Recent News

UK Researcher Explores Gene's Role in Blood Clotting

Posted: 9/19/2014

Two independent groups of researchers led by Sidney "Wally" Whiteheart, PhD, at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Charles Lowenstein, at the University of Rochester, have published important studies exploring the role that a gene called STXBP5 plays in the development of cardiovascular disease.

According to Whiteheart, previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified a gene called STXBP5 as a factor that regulates a protein called Von Willebrand factor (VWF).

VWF is an important contributor to normal blood clotting. When the endothelial cells that line a blood vessel are injured, VWF is released into the bloodstream, where it "collects" blood platelets and groups them into bunches as part of the clotting process. VWF abnormalities have been linked to the development of blood clots and other vascular diseases that can cause heart attack and stroke.

"We basically went a step further and looked into how STXBP5 influences blood clotting as a whole," Whiteheart said. "And what we found has the potential for profound impact down the road in identifying genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease."

Dr. Lowenstein's group focused on the role of STXBP5 in the endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls and release VWF when damaged.... FULL STORY

Tags: Research, Biochemistry, Von Willebrand Factor

UK Study Identifies Molecule That Induces Cancer-killing Protein

Posted: 9/15/2014
A new study by University of Kentucky researchers has identified a novel molecule named Arylquin 1 as a potent inducer of Par-4 secretion from normal cells. Par-4 is a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor, killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Normal cells secrete small amounts of Par-4 on their own, but this amount is not enough to kill cancer cells. Notably, if Par-4 secretion... FULL STORY
Tags: Research, Radiation Medicine

Twitter Chat Offers Insight on Participating in Health Research

Posted: 9/15/2014
Did you know that you can help others by participating in research? Health-focused research affects every aspect of our lives, from the medications we take to the health of our environment. Researchers are working hard to identify new treatments and strategies to improve the health of our communities, but research needs healthy volunteers and volunteers with medical conditions in order to succeed.... FULL STORY
Tags: Research, Clinical, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center

COPD Patient Returns to Active Lifestyle Thanks to Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Posted: 9/12/2014 - Tags: Internal Medicine, COPD, UK HealthCare
In the waiting room at the UK HealthCare's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic sits a large binder labelled "Success Stories." Inside are pages and pages of testimony from patients who discovered a renewed quality of life as a result of their experience. "I can walk through the mall with my grandkids again," reads one. "Most important thing I've ever done," declares another. But certain words appear repeatedly throughout: encouragement, support, compassion, welcoming. It's evident that these patients adore the staff that helps them breathe more fully again. Mike Graham, 53, of Harrodsburg hopes to add his testimony to that binder. A life-long scuba diver, Graham was... FULL STORY

Center for Health Services Research Launches Website, Invites Membership

Posted: 9/5/2014
The University of Kentucky Center for Health Services Research (CHSR), which serves as a connector, catalyst and creator at UK and UK HealthCare, announces the launch of its new website and seeks membership applicants for its efforts in applying research to optimize health care delivery. The CHSR is focused on creating, testing, and scaling next-generation health services research solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health delivery within Kentucky and beyond. Building on UK’s culture of collaboration and leveraging UK's extensive resources and talented faculty, the CHSR represents a unique center that will accelerate discovery of new knowledge... FULL STORY

Meyer-van der Westhuyzen Study of Oxidized LDL Shows Early Promise For

Posted: 9/4/2014 - Tags: Lipid Research, Research, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center
A team of investigators has made a thought-provoking discovery about a type of cholesterol previously believed to be a "bad guy" in the development of heart disease and other conditions. Jason Meyer, a University of Kentucky M.D.-Ph.D. candidate, worked with Deneys van der Westhuyzen, a professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, to study the role oxidized LDL plays in the development of plaque inside artery walls. According to Meyer, the medical research community has traditionally believed that oxidized LDL plays a pivotal role in that process. "Oxidized LDL moves rapidly into arterial walls and engorges them... FULL STORY

Markey, Hardin Memorial Health Join Together to Provide Complex Cancer

Posted: 9/3/2014 - Tags: Markey Cancer Center, Clinical, UK HealthCare
Hardin Memorial Health celebrated a new affiliation between its Cancer Care Center and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. "The Markey affiliate agreement provides a great opportunity for professional education and training for our staff and physicians," said Hardin Memorial Health President Dennis Johnson. "Collaboration with Markey and their affiliates across the state allows our team to stay up-to-date on the newest cancer treatments and research." "There is no reason for cancer patients in central Kentucky to leave this area to seek treatment, because the HMH Cancer... FULL STORY

