5-day symposium features Igniting Research Collaborations program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 7, 2024) — For five days, February 12-16, the UK community has a unique opportunity to learn about innovative new research across campus from presenters in the Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC) program. 

Sponsored in collaboration between the Office of the Vice President for Research and UK colleges, IRC seeks to increase interdisciplinary scientific engagement and leverage UK’s breadth of expertise to tackle important problems in the Commonwealth. UK is one of eight universities in the nation with the full range of undergraduate, graduate, professional, medical and agricultural programs on one campus, which creates distinct and exciting opportunities for collaborative research.  

“The IRC program has provided an opportunity to drive discovery and find creative solutions to complex problems in Kentucky,” said Linda Dwoskin, Ph.D., senior associate vice president for research, who initiated and administers the IRC in collaboration with Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, Ph.D., associate vice president for research. “Since its inception, $3 million has been awarded to IRC pilot projects, which in turn, has been instrumental in annual growth in external UK research funding.” 

Garneau-Tsodikova said, “This symposium features research from 11 of UK’s colleges and illustrates the depth and breadth of our research community. We encourage you to support your colleagues by attending these Zoom sessions.” 

Monday, February 12, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

  • Microfluidic oxygenators for artificial lungs: Engineering the blood-oxygen interface for critical pulmonary support 
    Christine Trinkle (Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering), Gosia Chwatoko (Pigman College of Engineering), Jamie Sturgill (College of Medicine) and Suresh Keshavamurthy (College of Medicine) 

  • Insects, informatics, and illustrations: A new approach to visually representing anatomical knowledge in ecological and taxonomic databases 
    Melissa Clarkson (College of Medicine) and Julian Dupuis (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) 

  • Aphasia spark: Aphasia lab zine project 
    Rose Winter Phong (College of Fine Arts), Christen Page (College of Health Sciences), Erin Hester (College of Communication and Information) and David Wischer (College of Fine Arts) 

Tuesday, February 13, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

  • Intergenerational interactions: Mapping women's mental health through movement and creativity 
    Anthony Bardo (College of Arts and Sciences), Amy Kostelic (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and Susan Thiel (College of Fine Arts) 

  • Exploring the motivational climate and communication amongst trauma survivors 
    Jacob Higgins (College of Nursing), Sarah Geegan (College of Communication and Information) and Erin Hester (College of Communication and Information) 

  • Privacy preserving protest dynamics with social media images 
    Addullah-Al-Zubaer Imran (Pigman College of Engineering), Nazmus Sakib (Lewis Honors College) and Sen-Ching Samson Cheung (Pigman College of Engineering) 

Wednesday, February 14, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m

  • Nocardioformplacentitis in the equine breeding industry: Characterization and natural product analysis of the probable infectious agents 
    Khaled Mahmoud (College of Pharmacy), Erdal Erol (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and Steven Van Lanen (College of Pharmacy) 

  • Development of a 3D microfluidic electroporation technology for advancing cell therapy 
    Guigen Zhang (Pigman College of Engineering), Mark Evers (College of Medicine) and Sheng Tong (Pigman College of Engineering) 

  • Predictive analysis enabled through virtual reality 
    Savio Poovathingal (Pigman College of Engineering) and Chad Eby (College of Fine Arts) 

Thursday, February 15, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

  • Development of a deep learning-based CT acquisition technique for radiation dose and image quality 
    Abdullah-Al-Zubaer Imran (Pigman College of Engineering) and Jie Zhang (College of Medicine) 

  • Mechanisms of anti-Porphyromonasgingivalis activity of statins 
    Oelisa Mireille Andirankaja (College of Dentistry) and Oleg Tsodikov (College of Pharmacy) 

  • Marijuana and invasive fungal disease in immunocompromised patients 
    Matthew Duprey (College of Pharmacy), Jayani Jayawardhana (College of Public Health), Val Adams (College of Pharmacy) and Chris Delcher (College of Pharmacy) and Daniela Moga (College of Pharmacy) 

Friday, February 16, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 

  • A bottom-up approach for sustainable cultivated meat production 
    Ramkumar Annamalai (Pigman College of Engineering) and Tyler Barzee (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) 

  • EpicMare: A routine screening blood test to predict parturition date and gestational complications in mares 
    Carlos Rodriguez Lopez (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), James MacLeod (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and Chenglong Ye (College of Arts and Sciences) 

  • Improving image quality for better surgical planning and computational tool development 
    Jonathan Wenk (Pigman College of Engineering), Liisa Bergmann (College of Medicine), Sam Tyagi (College of Medicine) and Ryan King (College of Medicine)

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.