and outreach capabilities, including the dissemination of clinical and public health advances in the communities it serves.

NCI designations are renewable every five years, and Evers hopes that Markey's next application will be for comprehensive status. To reach that level, Markey has a long to-do list, including increasing cancer-related funding, accruing more patients into clinical trials (including pushing these trials out into the state via the affiliate network), and maintaining and increasing focus on Appalachian Kentucky.

"Our progress in the past year has been spectacular, but we can – and should – do more," Evers said. "As the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky, it's our responsibility to be the leader in cancer care and to always seek out new ways to improve rates of cancer incidence and death in the state, and to make sure that we can also offer the best possible care for our patients right here in Kentucky. Earning a comprehensive cancer center designation from the NCI will be another big step in that direction."

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

UK's Ecological Research and Education Center Gaining Stature

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 16:59

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Ecological Research and Education Center has reached an important milestone in becoming a recognized field station.

For 18 years the Ecological Research Facility (ERF), located on the north side of town, was used as a site for controlled experiments. Four years ago the University of Kentucky bought a former library building that was adjacent to ERF. With financial assistance from LexMark, ERF was able to become a field station.  

UK biology faculty and undergraduate students have since used the Ecological Research and Education Center (EREC) for a broad range of ecological environmental and genomic research. In addition to research, EREC is also involved in furthering the education of undergraduate students and community outreach.  

Now, those at EREC wish to heighten the field station’s reputation. Biology Professor Philip Crowley and collaborators came together to write a planning grant to the National Science Foundation. The approved “Field Station Planning for the Ecological Research Center at the University of Kentucky” grant will fund workshops and multiple discussions to advance the goals of EREC.

“What we need is input from outside,” said Crowley. “People who have done this successfully.”

During the 17-month project period, experienced field station leaders and academics from varying universities will come to EREC to give their input on how to advance everybody’s cause. By receiving fresh and new ideas from outside sources, EREC is taking a step forward in becoming nationally and internationally important.

“This puts us in a much better position to seek funding and to recruit researchers and students to implement these ideas,” said Crowley.

Crowley is optimistic that after the workshops, EREC will be better situated to increase its research activity and productivity of dissertations. In addition to research output, Crowley hopes that the teaching component of EREC will also be strengthened to benefit undergraduate lab students.

Three UK Students Invited to Fulbright Summer Institutes in the UK

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 16:20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced the selection of three UK students by the US-UK Fulbright Commission to participate in Fulbright Summer Institutes in the United Kingdom.

Kelsey Potter, an English and integrated strategic communication junior, has been awarded a place at the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)   Summer Institute at Shakespeare’s Globe, a three-week cultural and academic program for U.S. students.

In addition, Rebecca Rose Boehman, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, and Yvonne Johnson, an English and computer science sophomore, have been awarded a place at the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute, a five-week cultural and academic program for U.S. students held at University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer program participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the U.S. and U.K.

As a participant of the AIFS Summer Institute at Shakespeare's Globe, Potter has been selected from a strong applicant pool to explore William Shakespeare’s work and the playhouse for which he wrote. During her time there, she will study on-site at the Globe Theatre, work with professional theatre practitioners, and develop her knowledge of Shakespeare studies and drama.

"I am so thankful and excited for this experience. The opportunity to study Shakespeare’s work at the Globe Theatre is a dream come true," Potter said. "I’m looking forward to meeting other students who share my passion for theatre and to build friendships abroad. I know that this experience will change my life, and I hope to bring the knowledge and skills that I gain during the program back to the U.S."

A native of Worthington, Kentucky, Potter graduated from Raceland-Worthington High School before coming to UK. She was involved in numerous local theatre productions as an actor and stage manager while managing her own photography business.

At UK, Potter is a Chellgren Fellow and member of the Honors Program. She also serves as the public relations manager for the undergraduate literary journal Shale, promotions director for TEDxUKY, and a social media intern for the Honors Program. In addition, Potter is a member of the Student Activities Board, the Italian Club and Sigma Tau Delta.

