Margaret Alice Kennard (September 25, 1899—December 12, 1975) received her doctoral degree in 1930, from Cornell University. She was a neuroscientist who principally studied the effects of neurological damage on primates. Her work led to the creation of the Kennard Principle, which posits a negative linear relationship between age of a brain lesion and the outcome expectancy: in other words, that the earlier in life a brain lesion occurs, the more likely it is for some compensation mechanism to reverse at least some of the lesion's bad effects. She earned a Rockefeller Traveling Fellowship for study in Western Europe from 1934 to 1936. She also studied the effects of stimulants and cortical depressants on monkeys with brain damage.

Goldman-Rakic was the first to discover and describe the circuitry of the prefrontal cortex and its relationship to working memory. Before Goldman-Rakic, scientists thought that the higher cognitive functions of the prefrontal cortex were beyond the scope of scientific study. Goldman-Rakic's research showed that methods employed to study the sensory cortices could be adapted to the highest order prefrontal cortical areas, revealing the circuit basis for higher cognitive function.[10] Because of Goldman-Rakic, scientists began to better understand the neurobiological basis of higher cognitive function, and of such disorders as schizophrenia

Dr. Marian Diamond (1926-2017) was a Professor of Integrative Biology at the  University of California, Berkley. Among her remarkable contributions to neuroscience include the first demonstration that brains can physically change their structure in response to experience, coining the term "neuroplasticity". Dr. Diamond also famously studied the brain of Albert Einstein in the 1980's and demonstrated that Einstein's  brain had a larger concentration of glia than most.


For a fascinating read about Dr. Diamond's career, visit





Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons


By Eliana Shapere

Natasha Boelstler, a junior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in German, has always been an explorer by nature. This wanderlust led her to apply out of state for college, and in 2016 she left her hometown of Detroit to settle in at UK.

“I was drawn to UK because I liked the neuroscience program. There weren’t a lot of colleges that offered neuroscience as a major, just as a minor. UK’s program stuck out to me not only because it was offered as major, but because the program is research based,” Boelstler said. “I hope to become a neurosurgeon, possibly in Germany, and the research aspect is very important to me. In fact, the reason I got involved in research in the first place was because I’m a Chellgren Fellow.”

As a Chellgren Fellow, Boelstler developed her interest in research and learned skills such as how to apply for prestigious


By Jenny Wells

Lauren Hudson's book "The Ascension" charted in the Top 10 on Amazon Kindle in Young Adult Fiction. Her follow-up novel, "The Deception," also charted in the Top 10. Hudson will give a talk at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Gatton Student Center.

University of Kentucky student Lauren Hudson is not your typical college freshman — at age 18, she has already authored multiple award-winning books.

"I have been writing since about sixth grade, but I never really knew how much I enjoyed it until a little later," said Hudson, who is majoring in neuroscience in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. "When I was in middle school, my eighth-grade English teacher asked us a write a short story for class. I was so excited


Neuroscientists from the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Behavioral Science in the College of Medicine have received an award from the National Institutes of Health to study cocaine use disorder from a new perspective.

Cocaine use disorder (CUD) is marked by the repeated decision to pursue and use cocaine over other available activities and goods. However, lab-based studies to date have not systematically investigated the decision-making processes that underlie the choice to use cocaine. The present translational, multidisciplinary project melds modern mathematical modeling techniques with state-of-the-art neuroscience methods to investigate the neurobehavioral processes that underlie cocaine-associated decision-making in real time. This innovative approach enables the simultaneous quantitative characterization of cocaine-


By Meredith Weber

Awards and an endowed scholarship fund announcement highlighted the 28th annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Awards Dinner on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field.

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Group honored students and alumni during the awards ceremony as part of the 2018 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration.

UK’s academic colleges and units select one African-American alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals received the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award. These units also choose an African-American student within their respective colleges/departments whose academic achievement and ability to impact the


By Whtiney Hale

University of Kentucky biology and neuroscience senior Esther Putman, of Lexington, is having an out of this world year. This summer, Putman was named one of 2018’s 50 recipients of a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). In addition, Putman was one of 40 recipients of a Brooke Owens Fellowship, which matches its fellows with paid summer internships in the aviation and space industry.

The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). A nonprofit organization, ASF was established


The Lyman T. Johnson Alumni Groups is named after Lyman T. Johnson who played an integral role in integrating Kentucky higher education in 1949.

Today we are busy supporting, promoting and initiating activities, programs, strategies and services which address the unique needs of, and foster the inclusion of, African American alumni in all aspects of university life. We are working to increase the level of participation of African American alumni in the alumni affairs of the university, the UK Alumni Association and its affiliated groups. And, we are here to help young African American students succeed. We sure could use your time and your presence as we come together and make plans.

