Research

UK Researcher Makes 'Top Science Stories of 2019' List by Discover Magazine

Dr. Pete Nelson in his lab at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Nelson co-chaired an international workgroup that characterized another form of dementia. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
Dr. Pete Nelson in his lab at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Nelson co-chaired an international workgroup that characterized another form of dementia. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2020) — An international group of experts led by Dr. Peter Nelson, a neuropathologist at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, is being recognized as one of the top science stories of 2019 by Discover magazine. Back in the Spring of 2019, Nelson and the group characterized a different form of dementia that is now called LATE.

“Our ongoing work is aimed at stopping or reversing problems in thinking and memory in the elderly. It turns out that the diseases that cause these symptoms are fairly complex. Workers at Sanders-Brown have worked for decades to tease out what causes those diseases, and possible therapeutic strategies,” said Nelson, who notes that this work has always been important but more so now than ever as the population is aging. “Now that we recognize LATE, we can not only generate therapies for this disease, but we can now better perform clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease as well.  Since the University of Kentucky has an extraordinary group of research volunteers and great researchers, we are uniquely situated to perform these studies.”

UK initiated its aging program in 1963. With a grant from the Eleanor and John Y. Brown Jr. Foundation in 1972, the construction of the current Sanders-Brown Research Building was begun and, with additional funding from the state, a program in biomedical research was implemented. In 1979, under the direction of the late Dr. William Markesbery, Sanders-Brown emerged as a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of life for the elderly through research and education. Most recently, in 2016, the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Center was funded through 2021 by an $8.25 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging, to continue and further research and clinical initiatives geared toward treating Alzheimer's disease.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.