Dr. Chen joined the University of Kentucky Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and Department of Neuroscience in early 2020. She came from the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

She is  an early stage investigator dedicated to advancing knowledge of the biology and treatment of central nervous system damage, including spinal cord injury (SCI) and ischemic stroke. Initially trained as a molecular biologist, she studied cellular stress response to proteo-toxicity with my doctoral mentor Dr. Ze’ev Ronai. Seeking to apply my knowledge in cellular stress signaling to the field of neural repair, she performed postdoctoral training with Dr. Binhai Zheng, whose lab studies axon regeneration following spinal cord injury. While identifying neuronintrinsic regulators of CNS axon plasticity (Chen et al, Sci Rep, 2016


Dr. Brandon Miller joined the teams at the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital as UK HealthCare’s pediatric neurosurgeon in 2017. Dr. Miller is expanding UK’s pediatric neurosurgery program and conducting research on pediatric brain injury in UK’s Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center.

He completed his MD and PhD degrees in the Medical Scientist Program at The Ohio State University in Columbus and completed his neurosurgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He then completed his pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis before coming to UK HealthCare.

Dr. Miller has authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters in basic and clinical neuroscience. At UK HealthCare, Dr. Miller’s research lab focuses on strategies to improve neurological recovery in children.

During his


Dr. Jill Turner received her PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University in the lab of Dr. Ken Kellar. Following her graduation, she completed post-doctoral training in behavioral genetics and pharmacogenomics at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Julie Blendy. Dr. Turner is now currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, where her NIDA funded research investigates the biological mechanisms underlying the high relapse rate among smokers using electrophysiology, behavior, and Next Gen Sequencing technologies. To do this, Dr. Turner’s group combines Next-Gen sequencing approaches and behavioral pharmacology to identify candidate molecules for pharmacogenomic evaluation in both rodent models and in the human population. For example, sequencing technologies identified a novel molecule, Neuregulin 3, in mechanisms underlying nicotine


Piper Aldrich is a junior Neuroscience and Psychology major on the pre-medical path. She is from Oxford, Michigan and  was homeschooled through high school

Piper has been playing violin for 16 years, and is working on a violin performance minor.

2019-2020 is her third year playing in the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (UKSO).

Over the summer of 2019, Piper performed at Carnegie Hall with the UKSO


By Jenny Wells

Faculty from the University of Kentucky Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Behavioral Science in the College of Medicine have received two, five-year Research Project Grants (R01) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study neurobehavioral processes involved in drug use disorders.

The first project, which addresses cocaine use disorder, totals over $3 million. The second project addresses opioid use disorder and totals over $3.1 million.

The multiple principal investigators (PI) include Joshua Beckmann, associate professor of psychology; Joshua Lile, professor of behavioral science; and Michael Wesley, assistant professor

Careers in Neuroscience Share this page: Careers with a Bachelor's Degree

Opportunities for graduates with a BS in Neuroscience are wide-ranging, with median salaries for those who


By Madison Dyment

One of the most rewarding aspects of higher education is the chance to train the next generation of leaders and workers. Every so often, students are lucky enough to find opportunities that go above and beyond to give them practical experience in preparing them for their future. Mark Prendergast’s BIO 199 class is one of those opportunities.

Prendergast’s class is designed for freshmen neuroscience majors. The course is part of the STEMCats Living Learning Program at the University of Kentucky in the College of Arts and Sciences, with its students either in that program or the Lewis Honors College. There are many existing sections of the course, each being taught by a different faculty member who conducts different types of research related to biology.

The STEMCats Living Learning Program was founded in 2014 and receives funding


By Lori Adams

The University of Kentucky has released its Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester. A total of 6,562 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance. 

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes. Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting:


By Loretta Stafford

Childhood friends Zach Major, Kayne Finley, Keagan Finley, and Austin Major

On the heels of graduation, many new alumni look forward to spending the summer traveling, learning about the world and themselves in the process. However, this summer’s travels hold special significance for two spring 2019 UK grads.

Zach Major, a physical therapy student in the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences who recently graduated with his B.A. in environmental and sustainability studies from the College of Arts and Sciences, and Robby Larson, who earned his degree in neuroscience from the college as well, will join former UK swim team member Keagan Finley on a cross-country bike ride. The team will make “Cannonballs Across America”


Psychology and Neuroscience Professors Drs. Lynda Sharrett and Mark Prendergast have been invited to guest edited a special of the neuroscience journal Brain Sciences focused on innovative approaches to teaching neuroscience at the undergraduate level.

Neuroscience is growing globally, as an educational discipline and occupational focus. Recent findings suggest that the impetus for this growth is due to students’ inherent interest in brain-body connections , as well as a recognition that neuroscience, being a multidisciplinary field of study, will provide students with a comprehensive foundation suited for subsequent graduate and professional studies. Teaching undergraduate students in this broad, interdisciplinary field can be challenging and requires integrating instructional techniques from the natural and social sciences, encouraging scientific exploration, and


By Jenny Wells

While most final assignments in science courses involve lab reports or essays, a human anatomy class at the University of Kentucky decided to switch things up this semester by having an art showcase instead.

