News

1/8/2021

By Carl Nathe and Kody Kiser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2021) — What will the future of energy storage look like? Whether it be batteries for electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, tablets and smart watches, or for electric cars and hybrid vehicles, or for units that play an integral role in the operations of major power plants, researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) are working to speed the development of the next generation of more efficient and safer battery technology.

The CAER investigates energy technologies to improve the environment. Researchers contribute to technically sound policies related to fossil and renewable energy.

Staffed by professional scientists and engineers, CAER

12/8/2020

This article previously appeared in Chemical and Engineering News on November 16.

Paul G. Sears, 96, died September 12 in Lexington, KY.

"Paul, a World War II veteran, served in the US Army Air Corps as a tail gunner on a B-17, which was shot down; he was a prisoner of war for 19 months. After the war, he completed his degrees and performed research for 2 years at Monsanto. He then joined the University of Kentucky faculty and became widely recognized for his research on nonaqueous solvents. He taught at all levels, influencing the lives of more than 7,000 students, and received several great-teacher awards. He was inducted into the College of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2013 and was the faculty representative on the board of trustees for 9 years."

- Steven W. Yates, friend and colleague

Most

11/19/2020
By Morris Grubbs Thursday

LEXINGTON. Ky. (Nov. 19, 2020) — The University of Kentucky's GradResearch Live! hosted the 3-Minute Thesis competition online this year. The 24 research presentations by graduate students and postdocs garnered more than 9,500 total views on YouTube.  Among them were several graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The competition challenges presenters to tell their research story in three minutes or less using one static slide to an imagined audience of nonspecialists. This is the eighth year the UK Graduate School has offered the competition, which has until now

11/13/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

When it comes to portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptops, tablets or smart watches, how often do we feel frustrated because the battery is about to die, or because it doesn’t last as long as it did a few months ago?

Chad Risko, an associate professor of chemistry and affiliated faculty researcher at the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky, says this simple context shows the value in creating better batteries. But it is not just small portable electronics that need more robust, and differentiated, energy storage.

“Electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more omnipresent, and here we need batteries that are lighter in weight, safer and can store ever more energy,” Risko said. “Further, as our nation’s energy

10/29/2020

Alum Kayvon Ghayoumi, JD, graduated with a law degree from George Washington University Law School in 2020. Kayvon is from Louisville, KY. He graduated from the University of Kentucky, College of Arts & Sciences with a Chemistry BA and a minor in Biological Sciences in 2017.

This interview is part of a series conducted by the department called, “UK Chemistry Alumni: Where Are They Now?” This interview was coordinated by Dr. Arthur Cammers.

What made you decide to apply to UK?

I came to UK for several reasons, including, scholarship opportunities UK offered, UK’s in-state tuition, and so that I could stay close to home without being too close to home.

You were originally a biology major... What made you want to study chemistry?

In high school I took

10/9/2020

By Elizabeth Chapin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2020) — Allan Butterfield, a professor of biological chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has been named among the world’s leading Alzheimer’s disease experts by Expertscape, an online base of biomedical expertise.

Butterfield is among the top 0.007% of scholars worldwide based on authorship of Alzheimer’s-related publications indexed in the PubMed database for the past 10 years. He ranks tenth out of nearly 150,000 scholars worldwide and sixth in the U.S.

The Expertscape rankings use an algorithm to identify the most knowledgeable and experienced physicians, clinicians and researchers across more than 29,000 specific topics. The ranking considers factors such

10/6/2020

The UK Department of Chemistry and the UK Office for Institutional Diversity have arranged to make the film, Picture a Scientist, available for anyone in the University of Kentucky community to view.

“PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.”

Licensed viewers will be

10/1/2020

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2020) — Instructors in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky are combining technology, learning techniques honed by experience, and human interaction to provide multifaceted learning environments for their students.

The goal, as always, is to keep students engaged with hands-on instruction methods even if the current pandemic limits face-to-face class time.

“Students learn by working on problems, not just by listening,” said Alberto Corso, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Mathematics. “That’s what I tell all of my students. We all like to watch our favorite basketball teams play, but we can’t play with them unless we practice. We need to be on the court and practice

9/30/2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded a new grant to Drs. David Heidary and Edith Glazer for the development of chemical tools to study RNA. The project, titled “Inorganic-aptamer hybrids for live cell imaging”, leverages the complementary expertise of the investigators in the development of optical cellular assays and the creation of photoactive inorganic molecules.

