UK HealthCare

Researchers Present Cancer Studies at Markey Research Day


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 19, 2016) – The annual University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Research Day not only provides researchers with the opportunity to share their work, but to get feedback from colleagues. An estimated 400 people were in attendance at the event, with about 50 staff members tasked with judging posters.

While many posters are presented by seasoned researchers, high school, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as junior researchers and staff, also can submit work and request to have their poster presentation judged by faculty members.

For Kim Lakocy, a fourth year undergraduate nursing student, this year’s Markey Research Day was her introduction to cancer research. Working with Robin Vanderpool, associate professor and vice chair in the Department of Heath Behavior, Lakocy helped research the use of an application to meet a new American College of Surgeons’ requirement that 75 percent of patients have survivorship care plans. The team she worked with created an application to populate patient’s demographic information like name, age and cancer type into the necessary forms. This application is intended to save time and allow Markey to meet the requirement by 2018. This year, Lakocy learned about the interdisciplinary nature of research and plans to participate in research day in the future. 

A diverse array of specialties, from behavioral health to chemical engineering, were represented at the 2016 event with 107 posters on display. Oral presentations were made by one scientist; one senior research associate and two graduate students; and faculty oral presentations were made by Dr. Natasha Kyprianou, the James F. Hardymon Chair of Urology Research, and Dr. Robert DiPaola, the new dean of the College of Medicine. Dr. B. Mark Evers also presented the “State of the Cancer Center” address.

The event concluded with an award ceremony. Winners include:

Overall Winner

Stuart Jarrett, “AKAP12 is a UV-inducible scaffold which regulates nucleotide excision repair by promoting PKA-mediated ATR phosphorylation”

Basic Science – Graduate Student

1st place: Brittany Carpenter, “The integrin alpha6beta4 promotes pancreatic cancer invasion by altering DNA repair-mediated epigenetics”

2nd place: Maria Dixon, “AFP anti-sense transcripts in mouse liver and their potential role in gene regulation”

Basic Science – Postdocs

1st place: Lei Wang, “Autophagy deficiency stabilizes p62 and HIF-1α to promote stemness property in arsenic-induced transformed cells”

2nd place: Julia Schulz, “Dual PI3K/Akt Inhibition: A New Strategy to Improve Drug Delivery in Glioblastoma Therapy”

Clinical Science – Graduate Student

1st place: Nathan Pauly, “Smoking Cessation Quitline: A Return on Investment Analysis”

2nd place: Daniel Zetter, “Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition in Bladder Cancer Progression”

Clinical Science – Postdocs

1st place: Ramon Sun, “A liquid diet for mapping metabolic networks in PDX mice using stable-isotope resolved metabolomics”

2nd place: Anh-Thu Le, “Thromboelastography demonstrates perioperative hypercoagulability in hepato-pancreato-biliary patients and supports routine administration of preoperative and early postoperative venous thromboembolism chemoprophylaxis”