Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

Graduate Student Receives NIEHS Award

Published: Nov 1, 2012

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2012) — University of Kentucky graduate student Nicki Baker has received the 15th Annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program.

 

Baker, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences at UK since the fall of 2009, is originally from Detroit. She earned her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and after working for a corporate engineering firm for seven years, she decided to enter the graduate program at UK. In addition, she has taught nutrition classes at Bluegrass Community and Technical college, and mentored elementary school students in science competitions.

 

The research that Baker has conducted focuses on how environmental contaminants, namely polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), might cause the development of type 2 diabetes, and what nutritional strategies could be used as potential therapies for this. PCBs are industrial chemicals that were used widely in the U.S. until the 1970s. Studies in humans have shown a strong correlation between exposure to these chemicals and the development of Type 2 diabetes. In her research, Baker found that when she exposed mice to PCBs, they began showing symptoms similar to that of Type 2 diabetes, like glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

 

In addition to studying the correlation between PCBs and Type 2 diabetes, Baker is also researching a therapy for the negative effects of PCBs. She has found that when she feeds the mice a diet enriched with the antioxidant resveratrol and then exposes them to PCB, they are protected from developing the symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes.  Resveratrol is found in red wine, grapes, peanuts and chocolate.

 

Baker says that she has had many influential people around her during the research process, including her committee members:  Kevin Pearson, Hollie Swanson, and Shuxia Wang.

Another important mentor was Lisa Cassis of the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences.

 

"I won the award in large part due to her mentorship and great ideas. I just supplied the hard work and the enthusiasm for the research project," Baker said of Cassis.

 

As part of her award, Baker traveled to Raleigh, N.C., Oct. 21-24, to give a presentation about her research at the Superfund Research Program annual conference. She has also been invited to visit the NIEHS to present her work and meet with the directors of the institute. In addition, Baker will be able to travel to a national scientific meeting of her choosing with travel support from the NIEHS.

 

The Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award honors the memory of Karen E. Wetterhahn, a professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College. Wetterhahn died in June of 1997 of dimethylmercury poisoning  after the accidental spill of a few drops of the chemical on to her latex-gloved hand. She was a leader in conducting research on how metals initiate cancer and other metal-induced human diseases at the molecular level. The annual award is given to an outstanding graduate student or post-doctoral researcher that best demonstrates the qualities of scientific excellence exhibited by Wetterhahn.

 

The NIEHS aims to discover how the environment affects people in order to educate them on how to live healthier lives. Their Superfund Research Program is a system of university grants designed to find solutions to the complex health and environmental issues associated with the nation's hazardous waste sites. Research by the SRP is a cooperative effort with the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Elliott, aelli4@uky.edu or (859) 323-2394

nicki_baker_picture.jpg
June
 
 
 
1
 
Wed
2
 
Thu
3
Postdoctoral Research Symposium (Hosted by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars)
Fri
4
 
Sat
5
 
Sun
6
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Mon
7
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
End of the Summer I 2016 Four-Week Intersession
Tue
8
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Wed
9
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
First Day of Classes of the Summer II 2016 Eight-Week Session
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
10
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
11
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Family Day Workshop
Sat
12
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
13
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
14
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
15
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
16
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
17
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Film Screening: Artists on the Body
Fri
18
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
19
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
20
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
21
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
22
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
23
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Steve Zahn: One Night Only
Thu
24
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
25
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
26
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
27
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
28
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
29
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
30
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
 
 

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Wed, 06/29/2016

Repeats every day until Sun Jul 31 2016 .
Wed, 06/29/2016

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Thu, 06/30/2016

Reset Page