RNAs are functionally and structurally diverse molecules that play a role in the encoding, transmission, and regulation of genetic information, as well as catalysis. The ability to accurately track and quantify RNA levels or localization, either on the subcellular or tissue levels, is important to understanding the role of RNA in the regulation of biological processes. Given the dynamic nature of RNA, the information should be obtained in real time and in living cells. However, there are currently no

8/3/2020

By Alicia Gregory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2020) — The University of Kentucky recently was awarded a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant to study translational chemical biology from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The $11.2 million grant will fund UK's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI).

This COBRE Phase 1 funding will provide campuswide junior faculty research and career development support, core infrastructure and pilot grants in the translational chemical biology research space. Critical infrastructure, in the form of cores, will support advanced research across UK campus: Chang-Guo Zhan directs the computational core; Mark Leggas directs the translational core; Linda

7/8/2020

By J. Susan Griffith, M.D.

My dad, Charles Herschel Holmes Griffith, was a devoted son, Marine, husband, father of two, grandfather of four, chemist and teacher. He gave his full devotion to the things he loved most – his family and education. Dad always said teaching Chemistry at UK was his “dream job” and from 1964-1991 he loved every minute of working with students and supervising TA’s in his General Chemistry labs. At his funeral in 2013, the Chair of the department told me that my dad undoubtedly had more direct contact with UK college students than anyone else in the history of UK’s Chemistry department.

As I was putting together Dad’s biography in 2011, I found this in a letter he wrote - “I was born in Huntington, IN into a family of educators.” Both of his parents were college graduates, each with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. His mom was an English teacher

6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

5/21/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 21, 2020) — Transportation is the world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Automakers  are challenged to meet higher standards designed to reduce vehic,le pollution. This pollution contributes to climate change and can be detrimental to human health.

Adhering to the new standards requires removing pollutants, specifically poisonous and highly reactive nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust gas when a vehicle is started and the gas is still cold. The device that does this removal  — a catalytic converter — needs to be warm to efficiently remove NOx, however.

Mark Crocker, professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and assistant

5/18/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 13, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that five students and alumnae have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. In addition, six other UK students received honorable mention recognition from the foundation. Included among the recipients are College of Arts & Sciences alumni and current undergraduates. 

NSF Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees for a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) field.

5/11/2020
Congratulations to Dr. Sean Parkin, named Section Editor of Acta Crystallographica E! Read the full story here.
4/27/2020

By Richard LeComte

The College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding TA Awards recognize excellence in undergraduate instruction by teaching assistants. Fifteen teaching assistants were recognized for the 2019-2020  academic year .

Eligible students are current A&S graduate student teaching assistants in at least their second year of graduate work and must be responsible for instruction in some or all of a course offered by the College. The TAs recognized this year taught in courses offered through A & S departments and interdisciplinary programs. 

“Graduate Teaching Assistants are fundamental to the high-quality education that the College of Arts & Sciences provides to undergraduate students,” said Sarah M. Lyon, A&S associate dean for graduate studies. “I am routinely impressed with their hard work and the contributions they make to pedagogical

4/2/2020

By Elizabeth Chapin

Dibakar Bhattacharyya has been a fixture in the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering for more than 50 years and is renowned for his research, which focuses on incorporating life sciences materials with synthetic membranes for filtering and producing clean water.

Today, the director of UK’s Center of Membrane Sciences, known to friends and colleagues as “DB,” is contributing his decades of membrane expertise to help address the spread of the novel coronavirus. He has the concept and the means to develop a medical face mask that would capture and deactivate the COVID-19 virus on contact.

“We have the capability to create a membrane that would not only effectively filter out the novel coronavirus like

4/1/2020

 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating shortages of sanitizing products in hospitals. Across the nation, spirits distillers are stepping up to help and using their products and equipment to make hand sanitizer for health care workers. At the University of Kentucky, The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits is making sanitizer and going a step further by creating an instructional video for distillers who want to do the same.

“There is a method that has evolved over the past few weeks using high-proof ethanol and glycerin,” said Seth DeBolt, director of the Beam Institute and horticulture professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We have had requests for sanitizer just within the university and also questions

3/30/2020

By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate

3/25/2020
This Living Learning Program gives freshmen a mentored head start on the way to majoring in the sciences and mathematics

By Richard LeComte

Started in 2015, the STEMCats Living Learning Program has helped students majoring within the many and varied areas of the sciences or mathematics find their way to success at UK. And STEMCats peer mentors are a big part of that effort. 

“I have a group chat with my mentees about how things are going,” said Keanu Exum, a STEMCats peer mentor majoring in biology and neuroscience. “I want to make myself known to my mentees — that I am a resource for them.” 

Getting students situated in STEMCats is having a positive effect on the academic careers of the participants, says a study conducted by Carol D. Hanley of International Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. STEMCats is a program

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