The theme for the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute that Boehman and Johnson will take part in is "Scotland: Identity, Culture and Innovation." The institute will provide American undergraduates with a unique perspective on the cultural and political forces that have shaped modern Scotland, with a strong emphasis on its pioneering role as a technological nation. As participants in the program, Boehman and Johnson will explore and learn about the heritage, history and culture of Scotland through visits to Scottish Parliament, museums, galleries and sites of historic interest, including castles, battlegrounds, stately homes and areas of scenic beauty.

Boehman, a native of Carmel, Indiana, graduated from St. Theodore Guerin High School. An active member of the Pre-Pharmacy Club at UK, she selected her major based on family influence.

"I have a passion for science and medicine and a passion for working with people. I was exposed to the field of pharmacy through family members, especially my mother. I also have a particular interest in the effects of drugs on children and hope to specialize in clinical pediatrics," Boehman said.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Boehman hopes to attend UK College of Pharmacy.

Johnson, a native of Pendleton, Kentucky, graduated from South Oldham High School. Since elementary school, she has actively pursued creative writing and technology opportunities. Johnson also attended the Governor's School for the Arts.

A member of the Honors Program and writer for Shale, Johnson had to narrow down her vast interests to select her two majors at UK, English and computer science. "I chose areas of study that I most enjoyed. I have a wide range of interests, and I'd have about eight different majors if I could, but I narrowed it down to my top two. I've been creatively writing since first grade, and I've been teaching myself how to build websites and how to code since sixth grade. The two interests really went hand-in-hand because the reason I wanted to build a website in the first place was so that I would have somewhere to showcase my writing."

After finishing her undergraduate studies, Johnson plans to attend graduate school.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

The Fulbright Summer Program covers all participant costs. In addition, summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including: visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and opportunity to join alumni networks.

Created by treaty on Sept. 22, 1948, the US-UK Fulbright Commission offers grants at postgraduate and postdoctoral level for study in any discipline and at any accredited institution in the U.S. and U.K., as well as a number of special exchange programs for shorter projects or for younger scholars. It is funded by a range of partners including leading U.S. and U.K. universities, charities and both governments. This year, the commission is hosting nine summer institutes at the following host institutions: University of Bristol; University of Exeter; Durham University; King's College London; Queen's University Belfast; Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities; Dundee and Strathclyde universities; and more. For more information, visit www.fulbright.org.uk/fulbright-awards/exchanges-to-the-usa/undergraduates/uk-   summer-institutes.

Students interested in applying for a Fulbright Summer Institute, should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Professor Releases Debut CD 'Lost Trumpet Treasures'

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 16:03

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2014) — University of Kentucky School of Music's Jason Dovel, an assistant professor of trumpet, has just released his debut solo CD, "Lost Trumpet Treasures." The album is a collaboration with Julliard-trained pianist, Edward Neeman, as well as internationally acclaimed trumpeter Vince DiMartino, who was once the trumpet professor at UK.

The title of Dovel's CD, "Lost Trumpets Treasures," captures the artistic purpose of the disc: to promote high-quality trumpet literature that has not been recorded and/or has been 'lost' from the mainstream repertoire.

"It is hoped that this project not only provides reference recordings for these wonderful pieces, but also helps promote a renewed interest in their performance." Dovel said.

The CD is now available for purchase through the record company Mark Records at www.markcustom.com/ and will be available on Itunes and other online retailers in August 2014.

Prior to coming to UK, Dovel was an associate professor of trumpet at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. An active soloist, Dovel has had recent performances in 14 states as well as at different festivals across the country. In addition to his solo career, Dovel is an orchestral trumpeter, performing with numerous orchestras, ballets and operas. During the summer months, he often plays trumpet with Ash Lawn Opera in Virginia.

Outside of performing, Dovel has published articles in the Music Educators Journal, International Trumpet Guild Journal and The Instrumentalist, and he has been a recordings reviewer for the International Trumpet Guild Journal since 2006. He studied privately with Keith Johnson, George Novak, Charles Saenz, James Kluesner, Charlie Geyer, Barbara Butler, Barry Bauguess (Baroque trumpet) and Bruce Dickey (cornetto).

