UK’s Collaborative Research Environment

As Vice President for Research, I am frequently asked, “What is it like to be a researcher at UK?” Well, to be honest, I have only known one research environment as a faculty member performing academic research for the past 27 years, and that environment is UK. While this might be construed as making me shortsighted, I believe that one of the primary reasons I have remained at UK throughout my academic career is the collaborative nature of research. 

Nowhere that I have visited, or been recruited to, has the team-based approach to research that I have experienced at UK. I even like to think that I have contributed to that collaborative research environment, through interaction with programs including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), NIH Superfund Basic Science Research Program, and by serving as director of a multidisciplinary graduate and research center focused on nutritional sciences for 10 years.

Each of these programs includes students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and faculty across department and college boundaries that come together to target an area of research. The power of their interdisciplinary approach is evident in grants and contracts, honors and awards, scholarly publications and translational outcomes that arise from collaborative teams.

Am I the only person who thinks UK research is facilitated by a collaborative environment? Let this video speak for itself. This is how UK researchers responded when asked, “What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the research enterprise at UK?”

Lisa Cassis, Vice President for Research