Parker Modglin, from Bourbonnais, Illinois,  is studying as a pre-medical neuroscience student at the University of Kentucky.  He is currently involved in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program for the United States Army and aspires to commission as a captain into the medical corps after medical school.  He is currently involved in Neurocats, and the Resident Hall association as an area senator. After receiving his undergraduate degree in neuroscience he will commission as a second lieutenant in the medical corps, going on an education delay before active duty to finish medical school.  Currently, he is researching the effects of neuroplasticity  in alcohol dependence with Dr. Mark Prendergast through the STEMcats living learning program and will present his research at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars in  April.




Impressive Undergraduate Researchers Take Work to State Capitol By Gail Hairston Monday 1 of 3       UK President Eli Capilouto congratulates Madelyn Miles.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2018) — 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.


By Tony Neely

Student-athletes at the University of Kentuckycombined to earn a total of 80 spots on the 2017 Southeastern Conference Fall Sports Academic Honor Roll, the league announced earlier this week. 

The 2017 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll includes the sports of cross country, football, soccer and volleyball. It is based on grades from the 2017 spring, summer and fall terms. Among other qualifications, student-athletes must have a 3.0 grade-point average to be on the honor roll.   

Fittingly, UK’s SEC co-champion volleyball team also tied for the most student-athletes on the SEC Honor Roll with 13. UK placed seven student-athletes in the sport of men’s cross country, six in women’s cross country, 27 in football, 13 in men’s soccer and 14 in women’s soccer. 


By Laura Wright

Wonder Women: Rachel Maggard, Daimen Stolz and Lydia Hager, with their mentor Warren Alilain, helped confirm the presence of a breathing "ghost network" that might help restore breathing function to paraplegics. Photo by Hilary Brown, UKPR

According to a paper recently published in Cell Reports, labs from Case Western Reserve and the University of Kentucky's Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) were able to demonstrate the existence of a parallel neural network that could potentially restore diaphragm function after spinal cord injury.

This ghost network operates entirely separate from the brain, which has long been considered the only organ capable of directing respiratory function, and appears able to instruct the diaphragm to contract when properly activated. 

While practical solutions


By Jenny Wells

For the second semester, University of Kentucky’s #IAmAWomanInSTEM project has awarded scholarships to 11 UK students for project proposals that promote STEM education and careers for women.

Females are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue an education in the STEM disciplines, which include science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative, which launched at UK in 2016, seeks to change that by recruiting hundreds of female student ambassadors who are encouraging the study of STEM and health care (STEM+H) among women at UK, and empowering them to persist in those fields.

"We are very grateful for the support from the UK Women & Philanthropy as our STEM+H students are growing in their creative roles and expanding their service

Congratulations to Neuroscience student Kelsey Campbell from Somerset, KY, who was awarded a $2,000 grant from #IAmAWomanInSTEM to complete a project entitled "Careers for STEM Women in Kentucky"

In the fall of 2015, UK faculty, staff and students created  a new movement called #IAmAWomanInSTEM to support undergraduate women in majors (or minors) that rely primarily on the sciences, technologies and mathematics – including engineering and health care professions (aka STEM+H)

Creating Constructive and Supportive Spaces for Women in STEM Are You an Undergraduate Student Majoring in a STEM Field? 
Volunteer as a STUDENT LEADER - someone who will serve as a student ambassador for the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative. We need students to take on their own individual projects, participate in group initiatives, or become STEM Group leaders to organize sessions for other #IAmAWomanInSTEM leaders to get together.


Are You a

Welcome back Neuroscience students ! 

We hope that you had a nice winter break and are ready to get back to Neuroscience !

Summer research opportunities are beginning to advertise and deadlines for applications are fast approaching.




1. University of Oregon Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) 

We are now accepting applications for University of Oregon's Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). The program supports 10-week mentored summer research experience that also includes travel, room and board, stipends, professional development workshops, and community-building social activities.  

We especially encourage students from underrepresented groups in life sciences to apply.  Participating faculty offer research opportunities in biochemistry & structural biology;


By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky recently announced the 16 undergraduate winners of the 53rd annual Oswald Research and Creativity Competition.

Established in 1964 by former UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students and to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement.

Categories include biological sciences; design, including architecture, landscape architecture and interior design; fine arts, including film, music, photography, painting and sculpture; humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; physical and engineering sciences; and social sciences. All submissions are sent anonymously to faculty reviewers in related


The College of Arts and Sciences is holding a ceremony and reception TODAY October 27th, 2017 to honor all students that made the Dean's List in Spring of 2017.



