News

2/23/2017

By Lisa Lockman and Kristie Law

The UK Women's Forum, formally established during the 1991-1992 academic year,  is currently celebrating over 25 years of open discussion, creativity, and leadership development for all women employed at the University of Kentucky.  Women's Forum is also celebrating the 17 women who have been nominated for the 2017 Sarah Bennett Holmes Award — an award created by UK Women's Forum.

Established in 1994, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award honors a distinguished former dean of women at the University of Kentucky. Sarah Bennett Holmes, who was widowed at a young age, raised four children while completing her own education. She went on to have a successful career at UK where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of

2/14/2017

By Lori Minter

A record number of students made the University of Kentucky Dean's List for the fall 2016 semester. The 7,408 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance.  That's an increase of more than 200 over the previous record reached in fall 2015 when the number of students on the UK Dean's List surpassed 7,000 for the first time.  Last semester's Dean's List includes over 700 more students than the spring 2016 semester's list.

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes.  Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting www.uky.edu/PR/News/

1/26/2017

Prof. Edith (Phoebe) Glazer has been invited to present the work of her research group at the International Symposium on Photopharmacology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The symposium, organized by Prof. Wiktor Szymanski, will focus on three areas: 1) Approaches used to regulate drug activity with light: photoactive metal complexes, photocaged drugs and photoswitchable compounds; 2) New tools, mainly the recently reported visible- and red-light responsive molecular photoswitches; 3) Therapeutic targets for photopharmacology, with recent examples of potential candidates. The symposium features a keynote lecture from Prof. Ben Feringa, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

For more information, see 

1/11/2017

By Whitney Hale

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) selected University of Kentucky senior Corrine Faye Elliott, of Lexington, as one of this year's 40 recipients of the prestigious $10,000 scholarship. The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Earlier this year Elliott was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding students who wish to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

For more than 30 years, the ASF has identified and supported the best and brightest undergraduate students pursuing educations in STEM fields across the nation. The Astronaut Scholarship

1/10/2017

Prof. Yinan Wei of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky Received a grant from the American Heart Association to study how bacterial pathogens cause diseases in humans. Pathogenic E. coli is not only the major causal agent of enteric/diarrheal disease and urinary tract infections, but also among the most common bacteria that lead to sepsis. The goal of the study is to elucidate the molecular mechanism of E. coli pathogenesis, especially in septic shock. A better understanding of the infection mechanism may lead to new solutions to this deadly disease.  

1/9/2017

A team from the University of Kentucky has received a grant from Kentucky NSF EPSCoR (National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) for Education and Outreach Activities to fund a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) conference for middle school girls at UK this spring.

The primary goal of the conference, titled “Expanding Your Horizons (EYH),” is to encourage middle school girls to consider STEM studies by providing them with memorable interactive workshop experiences, visible female role models in STEM fields and exposure to different career paths in STEM. EYH seeks to provide middle school girls and their parents an inspiring environment in order to help both groups recognize and pursue opportunities in STEM. The conference will be held April 29 in the Jacobs Science Building.

Ellen Crocker and Bradford Condon

12/22/2016

Professor Anne-Frances Miller was chosen as the next President Elect of the Division of Biologial Chemistry in the American Chemical Society (ACS). This 7000-member technical division of the ACS hosts section meetings, administers awards, supports regional meetings and encourages participation of biochemists in the ACS.  Prof. Miller’s two-year term begins on January 1, 2017.  

12/19/2016

Susan Odom and Chad Risko published a report on new catholyte materials for non-aqueous redox flow batteries in Energy and Environmental Sciences.  This study, performed in collaboration with Prof. Fikile Brushett at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, showcases the long lifetimes of materials created in Odom's laboratory as electron donors.  This new characterization technique involves cycling a symmetric flow cell, meaning that both halves of the cell contian the same materials when at the same state of charge.  These results are promising because, for the first time, long lifetimes have been demonstrated for organic compounds in non-aqueous, or water free, electrolytes.  Flow batteries have been installed on extremely large scales in comparison to lithium-ion batteries, but so far

12/19/2016

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Beth Guiton was named an Emerging Investigator in Materials Science.  In their first special collection dedicated to showcasing the research of early-career materials science researchers, the board members of the publication Materials Research Express chose to highlight Guiton in their collection, aimed at presenting the best cutting-edge research in materials science and engineering.  Guiton’s research features the observation of lithium diffusion into lithium-doped zinc oxide nanowires.

Citation: "Direct observation of Li diffusion in Li-doped ZnO nanowires." G. Li, L. Yu, B. M. Hudak, Y.-J. Chang, H. Baek, A. Sundararajan, D. R. Strachan, G.-C. Yi, and B. S. Guiton*  

12/16/2016

By Whitney Hale

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) selected University of Kentucky senior Corrine Faye Elliott, of Lexington, as one of this year's 40 recipients of the prestigious $10,000 scholarship. The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

For more than 30 years, the ASF has identified and supported the best and brightest undergraduate students pursuing educations in STEM fields across the nation. The Astronaut Scholarship is known for being among the most significant merit-based scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM students. Candidates must be nominated by faculty of the participating universities based on their display of initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field.

