Undergraduate Degrees

The UK College of Medicine is dedicated to extending its efforts in biomedical research to students currently pursuing undergraduate degrees at the University of Kentucky and to students seeking degrees in biomedical research pathways as a primary focus of their undergraduate career. Through this effort, the College of Medicine hopes to broaden the scope of research to undergraduate students allowing them the opportunity to work alongside some of the nation's top researchers in issues related to cancer, diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular health, Alzheimer's Disease, and many other important biomedical research frontiers.

See what our undergraduates are doing...

Throughout these various departments, undergraduate students will have a myriad of opportunities to explore the exciting world of biomedical research and understand the way in which these disciplines affect patients and populations around the globe.

Learn about undergrad researchers in these various departments:


The field of neuroscience is at the precipice of an unprecedented age of discovery. Recent advances in genetics and cellular and molecular biology have provided stunning insights into the mechanisms underlying many diseases and disorders of the nervous system. The advent of new tools and technologies has allowed neuroscientists to probe neural function at the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels. The parallel development of scientific and technological advances has positioned us to translate basic science findings to relevant clinical outcomes. The multidisciplinary nature of neuroscience scholarship and research is one of the greatest strengths and most attractive aspects of the discipline. 

Undergraduate Neuroscience Research >>

Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences

The department of pharmacology and nutritional sciences faculty are trained in the individual disciplines of pharmacology and/or nutritional sciences, with research emphases in the areas of brain cognition and aging, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes). This multidisciplinary and collaborative research environment focuses on the development of nutritionally-based concepts and pharmacologic entities for the treatment of chronic diseases. Since nearly every chronic disease is prevented and/or treated by a combination of lifestyle (e.g., nutrition) and pharmacologically-based therapies, the department's unique combination of research capabilities and expertise in these disciplines promises to have an immense impact on addressing chronic disease processes.

Undergraduate Pharmacology Research >>

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

Researchers in our highly interactive department utilize cutting-edge approaches to understand the molecular basis of disease, including work focused on cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, aging and neurodegenerative disorders. 

The collaborative nature of the department and the wide array of scientific approaches, from structural biology and biophysical methods to cell biological and organismal studies, also contribute to the exciting research environment.

Undergraduate Biochemistry Research >>

Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

The graduate program in the department of microbiology and immunology reflects the exciting advances which have occurred in microbiology, molecular genetics, cancer biology, and immunology over the last decade. The PhD training program is flexible and attempts to blend an appropriate mixture to didactic courses, seminar, research and independent study for each student. Our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows enjoy success in competing for positions in the academic, governmental and industrial sectors. Our funding base for research and graduate education has expanded and currently exceeds $5 million per year.

Undergraduate Microbiology Research >>

Toxicology and Cancer Biology

Our education mission is to provide students with an education in toxicology that is based on an understanding of biochemistry, physiology, molecular/cell biology and metabolomics, coupled with in-depth research experience on the mechanisms by which specific agents induce toxicity, and/or the basic cellular processes upon which environmental agents impact to cause disease.

Undergraduate Toxicology Research >>


The department of physiology is a diverse community of basic science researchers. Our areas of research include cardiovascular, neuroscience, metabolic disease and aging. Within those areas of research are 37 primary faculty members, 8 joint faculty members, 16 trainees, and numerous laboratory staff. With over $6.2M in extramural support in FY16, our award-winning investigators are making major advances in biomedical research. Our training programs are preparing scientists for successful careers in academia, industry, and government. Our education faculty touches the lives of over 2,000 undergraduate, professional and graduate students each academic year.

Undergraduate Physiology Research >>