Professional News

Pharmacy Professor Receives Presidential Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2010) − Kimberly Nixon, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was named one of 85 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

I am delighted to represent UK, the Commonwealth and NIAAA on a national stage," Nixon said. I hope to use this award to pursue even more innovative directions and make a real impact on the scourge of alcoholism. "

The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. Nixon will accept the award on Dec. 13th at a White House ceremony hosted by President Obama.

PECASE candidates are nominated by one of ten federal agencies for their pursuit of innovative research and commitment to community service. Nixon’s nomination came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2007, Nixon received a 5-year $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to understand how endogenous neural stem cells contribute to recovery during abstinence from alcoholism.

Nixon received her doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of Steven W. Leslie, then dean of the College of Pharmacy, and National Academies of Sciences member, Professor Abram Amsel. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Fulton T. Crews, director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is the recipient of the 2008 Research Society on Alcoholism Young Investigator award.

“This is a great honor for Dr. Nixon and a recognition of the significance of her research," said Timothy Tracy, dean of the College of Pharmacy. "Her selection into this elite group of young scientists speaks to the impact she is having on our understanding of the factors involved in the development of alcoholism.”