News

3/31/2017

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky will send 59 undergraduate student-researchers to the 31st annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis April 6-8.

The UK group joins young researchers from around the world to showcase their research findings through poster and oral presentations. Each student will be given the opportunity to discuss their display and share their research results, illuminating how their work will have an impact on future research development. UK has been an active NCUR participant since the mid ’90s.

One of the first things these young researchers learn is that most research is not conducted in the traditional laboratory with bubbling beakers and flaming Bunsen burners. But modern research spans all disciplines and majors, and includes a wide variety of activities.

3/24/2017

By Connie Sapienza

Featuring world-renowned scientists, the University of Kentucky’s 2017 Naff Symposium will host four experts Friday, March 31, at the William T. Young Library auditorium. A poster session will be held in conjunction with the symposium at the Jacobs Science Building.

Presented by the Department of Chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the annual symposium focuses on chemistry and molecular biology and is attended by students and faculty in the chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacy, engineering, agriculture and medical fields from UK, as well as other colleges and universities in Kentucky and surrounding states.

3/21/2017

By Kathy Johnson

The "Civic Life" panel series, developed by the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is a new weekly forum exploring a wide range of issues confronting society today. Open to the entire UK campus, these lunchtime panel discussions will take place each Wednesday for the remainder of the semester, and the series kicks off Wednesday, March 22, with a discussion of immigration — a topic making headlines worldwide.

“At the core of the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is the commitment to prepare students to be engaged citizens in our Commonwealth, in an increasingly diverse nation, and in an ever-more interconnected world," said Mark Kornbluh, dean of the college. "Faculty members across all of the disciplines of our college take this commitment seriously and are seeking to provide

3/8/2017

By Dave Melanson

Twenty-four experts from industry, academia and government have accepted appointments to serve on the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Advisory Board. The advisory board, which will meet in April 2017, provides counsel and guidance to the center about emerging trends in energy research and development.

“I thank all of the advisory board members for their willingness to serve,” said Rodney Andrews, director of CAER. “The depth and breadth of expertise will provide the center and our research teams with valuable, strategic insight."

Since 1977, CAER has served as one of the nation’s premier energy research and development institutes, collaborating with companies and government agencies to help maximize Kentucky’s — and the nation’s — energy resources.

3/1/2017

A publication authored by Dr. Erin Wachter, Mr. Diego Moya, and Prof. Edith Glazer was profiled on the cover of ACS Combinatorial Science. 

About the Cover: Ru(II) complexes containing dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,3′-c]phenazine) (dppz)-type ligands are known to be "light switches" for DNA. These complexes can exhibit radically different luminescence responses depending on nucleic acid structure. In this issue, Wachter, Moyá, and Glazer prepared and screened a library of different Ru(II) dppz complexes to uncover the structural features of the probe molecules that imparted selectivity for various DNA architectures. The cover shows a parallel screening approach where a library of DNA sequences, structures, and other biomolecules were investigated against a library of different Ru(II) dppz complexes to determine structural relationships that result in selective luminescence responses.

3/1/2017

By Dave Melanson

 The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER) Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group has received a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant for their novel work in utilizing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants to develop bioplastics.

The DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected seven projects to receive $5.9 million to focus on novel ways to utilize carbon dioxide. All of the selected research projects will directly support FE’s Carbon Storage program’s Carbon Use and Reuse research and development portfolio. This portfolio will develop and test novel approaches that convert carbon dioxide captured from coal-fired power plants to useable products. The projects will also explore ways to use

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

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