promotions and tenure 2024

Congratulations to the following University of Kentucky College of Medicine faculty members who received promotions and/or were granted tenure this year. The following list includes faculty from basic science and clinical departments. It is organized alphabetically by department, then by last name.

Jay Avasarala leaning against a stairwell on UK campus.

A recently published article by UK HealthCare’s Jagannadha (Jay) Avasarala, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, outlines the promise of point of care ultrasound (POC

Larry Goldstein, MD

The University of Kentucky Public Relations and Strategic Communications Office provides a weekly health column available for use and reprint by news media.

Bojarski headshot

Lauren Bojarski, DO, joined the UK College of Medicine as a neurology resident in 2020, just as COVID-19 began to spread across the U.S. 

“I started my very first day learning how to gown up with personal protective equipment (PPE), which I was not expecting,” said Dr. Bojarski. “But once I met my co-residents and the attendings, I felt more at ease.” 

headshot of Dr. Zhu

Congratulations to Zhu Zhu, MD, PhD, who was selected as the April 2024 GME Resident of the Month!

Group of award winners

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is excited to share the winners of the third annual Mission, Vision, Pillar, and Enabler (MVPE) Awards.

the dean interviewing a department chair in front of a camera

Over the next few months, the UK College of Medicine will be releasing an exciting mini-documentary series called “Because We Care.” Capturing interviews and conversations with people across our community, the four-part series explores who we are as a college and why our mission matters to all of us, whether we are learners, faculty, researchers, or staff.

Three people overlapping their hands

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. Named after Dr. James Parkinson, who first described it in 1817, this condition currently affects millions of people worldwide. April is recognized as Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month, chosen because it is the birth month of Parkinson.

headshot of dr. witt

Congratulations to Andrew Witt, MD, who was selected as the March 2024 GME Resident of the Month! 

Ima Ebong sitting outside.

In 2017, Ima Ebong, MD, became a mother for the first time. She just graduated from a four-year neurology residency program at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and was one month into a rigorous year-long clinical neurophysiology fellowship – the final phase of her medical education before becoming an attending physician.

Jeremy Thompson snuggling a dog.

Down syndrome remains the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States. Each year, about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome, meaning it occurs in about one in every 700 babies.

“Dr. Dornbos is a life-changer. He really saved my life, and I’m so, so thankful," said Stevenson. Photo by Richie Wireman.

In 2019, Tiona Stevenson realized she didn’t feel like herself.

She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t focus at work. Something was off, but Tiona couldn’t pinpoint the problem. She spent two long years working through it.

Larry Goldstein, MD

Larry Goldstein, MD, chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Neurology, has been selected to serve as co-chair of The Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (KHDSP) Task Force r

Tina Frazier and her dog Pepper

“I went from being an extremely active person to spending all my time lying on my couch or in bed. I became an invalid, dependent on my husband for everything.” That is how Tina Frazier describes what life was like in the fall of 2022.

Julie Youssefi

Julie Youssefi, MD, discusses being the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s epilepsy fellow in 2020-2021 – and how being the fellow gave her the tailored experience she needed. 

Julie Youssefi, MD, became interested in epilepsy care during medical school and neurology residency training at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

GME winners

The following individuals were honored at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Awards Convocation on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. Winners included those in Bowling Green, Lexington, Morehead, and Northern Kentucky.

Biomedical Education

Outstanding Graduate Student Award:
Jamila Tucker, MS

Chefs in the kitchen developing keto dishes.

A group from the University of Kentucky recently returned from several days in San Diego at a global symposium where they educated attendees from 48 different countries about the field of neurogastronomy. Neurogastronomy is a somewhat new study that unites the science and culinary worlds by examining the human brain and behaviors that influence how we experience eating and drinking.

From left to right: Dr. Rachel Wilson, Lisa Williams, Renee Gallagher, and LeAnn Barber

Burnout is a problem in any profession, but it is rampant in health care. This national problem has been evident recently as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many learners, practitioners, faculty, and staff to the limit.

Abigail Latimer, Laurie McLouth, Elizabeth Rhodus, and Jim Ballard

Asked how she copes with the emotional side of her role in palliative care, Abigail Latimer, PhD, MSW, LCSW, puts it simply. “I want to be there for people on some of their hardest days.”

research stock photo

The following clinicians and researchers working under the UK College of Medicine Alliance Research Initiative have been named recent awardees of pilot grants.

AI in Medicine (AIM)


Peter Hardy, PhD, College of Medicine