Recent News


UK Sanders-Brown Researcher Receives NIH Grant Totaling $1.1 Million

Posted: 1/28/2015

Dr. Gregory J. Bix of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a promising treatment for ischemic stroke.

The five-year grant expands Bix's earlier research on a protein called Perlecan Domain V, which appears to foster healing after strokes caused by blood clots in the brain.

"Perlecan seems to promote neurorepair in endothelial cells by blocking a receptor called A5B1 Integrin," Bix said. "In fact, genetically engineered mice that are completely deficient in the A5B1 receptor in endothelial cells show amazingly little to no injury after a stroke."

"It's therefore logical to postulate that eliminating the A5B1 Integrin receptor in brain blood vessel cells or blocking its activity early on after an ischemic stroke may be profoundly neuroprotective," he added.

In other words, Bix and his lab will use this grant to go backwards, in a sense, to study A5B1 integrin itself, its role in ischemic stroke, and its potential as a therapeutic target in ischemic stroke.

The Bix lab has identified two molecules known to block the A5B1 Integrin receptor: ATN-161, a peptide that has been used in clinical trials for brain cancer, and a modified... FULL STORY

Tags: UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Research, Grants and Funding


UK Pediatric Surgeon Intervenes to Help Boy from His Home Country

Posted: 1/27/2015
A mother's embrace couldn't settle a fidgety Snayder Menendez Quinones for more than a few seconds in the Pavilion A lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital. But Maria Quinones was relieved to see her 3-year-old son return to his playful self after recovering from surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital. The timid and afraid boy who arrived at UK HealthCare on Sept. 23, 2014, was now gleeful and talkative.... FULL STORY
Tags: Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, Shoulder to Shoulder

UK Researchers Solve Metabolic Mystery Lending Insight Into Lafora

Posted: 1/26/2015
Scientists at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine have determined how an enzyme essential for energy metabolism functions, solving a mystery eluding molecular biologists for decades. Matthew Gentry, Ph.D, and Craig Vander Kooi, Ph.D, associate professors of molecular and cellular biochemistry, and researcher Madushi Raththagala, Ph.D, recently discovered the role of the enzyme laforin in... FULL STORY
Tags: Biochemistry, Research

UK Study Finds Potential New Drug Target for Lung Cancer

Posted: 1/23/2015 - Tags: Lung Cancer, Markey Cancer Center, Research
A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that targeting a key enzyme and its associated metabolic programming may lead to novel drug development to treat lung cancer. Cancer cells undergo metabolic alterations to meet the increased energy demands that support their excess growth and survival. The Krebs cycle in the mitochondria of cells is used to supply both energy and building materials for cell growth. Two mitochondrial enzymes – pyruvate carboxylase (PC) and glutaminase replenish carbon to the Krebs cycle.   Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study collected metabolic data directly from more than... FULL STORY

Sanders-Brown Researcher Co-authors Influential Paper

Posted: 1/21/2015 - Tags: UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
Donna Wilcock, Ph.D., of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky, has co-authored a paper that offers a roadmap for future research into the interaction between vascular disease and Alzheimer's. The article in-press, which aims to encourage researchers to fill gaps in the current knowledge of how Alzheimer’s and vascular conditions progress together and influence each other, was published online by "Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association." A growing body of research suggests that the most common cause of dementia in older people is a mix of vascular and Alzheimer’s-related brain abnormalities, and that... FULL STORY

Markey Hosting Gala to Support Expressions of Courage Exhibit

Posted: 1/21/2015
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center will host a special gala on Saturday, Feb. 7, to support its second annual Expressions of Courage exhibit this summer. Markey's Expressions of Courage exhibit is a yearly art showcase featuring original, artistic expressions connected in some way to an experience with a cancer diagnosis, or crafted by or in memory of a Markey patient whose battle has ended. The exhibit takes place in June, which is National Cancer Survivorship Month. The Expressions of Courage Gala will help raise funds to support the exhibit, which allows patients and family members to showcase their original art, dance, poetry and music in a... FULL STORY

PCOS Affects One in 10 Women, May Be Linked to Other Serious Diseases

Posted: 1/20/2015
Despite its name, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) isn’t actually a disease of the ovary. PCOS got its name after researchers and clinicians in the 1930s associated abnormalities in ovarian function and appearance with endocrine abnormalities in women. Since then, we have realized that the ovarian dysfunction is a secondary issue that is caused by the underlying metabolic and endocrine changes seen with PCOS. Let’s explore some of the common questions about PCOS. What are the common symptoms of PCOS? Menstrual irregularities are the most common reasons that lead to women with PCOS seeking evaluation. Other common symptoms include excess hair growth on the... FULL STORY

