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On Friday, May 28, 2021 Ryan Cloyd successfully defended his dissertation and earned his doctoral degree. Congratulations, Dr. Cloyd!


Dr. Bret Smith, Department of Neuroscience, Mentor
Dr. Steve Estus, Department of Physiology
Dr. Hiroshi Saito, Department of Physiology
Dr. Joe Abisambra, Department of Physiology
Dr. Brandon Miller, Department of Neuroscience
Dr. Younsoo Bae, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Outside Examiner

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Andrew Hernandez and Mindy Thompson of the Department of Physiology were both elected to the University of Kentucky Staff Senate, Provost Sector.

The UK Staff Senate represents the interests of staff at all levels of university operations in order to strengthen relationships across the University of Kentucky and to foster a climate that promotes and empowers all university employees and students to participate in the decision-making process.

Senators-elect will begin their three-year terms as senators July 1. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2021) — A University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor has been awarded a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for his research on the body’s immune response to sepsis, which could potentially help to improve therapies for the common disease. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2021) — Collaborative research between the University of Kentucky and the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that a noninvasive neuroimaging technique may index early-stage blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction associated with small vessel disease (SVD). Cerebral SVD is the most common cause of vascular cognitive impairment, with a significant proportion of cases going on to develop dementia.

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Congratulations to Ashley White for receiving the 2021 Student Employee of the Year Award! "We nominated [Ashely] because [she's] fantastic", said Dr. Campbell in his pre-recorded video congratulating Ashley. Ashley's work with the COVID Biobank, assistance with the vaccine trial, and volunteering at Kroger Field were all cited major accomplishments in the last year. "We are excited to have [Ashley] in the lab", he added. "[She's] going to go on and do great things."

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For many years, ventricular assist devices (VADs) were considered a last resort for patients with serious heart failure. These mechanical pumps, which help maintain blood circulation, were mainly used for patients awaiting a heart transplant.

Recent studies conducted by University of Kentucky researchers suggest VADs actually could be used to recover the hearts of patients with heart failure, even those with advanced heart failure, possibly preventing their need for transplants in the future.

Felicia Michael, PhD has been invited to speak in the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Michael was among the top 3 finalists from the College of Medicine Trainee Poster Session among Postdocs held in early April 2021. She is a member of the Sasha Rabchevsky lab and affiliated with both the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and the Department of Physiology. Congratulations, Felicia! Thursday, May 6, 2021 Noon-1pm Contact for Zoom link:
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On Friday, April 23, 2021 Brooke Ahern (Jon Satin Lab) successfully defended her dissertation and earned her doctoral degree. Congratulations Dr. Ahern!

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The Journal of Lipid Research, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has appointed six junior faculty members to its editorial leadership team. One of the appointments is Scott M. Gordon, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where his lab studies intestinal lipid absorption and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.


Twenty years ago, University of Kentucky researchers Alan Daugherty, PhD, DSc, and Lisa Cassis, PhD, stumbled into a research method that contributed greatly to UK’s cardiovascular research growth.


The University of Kentucky College of Medicine would like to recognize and congratulate its departments that made it in the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) 2020 rankings.

BRIMR rankings, released each year, are reflective of top National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to U.S. medical schools and rank institutions based on specialty. Rankings are derived from data compiled and released by the NIH shortly after the federal fiscal year closes.

Highlights of the rankings:

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On Wednesday, March 24, 2021 Michael Orr successfully defended his dissertation and earned his doctoral degree. Congratulations, Dr. Orr!


Doctoral Committee Members

Dr. John Gensel, Department of Physiology, Mentor
Dr. Kathy Saatman, Department of Physiology
Dr. Steven Estus, Department of Physiology
Dr. Warren Aliliain, Department of Neuroscience
Dr. Ashley Seifert, Department of Biology
Outside Examiner: Dr. Ann Morris, Department of Biology


The 13th Annual Hardin Award was presented to Taylor Valentino, a graduate student in John McCarthy's lab, on March 11, 2021.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2021) — Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are not only life-threatening at the time of the event, but they can also lead to secondary complications and loss of function in sensory and motor systems. Researchers at the University of Kentucky recently published a unique study focusing on SCIs in eNeuro.

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Peter Morris, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a pulmonary/critical care faculty member at UK HealthCare, pulls up a map showing the U.S. prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a severe inflammatory lung disease that leads to obstructed airflow and difficulty breathing.

“This is who we serve right here,” he says, pointing to Kentucky on the map. The state’s southeastern region is bright red to signify its high incidence of people with COPD.


The Department of Physiology would like to congratulate alumni Dr. Cheavar Blair (class of 2017) and his mentor Dr. Ken Campbell. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2021) — More than 5.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is projected to triple by 2050. Despite that growing number, there is not yet a cure.

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Researchers at the University of Kentucky have received a $100,000 grant from The Marfan Foundation to assess how patients with Marfan syndrome develop hip pain. The study will be conducted by Mary Sheppard, an assistant professor of family medicine and surgery in the UK College of Medicine, and Michael Samaan, an assistant professor of biomechanics in the UK College of Education Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Marfan syndrome is a genetic condition that impacts the body’s connective tissue. It most frequently affects the heart, blood vessels, eyes and bones.
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On Wednesday, November 11, 2020 Ahmed Elsherbini successfully defended his dissertation and earned his doctoral degree. Congratulations Dr. Elsherbini!

"Ceramide-enriched extracellular vesicles: A role in enhancing Amyloid-beta neurotoxicity and mitochondrial damage in Alzheimer’s disease"


A new University of Kentucky College of Medicine study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology finds that tattooed skin does not sweat as much as non-inked areas of the body, which may have implications for the body’s ability to cool in people with extensive tattooing.