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CoM Bulletin (PDF)
Research is an integral part of UK. The University of Kentucky is one of only 59 institutions - and the only one in the Commonwealth – designated a Research I University by the Carnegie Foundation. By this distinction, it is clear that the University of Kentucky offers the best opportunities, the best resources, and the very best overall research enterprise capable of creating the world's next medical marvel or technological breakthrough.
The University of Kentucky is achieving outstanding success in the competitive arena of research grants and contracts. In 2011, UK researchers brought in a record in extramural funding for grants and contracts—nearly $300 million. This represents an increase over last year's funding and is the sixth year that UK has exceeded $200 million in sponsored project awards. These funds contributed to more than 2,000 externally funded sponsored projects each year, and even more important, involved more than 800 faculty as principal investigators on grants and contracts last year. Currently, UK is ranked 30th among public research universities in research and development expenditures and 49th among public and private universities (National Science Foundation, FY 09).
UK has a strong, dynamic multidisciplinary research enterprise that emphasizes emerging technologies. This focus is reflected in the university's patent portfolio which includes 380 active patents, of which 29 patents were issued, 22 additional patent applications were filed, and 79 invention disclosures were submitted in FY 2005. UK is ranked 17th among land-grant universities, 34th among public universities and 57th overall in licensing income and patents by the Association of University Technology Managers (based on FY 02). UK is also 12th in the nation among all universities for number of start-up companies formed per $10 million in research spending.
The UK Chandler Medical Center is at the forefront of biomedical research and consistently receives national rankings for excellence in teaching, research and patient care attracting over $100 million annually in research grants and contracts. The College of Medicine is regularly listed in many "top" or "best of" categories by national publications and organizations. The UK College of Medicine ranks 31st among public medical schools, and nine College of Medicine departments rank in the top 20 among public medical schools in National Institutes of Health funding (NIH) (FY04). Because NIH is the primary agency for funding biomedical research, the amount of NIH support can serve as a valuable indicator of the national standing of universities and institutions engaged in research focused on urgent medical priorities.
The Behavioral Science Department is also ranked No. 1 among departments of psychology in NIH funding among all medical schools nationwide (FY 04). As well, the Graduate Center for Toxicology was ranked 25th for Research and Graduate Education by the National Research Council.
UK has been a leader in cutting edge biomedical research since its inception. In 1954, UK developed the first hip-replacement joint at Wenner-Gren research lab. In 1976, William Markesbery, M.D., helped disprove early theoretical causes of Alzheimer's disease and turned the focus to brain cell degeneration. In 1981, medical researcher James Anderson, M.D., showed how oat bran can reduce heart disease. Also in that same year, UK physicians led the development of the gamma knife for non-invasive brain surgery.
The UK Academic Medical Center continues to be a leader today. Our faculty are committed to innovative biomedical and clinical research that will provide new knowledge about the prevention, treatment and eradication of disease.
The Markey Cancer Center has been a leader in cancer prevention and control, basic research and clinical investigations. Federal and other outside sources provides more than $18 million annually funding nearly 90 grants and contracts in cancer-related areas lead by 60 researchers.
UK's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is one of only 30 centers funded by the National Institute on Aging. The center offers a full range of research, clinical trials and patient care for people with accelerating memory loss, and maintains satellite clinics in Eastern Kentucky and clinics primarily for African-American patients in Lexington and Nashville.
The UK Graduate Center for Toxicology was awarded more than $10 million to continue to study the environmental and health risks of PCBs, and to create new methods for detecting them. PCBs are manufactured chemicals and suspected carcinogens. They are no longer manufactured but still can be found in many places, including the Ohio River.
The Nun Study was the cover story on the Time magazine. The Nun Study focused on the medical histories of nearly 700 American nuns – one of the world's largest pools of donor brains – and their incidence of Alzheimer's disease.
A drug is showing promise in treating a rare form of cancer – anaplastic thyroid carcinoma or ATC – for which there are no effective therapies and little hope for survival. Studies showed half the patients treated with paxilitaxel responded.
The College of Medicine received an $8.2 million National Institutes of Health grant in 2001 to establish the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Women's Health. Researchers are examining how estrogen affects women's neuroendocrine system, ovaries, central nervous system and behavior.
Medical Center researchers pioneered virtual-reality equipment to map surgical strategies before patient procedures. Another new innovation involves hand-held communications equipment that permits surgeons to consult with colleagues from remote locations during surgeries.
The UK Medical Center was chosen as the exclusive site to conduct the first Phase I clinical research trial for a new investigational smallpox vaccine for the U.S. Department of Defense.
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