News

12/11/2017

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky recently announced the 16 undergraduate winners of the 53rd annual Oswald Research and Creativity Competition.

Established in 1964 by former UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students and to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement.

Categories include biological sciences; design, including architecture, landscape architecture and interior design; fine arts, including film, music, photography, painting and sculpture; humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; physical and engineering sciences; and social sciences. All submissions are sent anonymously to faculty reviewers in related

11/14/2017

Jared Delcamp never questioned where he would go to college. “Growing up in Kentucky and watching the Wildcats play makes you ready to be a part of the Big Blue Nation,” he said.

A native Kentuckian, Delcamp was born and raised in Monticello and chose to study medicine when he first came to the University of Kentucky as an undergraduate in 2000. He credits chemistry professor John Anthony with mentoring him throughout his college career, but when Delcamp first met Professor Anthony, he thought he wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

“I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do chemistry or medicine,” Delcamp said. “I thought chemistry was cool, but when you’re from a small town, if you’re smart, you’re supposed to be a doctor.”

It only took one semester for Delcamp to decide that he was passionate about chemistry. As an undergraduate, he continued to study under

11/3/2017
Pete Kekenes-Huskey

Chemistry professor Pete Kekenes-Huskey is a recipient of the Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator grant from the American Chemical Society that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels.  The $110,000 award will seed the development of computational models for predicting methane transport in zeolitic materials, which could help improve our ability to extract valuable chemicals from an abundant catalyst. Methane is a primary content of raw natural gas that is released as a byproduct of shale oil extraction and is a very useful precursor to sought-after chemical products, including more useful liquid hydrocarbons. Methane processing has been explored in zeolite catalysts, which are inexpensive, porous, highly adsorbent, naturally-occurring minerals. Zeolites are already valued at $30 billion for petroleum refinement, but for methane

10/24/2017

By Jenny Wells

In celebration of the American Chemical Society's National Chemistry Week, the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will host a demonstration show for school-aged children and their families this week. The "Reaction Attraction" will begin 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Room 121 of the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building (JSB).

This public event serves as the department's primary outreach activity during National Chemistry Week..

"Young and not-so-young scientists will enjoy the colors, sounds, smoke and fire at a show guaranteed to entertain and even educate," said Steven Yates, professor of chemistry and Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor. "UK Professor Jack Seleque, a master showman who looks every bit the part of a

10/13/2017


Associate Prof. of Chemistry Beth Guiton has been appointed to the  Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Physical Chemistry for a two year term, beginning January 2018. Guiton's research interests focus on inorganic nanomaterials and in-situ transmission electron microscopy. The Guiton Research Group investigates chemistry at the nanometer length scale, working at the intersection between solid state chemistry and advanced characterization, in particular using in situ microscopy techniques.

For more information about the Guiton Research Group please visit the Guiton Group website.

Guiton received her bachelor's degree from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and her master's from Harvard University, followed by a doctorate from the University of

10/2/2017

By Susan Odom

This fall the Chemistry Department welcomed its new graduate class of 22 students. Now in their second month at UK, students are settling into new roles as teaching assistants in laboratory courses and in general chemistry recitations while taking a variety of courses in analytical, biological, inorganic, materials, organic, and/or physical chemistry.

Some students were particularly excited to have the opportunity to take a new course offered by Prof. Chad Risko called Organic Materials: Electronic and Photonic Properties. Risko reports, "The students are quite engaged in the lectures, especially since we are able to bring together diverse concepts that are taught in other chemistry courses to build the knowledge required to understand these intriguing materials.”

In addition to their coursework and teaching responsibilities, one of the major goals

9/29/2017

By Gail Hairston and Allison Perry

Of the 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, a significant number experience a serious side effect called chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI). While easily recognized, little is known about the etiology of this condition, also known informally as “chemo brain.” CICI can significantly reduce patients’ quality of life with serious, even devastating, symptoms such as memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, negative impacts on multitasking, confusion and fatigue.

Three University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers are tackling this problem head-on, serving as principal investigators on a new $2.3 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health:

Allan Butterfield, professor in the UK
9/29/2017

Jeff Lomprey (PhD, ’93).  After graduating from UK in 1993, I held two postdoc positions: Dartmouth College (1993-1995; Russell Hughes) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1995-1996; Mac Toth).  Following the Oak Ridge position, in 1997, I was lured to Gentex Corporation by former UK Professor of Chemistry, Tom Guarr, to work on the development of and improvements for the company’s electrochromic review mirrors.  One of the major challenges at that time was producing mirrors with a predictable extended lifetimes.  Working with Tom, we developed additives to the electrochromic solutions in the mirrors that would, in essence, provide a buffer within the electrochromic system maintaining an electrochemical balance in the mirror.  The project was successful and the company continues to this day to incorporate the technology that Tom

9/18/2017

By Bryant Welbourne and Kathy Johnson

Eight University of Kentucky faculty members are among more than 100 faculty members from all 14 Southeastern Conference universities taking part in the 2017-18 SEC Faculty Travel Program. Now in its sixth year, the program provides support for selected individuals to collaborate with colleagues at other SEC member institutions.