UK Pilot Study Tests Program to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Posted: 1/13/2015 - Tags: Family and Community Medicine, Kentucky Homeplace
Within 30 days of discharge, 20 percent of fee-for-service Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital. The frequency of readmission for Medicare patients costs the nation an estimated $17 billion annually, but research suggests 75 percent of these readmission cases are preventable. The University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine, in partnership with St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky, and Kentucky HomePlace recently launched a pilot study to evaluate the impact community health workers have in reducing hospital readmission rates. Using a multidisciplinary model of transitional care, the one-year study will attempt to... FULL STORY

Gill Heart Institute Cardiologist Launches Journal Dedicated to VADs

Posted: 1/9/2015 - Tags: VAD, Gill Heart Institute, Journals
Dr. Maya Guglin, director of mechanical assisted circulation at the University of Kentucky's Gill Heart Institute, has launched The VAD Journal, a publication focused exclusively on mechanical assisted circulation. "Mechanical assisted circulation is the most rapidly developing area of cardiology, but there is no journal dedicated to papers in this area," Guglin said. "The growing number of patients with heart failure, the limited pool of donors for cardiac transplantation, and several technological breakthroughs have all made the option of implanting a ventricular assist device as destination therapy more important, and therefore it's essential to give cardiologists... FULL STORY

Medical Student Ambassadors Host Virtual Q&A

Posted: 1/7/2015
In early December, leaders of the College of Medicine Ambassadors Program hosted a virtual Q&A session with high school students interested in health careers enrolled at Clinton County Area Technology Center in Albany, KY. Utilizing Skype capabilities, medical students fielded questions from a classroom of seventeen students on varying topics from preparing for the MCAT, choosing a college to attend, to selecting a specialty area, motivation, and dealing with stress. Brett Austin, a second-year medical student and president of the Ambassadors Program led this effort. Click here for more information and to view photos.     

UK Study Disputes Previous Theories on Loss of Muscle Stem Cells and Aging

Posted: 1/7/2015 - Tags: Center for Muscle Biology, CCTS, Research
Professional athletes often spend hours in a gym working to build strong healthy muscles needed to keep them at the top of their game. But strong muscles help all humans maintain peak physical performance – the non-athlete, the young and the old – and can prevent frailty later in life, a condition that can exacerbate an illness and even shorten one's life. According to Charlotte Peterson, co-director of the Center for Muscle Biology at the University of Kentucky, "muscle powers health." Peterson, who is also a professor and associate dean for research in the College of Health Sciences and associate director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translation Sciences (CCTS... FULL STORY

UK Researchers Point to Impact of Combined Brain Injury and PTSD in War

Posted: 12/22/2014 - Tags: Research, Rehabilitation Medicine
The U.S. Department of Defense identifies mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, as one of the signature injuries impacting veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Often associated with the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the field, an mTBI is commonly diagnosed in concurrence with posttraumatic stress disorder, a separate condition triggered by the traumatic event. A recent study suggests that 12 to 16 percent of all veterans involved in the Iraqi conflict have a history of mTBI and an estimated 13 to 17 percent of veterans return with a diagnosis of PTSD resulting from an injury. One-third of all veterans with a TBI also suffer from PTSD.... FULL STORY

94 Year-Old Lexington Woman Gives Back as Research Volunteer

Posted: 12/19/2014 - Tags: Research, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Clinical Trials
On Dec. 2, a very special group of people gathered to celebrate a very special gift. "Participation in clinical trials is a truly noble act, and we consider the people who volunteer for research part of our family," says Dr. Gregory Jicha, a professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "So it's natural that we would gather at the holidays to share a little joy and thanksgiving." Every year, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has a party for patients who have volunteered to participate in research at the center. It's an annual highlight for patients and staff alike, who often form special bonds over the course of several years.... FULL STORY

UK Family Doctor Gives Back, Stays Grounded through Music

Posted: 12/18/2014 - Tags: Faculty, Family and Community Medicine
On the morning of Dec. 16, Dr. Shannon Voogt warmed up her classically trained opera voice before coming to work at UK HealthCare. At 11 a.m., she applied resin to the bow of her violin in the Pavilion A lobby of the UK Chandler Hospital. Moments later, an audience of patients, employees and hospital visitors circled around the atrium lobby as Voogt, a soprano, showed off her vocal range performing "O Holy Night." A family physician in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Medicine, Voogt has dedicated more time in her busy schedule to pursuing — and sharing — her love of music. She started playing the violin at age 3 and... FULL STORY

UK Alum Among Ebola Fighters Named Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Posted: 12/16/2014
University of Kentucky graduate Mosoka Fallah is among the Ebola fighters in West Africa that has been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. A native of Liberia, Fallah received his bachelor's degree in his home country and a master's degree from Kent State University in the United States. He studied at the University of Kentucky from 2005 to 2011, obtaining his doctorate in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in 2011. He subsequently received a master's in public health from Harvard University. "For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the... FULL STORY