ASF has awarded

12/10/2016

In the paper “Unboiling an Egg: An Introduction to Circular Dichroism and Protein Refolding” published in the Journal of Chemical Education, Prof. Anne-Frances Miller describes an experiment that protein unfolding and refolding accessible to students by working with hard boiled eggs. This experiment, which is adaptable to students as early as young as the high school level, provides an introduction to the use of a technique called circular dichroism, a hallmark technique for analyzing biological structures. In this experiment, students employ a denaturant solution to dissolve a hard-boiled egg back into solution, wherein the protein’s original structural signature (before boiling) are recovered, as evidenced by circular dichroism results. This experiment provides an accessible introduction to the use of circular

12/10/2016

In the paper “High-Z' Structures of Organic Molecules: Their Diversity and Organizing Principles” published in Acta Crystallographica B, Prof. Carol Brock of the University of Kentucky looks at some of the organizing principles behind crystal structures with high Z’, where Z’ is loosely the number of symmetry-independent molecules in the asymmetric unit. This study lies at the very heart of understanding and being able to control properties of molecular structures. Pharma and agrichem industries attach great importance to understanding crystal structure. The solid form impinges directly on properties such as solubility, bioavailability, processing characteristics, bulk density, dissolution rate, permeability, surface electrostatic charge and so on, so it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the molecular-

12/8/2016

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

University of Kentucky REVEAL Research Mediarecently caught up with Susan Odom, an assistant professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, to learn more about her pioneering work in electrochemical energy storage.

 

Odom, who joined UK in 2011, creates new organic compounds for applications in electrochemical energy storage systems. Applications include lithium-ion batteries, which are utilized in portable consumer electronic devices. Her additives have been demonstrated to protect these batteries from overcharging conditions longer than any other electrolyte additive reported to date.

Odom’s group is also pursuing new applications of this

12/6/2016

Predicting the packing of molecules in the solid state is a major goal of researchers around the world. In their latest paper in Chemistry of Materials, Professors Chad Risko and John Anthony derive understanding as to how subtle changes in the chemical structure of trialkylsilylethynyl pentacenes, an important class of organic semiconductor materials, can impact the solid-state molecular packing arrangements that in turn determine the semiconducting characteristics. This insight is then used to propose new polymorphs that could be of technological relevance if appropriate processing conditions are developed. Overall, the theory-driven insight developed in this work lays an important foundation to build a more robust crystal engineering paradigm for these molecular materials.

"Theory-Driven Insight into the Crystal

12/1/2016

Professor Edith "Phoebe" Glazer was selected to serve on the advisory board for Chemical Society Reviews (Chem. Soc. Rev.). This prestigious publication, which produces 24 issues per year and boasts an Impact Factor of 34, is the flagship review journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and - from the RSC's website - publishes "high-impact, succinct and reader-friendly articles at the forefront of the chemical sciences".

11/17/2016

The Small-Molecule X-Ray Crystallography Facility in the Department of Chemistry has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive grant from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The award of $383,133 (70% NSF, 30% UK matching funds) will fund the acquisition of a state-of-the-art microfocus X-ray diffractometer.

X-ray crystallography has long been considered the 'gold-standard' for providing detailed atomic-level structural information for molecules in chemical, pharmaceutical, and materials research. The award proposal by X-Ray Facility director Sean Parkin, Department of Chemistry professors Susan Odom, Phoebe Glazer, and John Anthony, and College of Pharmacy professor Oleg Tsodikov will modernize and dramatically enhance structural chemistry research instrumentation at UK.  The

11/17/2016

The Light Microscopy Core, a newly named research core facility under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research, has invested $1.3 million in two new microscopes to support an array of research across the University of Kentucky. Dr. Chris Richards, director of the Light Microscopy Core and assistant professor of chemistry, said these instruments and the hiring of manager Thomas Wilkop will enable UK researchers to utilize the most advanced imaging available. “If we want to understand biological systems, ranging from neuroscience to physiology, or apply imaging techniques for cutting-edge materials science, we really need to have the type of equipment that makes us competitive with other universities. These

11/16/2016

Assistant Professor Kenneth Graham received a $110,000 grant from ACS PRF to develop a better understanding of polymer blend thermoelectrics. Thermoelectrics can convert heat energy to useful electrical energy based on the Seebeck effect, or they can utilize electrical energy to produce heating or cooling. Polymer based thermoelectric materials have the potential to be low-cost, are lightweight, and mechanically flexible, which opens up a number of applications if the thermoelectric performance of these materials can be further improved. For example, these materials could be utilized to make the band of a Fitbit, or other wearable electronic device, and provide power for the device based solely on your body heat, or they could be utilized to recover waste heat from higher temperature sources, such as the coolant systems of

11/2/2016

Ellen Crocker (forestry), Susan Odom (chemistry), and Bradford Condon (plant pathology) received a grant from KY NSF EPSCoR for Education and Outreach Activities, which will fund an Expanding Your Horizons conference at the University of Kentucky. This STEM conference for middle school girls will feature interactive activities led by UK undergraduate and graduate students and will include college preparation sessions for accompanying parents. The conference will be held in the Jacobs Science Building on April 29, 2017. For more information, contact Dr. Crocker.

10/26/2016

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Prof. Yates elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers.  Prof. Yates was nominated by the Division of Nuclear Physics for his important advances in the study of collective nuclear excitations, and for the development of nuclear spectroscopic methods of use with fast neutron scattering reactions. 

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