The UK faculty and their departments are: Babak Bazrgari, Biomedical Engineering; Kenneth Campbell, Physiology; Tom Clayton, English; Kenneth Graham, Chemistry; Ji Youn Kim, 

9/15/2017

By Kristie Colon

The University of Kentucky’s Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC) grant program has awarded nearly $300,000 in pilot grants to support cross-college interdisciplinary research and scholarship.

IRC seeks to increase interdisciplinary scientific engagement and leverage the breadth of expertise across campus to tackle important health problems in the Commonwealth. UK is one of eight universities in the nation with the full range of undergraduate, graduate, professional, medical and agricultural programs on one campus, which creates distinct opportunities for collaborative research. 

"Programs like the IRC give us the opportunity to drive discovery and find creative solutions to complex problems in Kentucky," said Linda Dwoskin, associate dean of research at the UK College of Pharmacy. "Ultimately, we’re transforming patient-centered care by

9/13/2017

By Gail Hairston

Two University of Kentucky professors have been awarded funding to help elucidate the mechanism of nicotine addiction and to identify targets for nicotine cessation therapeutics.

The researchers — Assistant Professor Chris Richards in the Department of Chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences and Professor James Pauly in the UK College of Pharmacy — were awarded a $760,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to pursue their research project titled "Single Molecule Determination of nAChR Structural Assembly for Therapeutic Targeting.”

The consumption of tobacco products is connected to several severe health risks. Smokers have a higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and

9/5/2017

Assistant Professor Chris Richards (UK Chemistry) and Professor James Pauly (UK Pharmacy) have been awarded funding to help elucidate the mechanism of nicotine addiction and to identify targets for nicotine cessation therapeutics. The $760,000 grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health is titled "Single Molecule Determination of nAChR Structural Assembly for Therapeutic Targeting.”

The consumption of tobacco products is connected to several severe health risks. Smokers have a higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and several types of cancer. As a result, approximately 20% of all deaths in the United States are associated with consumption of tobacco products.

“We developed a technique to examine the organelle specific stoichiometry of nicotinic receptors, which is the basis for this grant” said Richards, whose research in

8/25/2017

By Abby Schroering and Sara Shehata

As a land grant university, the University of Kentucky is committed to the advancement of knowledge through research. Even undergraduate students contribute significantly to that mission.

Students of any major, background and skill level have the opportunity to work with professors from all over UK, whether in labs, on faculty projects or even on independent projects that they design themselves.

“For those undergraduates who are interested in building faculty mentorships, gaining critical thinking and presentation skills and deepening their understanding of the subjects that interest them, the UK Office of Undergraduate Research (UGR) is there to help them along the way,” said Evie Russell, assistant director of the UK Office of Undergraduate Research.

8/25/2017

By Whitney Hale

 The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced five of the university's undergraduate students pursued research in their fields of study this summer with funding from the National Science Foundation-Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program.

The NSF funds many research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of approximately 10 undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with faculty and other researchers. Throughout the NSF-REU program, students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with

8/18/2017

By Susan Odom

Yinan Wei, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, has received an award to study membrane protein oligomerizations in bilayers. This award, supported by the 

8/14/2017

University of Kentucky researchers participating in a Department of Energy-funded center have discovered a ground-breaking process that allows them to harness energy from chemical reactions that previously would have been dismissed as unusable. The process – which maximizes the efficiency of reactions at the molecular level – could affect everything from synthetic biology to fuel and chemical production. The authors are part of a multi-institutional team called the Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis (BETCy) Energy Frontier Research Center. The Center is headquartered at Montana State University, and the key authors of the paper are at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., MSU, Arizona State University, the University of Georgia and the University of Kentucky. BETCy was launched in 2014 and is one of 32 Energy Frontier Research Centers throughout

8/14/2017

Dr. Yinan Wei, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, has received an award to study membrane protein oligomerizations in bilayers. This award, supported by The Chemistry of Life Processes Program in the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation, investigates protein-protein interactions in the cell membrane that lead to the assembly of functional protein complexes.

Selective-permeable membranes, which define the boundaries of individual cells and cellular organelles, are essential for energy production to sustain life. Membrane proteins are gates on these highly impermeable barriers, allowing selective exchange of substances and signals across the membrane. Understanding of the molecular recognition process leading to membrane protein

8/14/2017

Dr. Kenneth Graham, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, has been selected as a recipient of a CAREER Award from the Department of Energy. This award supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research programs in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Dr. Graham’s research funded under this award focuses on a promising set of emerging solution-processed semiconductors, organometal halide perovskites (OMHPs).  These low-cost semiconductors can be printed from solution to make solar cells with power conversion efficiencies equal to current state-of-the-art commercial solar cell materials, which require slower and more expensive processing methods. Furthermore, these OMHPs can be used

8/3/2017

By Gail Hairston

 

Peter Kekenes-Huskey, assistant professor of chemistry, is the first University of Kentucky faculty member to be awarded funding under the National Institutes of Health’s Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) activity code. The new grant will be made under the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ (NIGMS) prestigious Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program.

The $1.55 million MIRA grant will enable Kekenes-Huskey and his team of researchers to develop large-scale, computer-based models to study the role of calcium regulation at a subcellular level. The role of calcium in the body is paramount, as its mismanagement is correlated

7/24/2017

By Gail Hairston

A team of scientists at the University of Kentucky and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been awarded a $200,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a prototype of a battery utilizing chemical components prepared at UK.

UK chemistry professors Susan Odom and John Anthony synthesized

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