UK Researcher Explores Gene's Role in Blood Clotting

Posted: 9/19/2014
Two independent groups of researchers led by Sidney "Wally" Whiteheart, PhD, at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Charles Lowenstein, at the University of Rochester, have published important studies exploring the role that a gene called STXBP5 plays in the development of cardiovascular disease. According to Whiteheart, previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified a gene called STXBP5 as a factor that regulates a protein called Von Willebrand factor (VWF). VWF is an important contributor to normal blood clotting. When the endothelial cells that line a blood vessel are injured, VWF is released into the bloodstream, where it "collects" blood... FULL STORY
Tags: 490, Biochemistry, Von Willebrand Factor

Meyer-van der Westhuyzen Study of Oxidized LDL Shows Early Promise For

Posted: 9/4/2014
A team of investigators has made a thought-provoking discovery about a type of cholesterol previously believed to be a "bad guy" in the development of heart disease and other conditions. Jason Meyer, a University of Kentucky M.D.-Ph.D. candidate, worked with Deneys van der Westhuyzen, a professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, to study the role oxidized LDL plays in the development of plaque inside artery walls. According to Meyer, the medical research community has traditionally believed that oxidized LDL plays a pivotal role in that process. "Oxidized LDL moves rapidly into arterial walls and engorges them... FULL STORY
Tags: Lipid Research, 490, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center

COBRE Receives NIH Funding for Final Phase of Junior Faculty Research

Posted: 9/2/2014
The University of Kentucky's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) on the Molecular Basis of Human Disease was recently awarded a third phase of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for a program to develop its research community and center dedicated to human disease. With this new $1.25 million annual grant, UK's COBRE will build upon achievements of a research development program that initially received NIH support in 2004. During the past 10 years, the program has fostered the research endeavors of junior faculty, providing mentorship, resources, pilot projects and facilities to enhance translational studies on major health issues within the... FULL STORY
Tags: Grants and Funding, COBRE, Biochemistry

Following a Scientific Trail

Posted: 8/12/2014
University of Kentucky associate professor Dr. Matthew Gentry, a biochemist who studies the very basic makeup of living things, can count very few "Eureka!" moments in his scientific career. One of those moments occurred while he was studying the genetic mutation associated with Lafora's disease, a type of epilepsy that inevitably causes death from neurodegeneration early in life. He was conducting post-doctoral research at University of California-San Diego to determine what happens within the cells of children born with Lafora's disease. He was examining the role of the protein laforin, the mutation that causes the disease. He and a colleague performed a series of... FULL STORY
Tags: Biochemistry

Dr. Gentry Receives Thomas Maciag Award

Thomas Maciag Award Gentry Posted: 6/20/2014
Dr. Matthew Gentry, associate professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry, has been named the recipient of the prestigious Thomas Maciag Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources. Dr. Gentry received this honor in recognition of his many research accomplishments focused on understanding glucan phosphatases in neurological disease and in plant biofuels research.This is the third time that the Maciag Award, given every two years, has honored an investigator from UK's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in the Molecular Basis of Human Disease, and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Dr. Haining Zhu... FULL STORY
Tags: Thomas Maciag Award, Awards and Recognition, Gentry

UK Researchers Decode Activity of Starch Modifying Enzyme to Provide

Posted: 6/12/2014
Scientists at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine have gained a new understanding of an enzyme essential for breaking down plant starch, a process used in agriculture, manufacturing and biotechnology. Dr. Matthew Gentry and Dr. Craig Vander Kooi, associate professors of molecular and cellular biochemistry at the University of Kentucky, and graduate student David Meekins, have decoded the natural process plants use to break down starch. Their discovery will lead to more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient methods of processing starch, with significant applications for agriculture and biotechnology. Their findings were reported May 20 in the... FULL STORY

Markey, LLS Host Third Annual 'Meet the Researchers Day'

Posted: 4/17/2014
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their third annual "Meet the Researchers Day" on Tuesday. Meet the Researchers Day is a field trip given as a prize to two schools in the region who successfully raise more than $1,000 for the LLS's Pennies for Patients campaign. This year, students from Meece Middle School (MMS) in Somerset, Ky., and Lexington Traditional Magnet School (LTMS) won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research. After a formal... FULL STORY
Tags: Markey Cancer Center

BCH PhD student Meets with Congressional Representative

Posted: 4/3/2014
BCH PhD student Meets with Congressional Representative at Capitol Hill Days Biochemistry doctoral student, Sarah Martin, met with U.S. Representatives and Senators and congressional staffers at the ASBMB-sponsored Capitol Hill Day on April 1st.  Sarah, pictured with Kentucky Representative Andy Barr (center) and fellow graduate student, Ryan Donohue, from the Mayo Clinic (left) discussed the current federal funding climate, STEM education, immigration reform and her personal experiences with congressional members.  Sarah was one of twenty young scientists chosen from a nationwide pool by the ASBMB to participate in this event.

Silent Auction Benefits Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic in Ecuador

Posted: 4/2/2014
The University of Kentucky Chapter of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) will host the 10th annual Art of Healing silent auction on Wednesday, April 2. The auction will be held in Biological and Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) atrium from noon to 5 p.m. Winning bidders may pick up their art from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The auction items feature the handiwork of local and international artists and current students, including pottery, paintings, wood carvings, and accessories. Proceeds from the art auction benefit the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic in Ecuador. Shoulder to Shoulder, an initiative supported by many of the... FULL STORY
Tags: Medical Education, Auction

Bastos-Carvalho Receives Bayer Grant

Posted: 1/13/2014
Ana Bastos-Carvalho, a visiting scholar in the Ambati research group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, received the Global Ophthalmology Research Award from Bayer HealthCare for her research, "Mechanisms of geographic atrophy expansion in age-related macular degeneration." http://www.bayer-ophthalmology-awards.com/html/b-about-c.html “We are studying age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the disease responsible for most cases of legal blindness in the American elderly population”, Bastos-Carvalho said. “The project awarded by Bayer focuses on unraveling how AMD progresses, which will hopefully... FULL STORY
Tags: Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 490

Creating a Culture of Collaboration for Research at UK and Beyond

Posted: 1/10/2014
There's a proverb in the business world that says, "If you don’t know, hire someone who does." In the world of translational research, the saying might go like something this: "If you don't have the expertise or resources, collaborate with someone who does." The nature of translational science -- the process of turning a basic science discovery into applications for human patients -- is inherently multidimensional. Moving from the "bench to bedside" is a process that runs the gamut of biomedical research, incorporating laboratory and animal studies, clinical trials, drug and device development, regulatory issues, grant writing and more. Each step requires... FULL STORY
Tags: CCTS, 490, Center for Clinical and Translational Science

UK's Arts In Healthcare Program Announces Holiday Programming

Posted: 12/2/2013
Everyone wants to be home for the holidays. Unfortunately, hospital patients don't have that luxury. For those who are unable to enjoy the comforts of a holiday at home, the UK Arts in Healthcare program has scheduled a series of events to help bring the holidays to the hospital. Carolers, pianists, harpists and more will bring holiday cheer to patients, visitors and staff in December. Of particular note: UK HealthCare's own Dr. Jay Zwischenberger will be performing at 1 p.m., Dec. 12, in the Pavilion A of UK Chandler Hospital. Carolers from Deep Springs Elementary School will be performing at noon, Dec.13, Pavilion A of UK Chandler Hospital. Carolers from the... FULL STORY
Tags: Arts in Healthcare