COBRE Receives NIH Funding for Final Phase of Junior Faculty Research

Posted: 9/2/2014 - Tags: Grants and Funding, COBRE, Biochemistry
The University of Kentucky's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) on the Molecular Basis of Human Disease was recently awarded a third phase of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for a program to develop its research community and center dedicated to human disease. With this new $1.25 million annual grant, UK's COBRE will build upon achievements of a research development program that initially received NIH support in 2004. During the past 10 years, the program has fostered the research endeavors of junior faculty, providing mentorship, resources, pilot projects and facilities to enhance translational studies on major health issues within the... FULL STORY

Ambati Receives CNIB Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award

Posted: 9/2/2014 - Tags: Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty, Awards and Recognition
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) recently announced Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, as the recipient of the 2014 CNIB Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award. The international award is bestowed annually to vision scientists who conduct world-class research to reduce the impact of sight loss in people’s lives and those who have made a major original contribution to the fields of vision science or vision rehabilitation. Ambati and his group have made groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to research on Age Related... FULL STORY

UK College of Medicine Students Prepare for Annual Free Community Health

Posted: 8/27/2014 - Tags: Community Health Fair, Students
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine, in collaboration with the colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, health sciences and communications, is preparing to host the annual free community health fair which provides services to underrepresented and uninsured residents in Lexington and the surrounding area. This year's event has been set for 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7, at the BioPharm Building (College of Pharmacy), located at 789 South Limestone St. on UK's campus. "Jumpstart Your Health" is this year's theme for the community health fair. “In deciding on a theme for the year, we wanted to empower Lexington citizens to take control of their health... FULL STORY

College of Medicine Students Go West for Clinical Rotations Through New

Posted: 8/21/2014 - Tags: Western Kentucky initiative, Students
When University of Kentucky medical student Callie Dowdy tells fellow students she delivered four babies in one month during her obstetrics rotation in Western Kentucky, she emphasizes that fact that she was a primary care provider. She didn’t stand in the back or the room or watch over the shoulder — she was the first person to hold the babies. While Dowdy acknowledges that the UK Chandler Hospital is an incredible setting for a medical education, she encountered more opportunities work with patients in a smaller medical environment in Murray, Kentucky. Dowdy was one of two inaugural students to complete rotations through the Western Kentucky Initiative (WKI), a... FULL STORY

Play Helps Families and Caregivers See Both Sides of Alzheimer's

Posted: 8/20/2014 - Tags: UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Alzheimer's disease
Last Saturday, one family struggled to accept that their father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. This family is luckier than others, however. They are the fictional characters in "Forget Me Not," a play written by Garrett Davis to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and provide comfort and support for caregivers, particularly in underserved communities where health disparities exist. University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) brought the play to a full house at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington on Aug. 16. We saw the play at a conference in San Diego, and we were immediately drawn to it as a resource for community... FULL STORY

Markey Researchers Develop Web-Based App to Predict Glioma Mutations

Posted: 8/19/2014 - Tags: Research, Markey Cancer Center
A new web-based program developed by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers will provide a simple, free way for healthcare providers to determine which brain tumor cases require testing for a genetic mutation. Gliomas – a type of tumor that begins in the brain or spine – are the most common and deadly form of brain cancer in adults, making up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancer cases. In some of these cases, patients have a mutation in a specific gene, known as an IDH1 mutation – and patients who have this tend to survive years longer than those who do not carry the mutation. The program, developed by UK researchers Li Chen, Eric... FULL STORY

Griffith Elected to National Medical Honor Society Board of Directors

Posted: 8/18/2014 - Tags: Faculty, Medical Education, Awards and Recognition, AOA
Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, has elected Dr. Charles “Chipper” H. Griffith III, senior associate dean for medical education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, as a councilor director on the Society's board. Griffith's three-year term begins at the AOA board of directors meeting in Portland, Maine, on Oct. 3. Alpha Omega Alpha is a professional medical organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to letters and the humanities and Sigma Xi is to science. Griffith earned his medical degree... FULL STORY

MRI Used to Study Possible Therapies for Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Posted: 8/14/2014 - Tags: Research, Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiology
Studies show that adults who received corrective surgery for the most common serious form of congenital heart disease as infants are susceptible to heart failure in adulthood. Researchers at the University of Kentucky are using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to better understand the cause of heart failure in these patients, with the goal of eventually developing new therapies to reduce mortality. The team, led by University of Kentucky professor Dr. Brandon Fornwalt, recently published their findings in an article appearing in the European Heart Journal titled, "Patients with Repaired Tetralogy of Fallot Suffer From Intra- and Inter-Ventricular Cardiac... FULL STORY
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