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Family Center Offers Divorce, Parenting Services

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 16:01

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2014) — In efforts to continue to provide affordable counseling services to families, couples and individuals of Lexington, the University of Kentucky Family Center is now offering a divorce support group for children, as well as free parenting consultations.

The divorce support group for children offers a safe, fun place where children learn skills that will help them to better deal with parental separation or divorce. Guided by therapists through the course of six sessions, children will take part in an imaginary space adventure, allowing them to learn how to better cope with parents' divorce while making it easier to talk about the difficulties associated with it.

The support group is limited to six children per group, ages 7-10 years old. Sessions will be held at the UK Family Center, 205 Scovell Hall, from 10-11 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. on July 21, 24, 28 and 31, and Aug. 4 and 7. If these times and dates do not work, individuals are encouraged to call the center for additional availability.

A fee of $30 covers one child and $45 covers two or more children. To register or to find out more information about the support group, call 859-257-775 or email ukfamilycenter@uky.edu

A second new service, free parenting consultations, is being offered by the UK Family Center for parents who are feeling overwhelmed, concerned about their child's behaviors, struggling to relate to their preteen or teenager, noticing a sudden change in their child's overall mood, or for those who are just in need of reassurance, education and advice.

Parenting consultations are confidential but clients must bring someone else with them to receive services, such as a spouse, partner, family member or friend involved in the child’s life. Consultations will be from 2-6 p.m. on every second and fourth Friday of the month at the UK Family Center. Walk-ins are welcome but to avoid waiting, call 859-257-7755 to reserve a session.

The UK Family Center is a community mental health facility serviced by therapy interns who are in the family sciences master's program at UK. Interns are supervised weekly by their clinical supervisors who are licensed marriage and family therapists within UK's family sciences' faculty. The Family Center has contributed its efforts to the community for more than 25 years. As a nonprofit, the Family Center's first priority is to provide a place of genuine personal growth for therapy interns and their clients.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, whitney.harder@uky.edu, or Whitney Hale 859-257-8716 Since its founding in 1865, the University of Kentucky has been dedicated to improving people's lives through excellence in education, research and creative work, service, and health care as Kentucky's flagship institution and one of the nation's top land grant universities. Please join us in celebrating the university's 150 year storied history and help us build on that tradition of success as part of UK's sesquicentennial celebration through 2015. Visit uknow.uky.edu/sesquicentennial to access UK sesquicentennial news, in addition to archived news stories and announcements. Keep up with UK sesquicentennial activities on social media by looking for #UK150.

UK Receives $3.75 Million For Community-Based Rural Cancer Prevention

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:50

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2014) — At 44, Sherry Payne was uncommonly young to be diagnosed with colon cancer. She was also too young to have started regular colon cancer screenings, so by the time she developed symptoms and went to the doctor, the disease had already progressed to Stage 3. It was 1998, and she was given two years to live.

"As you can see, I did not take that seriously and I am still here," Payne says today.

More than 15 years after her diagnosis, Payne is cancer-free and dedicates her life to cancer prevention in Eastern Kentucky. A Knox County resident, she works as a community health advisor for the American Cancer Society, improving communities' health by encouraging men and women to practice early detection of colon, breast, and cervical cancer while it is in the most treatable stages.

Her passion has also led her to work with researchers at the University of Kentucky (UK) Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC), which has just received a $3.75 million, five-year grant renewal from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote screening and prevent death from colorectal cancer in Central Appalachia and other rural areas.

The UK RCPC, housed at the UK College of Public Health, is a planned collaboration of community members, public health professionals, and researchers that conduct applied prevention research to reduce health disparities associated with cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer among residents of the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD). The UK RCPC is one of just 26 CDC-funded Prevention Research Centers (PRC) in the country, and the only one focused on developing and disseminating strategies for rural cancer prevention.

The central mission of the PRC program is to support community-based, participatory prevention research to drive major community changes that can prevent and control chronic diseases. In line with this mission, the work of the UK RCPC is guided by a Community Advisory Board (CAB) that sets research and service priorities. Payne serves as one of 13 members on the RCPC board, along with other health care professionals, administrators, and educators; business, media, and government representatives; and family members of cancer survivors.

In fact, it was the CAB that directed the RCPC to dedicate its current five years of funding to colorectal cancer screening and prevention. In the previous five years of funding, the RCPC focused on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical cancer screening at the direction of the CAB.

"This is where we need to be focusing our attention — in the response to needs indicated by representatives of the community," says Dr. Richard Crosby, director of the RCPC and professor and chair of the department of health behavior in the UK College of Public Health.

The data supports the decision of the CAB to focus on colorectal cancer: Not only does Kentucky have the nation's highest rates of cancer incidence and death, more people from Appalachian Kentucky die from colorectal cancer than those diagnosed with colorectal cancer in other regions of the state.

While colorectal cancer is usually a slow growing cancer that has a much higher survival rate if detected and treated early, delayed or no screening can lead to late-stage diagnosis when the chance of survival is significantly lower.  For people living in rural areas like Appalachia, where they may be geographically and socially isolated from health care providers, a major problem is a lack of access to recommended screenings for colorectal cancer. This is especially true in the KRADD counties, all eight of which are classified as Healthcare Professional Shortage Areas by the U.S. Health Services and Resources Administration.

The counties in which the RCPC works also experience severe economic distress. Collectively, the communities that compose the KRADD represent one of the lowest income regions in the country, and the three poorest counties in the U.S.--Breathitt, Lee, and Owsley--are all located in the KRADD.

"This is about serving Kentuckians, and we are targeting an area of the rural Appalachia that has extremely high rates of colorectal cancer morbidity," says Crosby. "We're focusing on a project that engages people at a point when we can still do something to prevent their death."

Over the next five years, Crosby and the RCPC team will develop, implement, and disseminate an intervention to promote a simple, at-home screening test called FIT (fecal immunochemical test) that could drastically increase rates of annual colorectal cancer screening in rural areas. FIT tests use a new technology for detecting antibodies to polyps (potentially cancerous clumps of cells) in the stool. With FIT, you simply brush the surface of the stool with a brush included in the kit and then dab the end of the brush onto the test card, which is mailed off for testing. The test is quick, painless, low-cost, and doesn't require a trip to the doctor -- still somewhat unpleasant, but likely preferable to an unnecessary colonoscopy or, of course, cancer. In the case of a positive FIT test result, RCPC staff will help individuals navigate the healthcare system to get further testing and treatment as needed.

Their upcoming work will build upon the successes of their previous round of funding, which focused on cervical cancer prevention and screening. The cervical cancer prevention program developed by the RCPC is now being used in 18 local Kentucky health departments and has also been adapted for use in 30 local health departments in North Carolina.  Over the next five years, Crosby and the RCPC team will leverage the key partnerships that have supported their previous success, not only working with the CAB but also with local health departments, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and further academic and medical resources on campus like the Markey Cancer Center, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, the College of Communication and Information, the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks, and the Kentucky Cancer Registry.

Crosby says the work of the RCPC goes beyond the "bench to bedside" goal of moving laboratory discoveries into new applications, such as treatments or devices, for humans.

"This is 'bench to community' work — we want to keep people from needing bedside care at all," he says.

Payne is similarly hopeful that efforts of the RCPC to prevent colorectal cancer in Appalachia will spare others the experience she endured, and prevent deaths from treatable cancers.

"I am so grateful to be part of the RCPC project," she says.   "While under treatment, I saw too many colon cancer patients passing away when they could have avoided late stage cancer if they had participated in cancer screenings."  

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, mallory.powell@uky.edu

Portion of Rose Street Expected to Close July 21

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 21:35

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2014) —  As site preparation and utilities upgrades continue for construction of the new Academic Science Building at the University of Kentucky, the portion of Rose Street between Huguelet Drive and Funkhouser Drive will close July 21. This is a minor delay from the originally scheduled date of July 7.

The portion of Washington Avenue that has been closed from Limestone to Gladstone is expected to reopen July 21, at which time Washington Avenue from Gladstone to Rose Street will close.

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