Nearly a hundred unique works of art, created by students majoring in subjects like neuroscience and biology, adorned the UK College of Nursing Building's auditorium on April 25. Among the art were poems about the blood flow through the human heart, photographs of trees representing the respiratory system, abstract pieces reflecting the processes of neurodegenerative diseases, collages of the digestive system (including one made from print UK advertisements), and depictions of the human kidney created from a variety of materials including foods, plastics and plants.

April Hatcher, an associate professor of neuroscience, describes herself as


The 2018-2019 Neuroscience Major Graduating Scholars are LIsted Below:

Each of the students listed below satisfied the following Scholars requirements for outstanding scholarship, which include:

Obtaining a minimum GPA of 3.5 A 6 credit hour independent research experience A scientific presentation at a conference, including one on campus or nationally. Complete two scholars courses or two 400G*,500 or 600** level or a combination of a scholars course and a 400G/ 500/600 BIO course.


Daniel Ma  Aaron Silverstein

Heather Burns  Isaiah Brown

Jessica Ryan  Hayley Baker

Leah Terry   Abigail Samson

Esther Putman  Cassidy Carter

Reeya Khanal  Sneha Rajan

Haley Fluharty

Rebecca Buster

Alysia Kohlbrand

Jessica Ryan 

Manish Bhojwani

Allison Spears

Chinni Suryadevara



By Whitney Hale, Ellie Wnek and Hannah Edelen

Senior Dealla Samadi discovered a missing piece of the book "La Reine Albemarle," which was published posthumously without the segment. Her discovery has led to an article published in a French philosophy journal.

Seven interns in the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Learning Lab will represent UK at the second World Conference of Undergraduate Research (World CUR).

These students will travel to Oldenburg, Germany, May 23-25, to present their research, discuss global issues and create an international research partnership. Funding for their travel is provided through the 


Chemistry Professor and Neuroscientist Dr. D. Allan Butterfield has published a paper, with collegue Dr. Barry Halliwell from the University of Singapore, in the #1 ranked  neuroscience journal in the world.

The publication, entitled "Oxidative stress, dysfunctional glucosemetabolism and Alzheimer disease", was published in the March 2019 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.


By Ryan Girves

The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence honored the 2018 class of Chellgren Fellows and announced five Chellgren Endowed Professorships at an event that took place Saturday, April 20. 

The Chellgren Center works to advance UK's commitment to student, teaching and program excellence. Created in 2005 with a gift from Paul Chellgren, a UK graduate, and his family, the Chellgren Center creates unique educational opportunities for outstanding undergraduate students and professors at the university. Chellgren's commitment to undergraduate education at UK has created a countless number of opportunities for UK students, staff and faculty, impacting thousands.  

Contributing to the university's goal


Psychology/Neuroscience Professors Mark Fillmore and Mark Prendergast received a 5-year,  $1.7 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to train the next generation of scientists who study alcohol. These funds will support 5 outstanding graduate students conducting basic or applied alcohol research from across UK's campus. Each student will be supported for a period of 2 years. This funding, from an arm of the National Institutes of Health, is tax payer funded. At UK, we have the ability to study alcohol use, its risk factors and consequences at many levels of analysis and to integrate those findings in a collaborative manner to address our shared goals of better understanding risk factors for alcohol abuse, consequences of alcohol abuse and potential treatments of alcohol abuse.




The American Physiological Society awarded two prestigious National awards to graduating Neuroscience major Aaron Silverstein 

Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Undergraduate Abstract Award ($100) and  Horwitz/Horowitz Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award ($400)

Aaron presented his original research on respiration after traumatic CNS injury at the "Experimental Biology" in early April.

After graduation, Aaron will join the UK College of Medicin's M.D./Ph.D. program and will continue his research in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center



The autism-related research of UK alum and neuroscientist Dr. Blair Braden was featured recently on social media outlets of the Society for Neuroscience. Blair worked in the lab of Dr. Mark Prendergast many years ago, and attended graduate school at Arizona State University, where she is now a professor.

"Telomere twist: Blair Braden, assistant professor at Arizona State University, and colleagues reported work showing that children with autism have shorter telomeres than their typical peers. The effect is particularly strong in girls with autism. The findings add an interesting twist to the literature on sex differences in autism. More importantly, if shortened telomeres are a risk factor


By Carol Lea Spence

The University of Kentucky is hosting the third annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference for middle school girls and their parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 20. This day of hands-on workshops will inform young Kentucky girls and their parents about exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Women continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and they hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Many higher education institutions like UK struggle against the problem of poor retention of female undergraduates in a lot of science, engineering and math majors,” said Ellen Crocker, assistant professor in


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