Jaysie Sexton Lucy Hart Habiba Ahmed Geoffrey Johnson Allison Spears Christopher Maynard Kendal Pryor Nicholas McVay Dylan Warmack Kaylee Hall Logan Hickey Kaitlyn Samuels Samuel Wycoff Rachel Brakeville Savannah Young Allison Lane Kate Davis Alexandra Stanback Carolyn Grachen Giamnys Valdes Lastre Ning Yeh Sajana


Dr. Santollo's research is focused on understanding how gonadal hormones, specifically estrogens, contribute to sex differences in fluid and energy homeostasis. Estrogens reduce water, salt, and food intakes and blood pressure in females but the exact mechanisms by which this occurs is unknown. Current research projects focus on (1) identifying the estrogen receptor subtypes and populations which underlie these behavioral changes, (2), investigating estrogen receptor specific effects on the cell signaling pathways downstream of the angiotensin type 1 receptor, (3) investigating the role of aging on fluid and energy homeostasis in females, and (3) identifying and exploring sex differences in the renin-angiotensin system.



Director of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Robin Cooper featured in the Sept. newsletter of FUN- the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (



I N C R E A S I N G   A C C E S S   TO  E D U C AT I O N A L   L A B O R AT O R Y   P R O T O C O L S  

F O R   E V E R Y O N E. 

R O B I N  L . C O O P E R , P H . D . D E P

By Gail Hairston Wednesday Confocal image of fluorescently labelled proteins Confocal image of fluorescently labelled proteins. LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2017) ― Two University of Kentucky professors have been awarded funding to help elucidate the mechanism of nicotine addiction and to identify targets for nicotine cessation therapeutics. The researchers — Assistant Professor Chris Richards in the Department of Chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences and Professor James Pauly in the UK College of Pharmacy — were awarded a $760,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to pursue their research, "Single Molecule Determination of nAChR Structural Assembly for Therapeutic Targeting.” The consumption of tobacco products is connected to several severe health risks. Smokers have a higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and several types of

Congratulations to both Tori and Viresh for publishing a scientifc paper with Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience Dr. Robin Cooper !


It is estimated that 1.7 million Americans will have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. 75% of those TBIs are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury: also known as a concussion. It is widely assumed that the effects of a concussion, such as dizziness and headaches, are temporary. Evidence suggests that this is not the case and even a concussion can result in progressive brain atrophy. All blows to the head do not lead to neurodegeneration; however, they do increase the likelihood that someone may develop dementia in their lifetime.

My research is focused on understanding neuron-glia interactions that underlie complex diseases of the brain. We are particularly interested in how neuron-glia interactions are altered after a concussion, and how those alterations could increase the chance that someone may develop dementia. Glia are exquisitely sensitive to


The Neuroscience Program will welcome Michael Sucharski to campus on August 24th , 2017. Michael is a senior-to-be at East Troy High School in East Troy, WI and will be touring campus to learn more about the Neuroscience Program.

Lexington Ranked As One Of The Most Educated American Cities Posted: Jul 25, 2017 1:29 PM ESTUpdated: Jul 25, 2017 1:31 PM EST      

(Wallet Hub) Wallet Hub's analysts compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas across nine key metrics to determine the most educated and least educated cities in America. 

They say that their data set ranges from share of adults aged 25 and older with

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome By Mallory Powell Tuesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 25, 2017) — People who have Down syndrome may develop Alzheimer’s disease at a younger age than people without Down syndrome. Recently, however, research showed that some people with Down syndrome might not develop dementia at all. Doctors and researchers are still trying to learn why some people with Down syndrome develop dementia, either earlier or later, while others don


During the summer months of each year, the Neuroscience B.S. program is host to many visits from families and individuals who are either entering UK in the Fall semester or who are considering UK as a place to continue their education

This month, we are thrilled to be hosting Ms. Meredith Noss, from Carmel, Indiana. Meredith is a  senior-to-be at Carmel High School and is interested in learning more about the Neuroscience B.S. program. The program Director, Dr. Mark Prendergast, will be providing a tour of UK and the Neuroscience labs to Meredith and her family later this month.


Welcome to UK, Meredith !



Hello from the UK Neuroscience B.S. Program,

A few brief notes from the program.

- we hope that you are enjoying your summer !  The Fall semester is approximately 5 weeks away and we will have our largest freshman class yet.

- The Neurocience B.S. program will now be guided by a single Director, Dr. Mark A. Prendergast, and an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is comprised of Dr. Luke Bradley (Dept. of Neuroscience); Dr. Julie Pendergast (Dept. of Biology); Dr. Melinda Wilson (Dept. Physiology) and our new  Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Robin Cooper (Dept. of Biology). Our Advisory Board of 10 individuals, including two Neuroscience students, will remain the same.

- We thank Drs. James Geddes and Elizabeth Debski for their tireless efforts during these past 3 years while they served as Co-Directors with Dr. Prendergast. Dr. Debski will


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