14 Faculty Named 2021-2022 University Research Professors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2021) — At the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees meeting on May 4, University Research Professorship Awards to 14 faculty members were announced. These awards recognize excellence in research and creative work that addresses scientific, social, cultural, economic and health challenges in our region and around the world.

The University Research Professorships were established by the UK Board of Trustees in 1976 to recognize outstanding research achievements. The professorships program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors within each college at UK. College leadership developed criteria for excellence within their area of expertise, and then nominated faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000 to be used to further their research, scholarship and creative endeavors.

“The impact of these faculty to the university, and to the Commonwealth, cannot be overstated,” said Lisa Cassis, UK vice president for research. “They are shining examples of the tireless work that is moving the research enterprise forward, creating new knowledge, discovering new cures, and empowering the next generation of scientists and scholars under their mentorship to change their world for the better.”

The 2021-2022 University Research Professors are:

  • Surendranath Suman: Animal and Food Sciences; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Anne-Frances Miller: Chemistry; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Carol Mason: Gender and Women’s Studies; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Maria Cahill: School of Information Science; College of Communication and Information
  • Xin Ma: Educational, School and Counseling Psychology; College of Education      
  • Issam Harik: Civil Engineering; College of Engineering
  • Jonathan McFadden: Art and Visual Studies; College of Fine Arts
  • Christopher R. Bollinger: Economics; Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Christopher Fry: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition; College of Health Sciences
  • Richard H. Underwood: J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Thomas E. Curry Jr.: Obstetrics and Gynecology; College of Medicine
  • Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; College of Medicine   
  • Jill Kolesar: Pharmacy Practice and Science; College of Pharmacy                                                              
  • April M. Young: Epidemiology; College of Public Health                                                                                                                                                                                         

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.