By Jenny Wells Wednesday 1 of 2       UK Associate Professor of Biology Ann Morris' laboratory studies zebrafish, which have the ability to regenerate retinal cells following an injury. Photo by Brian Connors Manke

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2018) — Ann Morris, an associate professor of biology in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has received $1.87 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue her cutting-edge research in retinal development and regeneration.

The Research Project Grant (R01), titled "Vertebrate Photoreceptor Development and Regeneration," will be funded over five years and supports Morris and her team's


Aaron has conducted independent research since the Spring of 2017 under Dr. Warren Alilain of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at UK. The Alilain lab is focused on understanding the nature of traumatic spinal cord injuries at the cervical level which can cause diaphragm paralysis in human patients often resulting in breathing difficulties that greatly decrease their quality of life. Currently, Aaron is carrying out two experiments in rat models, designed to cause recovery of diaphragm function after the C2-level Hemisection model of spinal cord injury. Inspired by his psychology classes, Aaron uses operant conditioning to vary the duration of the low-oxygen periods of intermittent hypoxia treatment post-injury to induce greater neural plasticity within the spinal cord. In addition, Aaron has begun studying the effects of pharmacological application of the drug


Neuroscience major Esther Putman is pursuing a career in aerospace medicine. She recently completed training as a Research Intern at NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration and is now a Space Systems Intern at Vulcan, Inc. in Seattle, Washington 

Here about Esther's journey, in her own words.




By Whitney Hale and Jenny Wells


More than 45 of the University of Kentucky's students and recent graduates had the world's most prestigious scholarship, fellowship and internship organizations take note this year. The newest class of highly regarded scholars include UK’s 14th Truman Scholar and first Pickering Fellow.

Helping prepare these UK students and recent alumni to compete for and win such honors is the mission of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Under the guidance and leadership of Pat Whitlow, the office identifies and works with young scholars on the application process for large scholastic prizes awarded by regional, national and international sources.

This year UK students and alumni were recognized with the following awards:


Luke Bradley and Janice Fernheimer received the University of Kentucky 2018 Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. This student-nominated award recognizes UK faculty members who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers, providing exceptional undergraduate research experiences, as well as supporting and promoting the undergraduate research initiatives on campus.

Eighteen faculty mentors were nominated for the award by their students.

Bradley is an associate professor and research mentor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Molecular and


Congratulations ! Meghan Turner and Daimen Stoltz.

Neuroscience majors and minors, we congratulate two Neuroscience majors who will be honored this Friday from 3-4 pm in room 221 of the Jacobs Science Building.

Meghan Blair Turner will be recognized for her outstanding leadership and commitment to neuroscience outreach in the community. As the Founding President of NeuroCATS, Meghan has created the largest student-led organization on campus and has taken neuroscience into communities and schools across Kentucky, changing the lives of young people forever.

Daimen Stoltz will be honored for her outstanding research in neuroscience. Daimen has worked in the lab of Dr. Warren Alilain for the past several months and has been key part of a team that is investigating respiratory difficulties that result from spinal cord injury.

We will also recognize the

NeuroCATS, an undergraduate student organization founded last year, strives to achieve its mission to educate the younger generation about neuroscience through community outreach.   Created with the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Science's newly established neuroscience program, NeuroCATS provides a place for neuroscience majors and minors to meet, socialize and get involved with the community.    Through a program they created called NeuroKIDS, they visit local schools and share basic neuroscience principles and the scientific method with children. This new six-week after-school program for fourth- and fifth-grade students at Veterans Park Elementary School and E7 Kids Café is about educating young kids about the central nervous system and to get them excited about science. The program allows kids to participate in interactive lectures, engaging experiments,

By Gail Hairston

UK geology senior Adam Nolte explains his research on sinkholes in Woodford County to President Capilouto.

The University of Kentucky was represented by 16 undergraduate students and their 14 research projects at the 17th annual Posters-at-the-Capitol event last week at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

Posters-at-the-Capitol is an annual event that showcases undergraduate researchers representing colleges and universities throughout Kentucky. The annual collaborative event was created to educate Kentucky state legislators of the importance of undergraduate research and scholarly work.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, members of the General Assembly, representatives from students' hometowns and other guests toured the exhibitions and engaged directly with some of the state’s best young scholars.



For the past year, Caitlin has been conducting conditioned place aversion (CPA) assays that looks at the affective, or emotionally/motivationally influencing, component of neuropathic pain. This work has focused on showing that one of the lab’s models of diabetic neuropathy embodies similar affective components found in diabetic humans, as well as helping determine the signaling pathway in the central nervous system that produces the affective component of chronic neuropathy.

This fall, Caitlin will be studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark participating in DIS’s Psychopharmacology program. She will
be taking neuroscience classes at the University of Coppenhagen, and as part of the program will be traveling to Munich for a week to visit hospitals and labs in that area.



Thank you to visiting students, Noah Duff and Ruth Ward , who came  to talk about our Neuroscience B.S. program on Friday, February 16th.


Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected