Impact Kentucky: University of Kentucky Research Newsletter

From the Vice President for Research
Thank you for your vital work to support the UK Research enterprise. We hope this monthly newsletter becomes your source for numbers, highlights, news and people who are making an impact. Please share with your colleagues, and you can opt out through the link at the bottom.

Lisa Cassis, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research

Researchers by the numbers

UK finished FY2019 with $417,136,264 in awards (external grants & contracts), a 25% improvement from FY2018. Congrats and thank you to all PIs, co-PIs, staff and students whose vision, persistence and tenacity realized this growth!

For more, visit our Research Data Portal, and sign up for Tableau access for departmental and investigator level data.


In July 2019, 66 new projects were awarded to 60 principal investigators from 46 sponsors.

New Projects →



New NanoString nCounter SPRINT Profiler Available

This benchtop instrument system is used to analyze differential expression of genes and proteins. It supports molecular barcoding for RNA, DNA, and protein profiling of up to 800 targets simultaneously. 

Learn More →

New Procedure for Obtaining Institutional Letters of Support for Research Grants

Many grant proposals require a letter of support from an institutional signing official, typically provided by the Vice President for Research and/or the Provost. We have standardized the process so PIs know who to contact and what information is needed.

Learn More →

See All Announcements



August 21, 11am – 12pm

Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Office Hours
Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building (JSB), Room 347

Investigators, research staff, and/or students are encouraged to come with questions about ongoing research, developing research projects, the E-IRB system, and general IRB operations. ORI staff will be available to provide in-person support to medical and non-medical researchers. Drop in anytime between 11 am and 12 pm. Light refreshments will be served. 

See All Events →



Left to Right Back Row: April Young, Michel Staton, Patricia Freeman, Donald Helme, Jeffrey Talbert, Heather Bush, Svetla Slavova, Hilary Surratt.
Left to Right Front Row: Katherine Thompson, Carrie Oser, Hannah Knudsen, Sharon Walsh, Michelle Lofwall, Laura Fanucchi, Amanda Fallin-Bennett

UK Awarded $87 Million to Lead Effort in Combating Nation's Opioid Epidemic

Congrats to the entire dedicated team of researchers who put this proposal together, organized the NIH site visit and continue to foster long-standing, impactful relationships across our state! Sharon Walsh, director of UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, is leading a team of more than 200 researchers, staff, and state and community partners involved in the HEALing Communities study, part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative. The four-year study has an ambitious but profoundly important goal: reducing opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent in 16 counties that represent more than a third of Kentucky’s population. 

Learn more about the grant  →
Apply to join our team →

Annual Report Spotlights Research Impact on Kentucky

The UK Research 2018 Annual Report provides a snapshot of UK’s research: from the opening of the Healthy Kentucky Research Building, to statewide economic impact and national R&D rankings, to innovative federally funded research projects in the six areas that fall under a new program—the Research Priorities Initiative. 

See the digital report
For copies, contact Research Communications,

Left to right: Robert Nobles (University of Tennessee), Russell Mumper (University of Alabama), David Shaw (Mississippi State), David Norton (University of Florida), Lisa Cassis (University of Kentucky), Ralph Davis (University of Arkansas), Samuel Bentley (Louisiana State University), Melissa Hodge-Penn (University of Mississippi), Jessica Orbock (University of Georgia), Martin Scholtz (Texas A&M) and Prakash Nagarkatti (University of South Carolina)

UK Hosts SEC Chief Research Officers

Twice a year the Chief Research Officers of the SEC meet at a member institution to talk about best practices, collaborations and new developments in research and innovation within each of their institutions. In May 2019 UK hosted this meeting for the first time. The SEC group toured the Healthy Kentucky Research Building and UK staff presented topics including management of multidisciplinary research space, multi-institutional platforms to promote IP/tech transfer, programs and policies for prevention of research misconduct, and declaring institutional research priorities/strengths.

UKRF Board Meeting Held in Healthy Kentucky Research Building

TUK Research hosted the annual meeting of the University of Kentucky Research Foundation (UKRF) in space that is not yet complete in the new Healthy Kentucky Research Building to highlight the completion of phase I construction and demonstrate the work ahead and need for additional resources to help complete phase II and phase III construction.


Researchers of the month 

2019 – 2020 University Research Professors 

Left to right: Patricia Rippetoe Freeman, James Ziliak, Svetla Slavova, Hunter Stamps, Julie Cerel, Phillip Gribble, Anne Filson, Zach Hilt, Jason Unrine, Susan Gardner, Philip Kern, Mark Peffley, Beth Rous and Craig Miller


Research staff Shout outs 

  • Congrats to OSPA for being nominated for the Employer Support Freedom Award. OSPA was nominated for this recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their outstanding support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
  • Baron Wolf (VPR Office) has been named the U.S. representative to the International Network of Research Management Societies working group aimed at developing materials and best practices related to research evaluation and the use of analytics to assess research performance and growth. Baron was also asked to serve a second term on the national advisory board for the University Benchmarking Project led by the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute. 
  • Research Administrative and Fiscal Affairs welcomed Shannon Drake, a new Staff Support Associate. Shannon is a UK alum and will provide front office and accounting support.
  • Congrats to Baron Wolf and Alex Dixon (VPR Office) for winning first place in two poster categories (Comprehensive Strategic Processes and High Impact: Institution) at the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) 61st Annual Meeting.


 UK made three Forbes “Best Employers” lists in 2019. In January 2019, UK was recognized by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity. In April 2019, UK was named among America's Best Employers, one of only four employers in Kentucky to be included in the ranking. In June 2019, Forbes ranked UK second overall and No. 1 among colleges for America’s Best-in-State Employers.


Light Microscopy Core 

What we offer:
State-of-the-art imaging equipment for research on biological systems, ranging from neuroscience to physiology, and cutting-edge materials science

  • Combined Confocal (Nikon) and Atomic Force Microscope (JPK)
  • Leica TSP SP5 Confocal with Environmental Chamber
  • Nikon AR1+
  • Nikon N-SIM N-STORM Super Resolution
  • Nikon TIRF microscope
  • X-Clarity tissue clearing system
  • Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1 slide scanner (Fluorescence and Brightfield)
  • Zeiss LSM 880 Multiphoton microscope for live animal imaging
  • Zeiss PALM Laser Microbeam

Full version of Imaris data analysis software to handle large files.

Learn more