Student Experiences and Photo Galleries
Research can be fun - it fuels student creativity and curiosity and allows you to follow your passion.
You don’t have to wait to graduate to make an impact. Discover what's wildly possible with undergraduate research!
Student Photo Galleries
Bowers, Lucy - listed as First Author in publication
Lucy Bowers, Human Health Sciences, May 2020 graduate and current UK Orthopedic Trauma Research Fellow - listed as First Author in publication
Bowers LC, Gribble PA, Hoch MC, Villasante Tezanos AG, Kosik KB. Physical therapy referral and medication for ankle sprain visits to physician offices: an analysis of the national ambulatory medical care survey. Phys Sportsmed. 2020;1-6. doi:10.1080/00913847.2020.1800369
Objectives: Supervised physical therapy is the recommended care for an ankle sprain. Yet, recent evidence indicates some ankle sprain patients may not receive the recommended care, and instead, prescribed medication to alleviate symptoms. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe the percentage of patients reporting to an office-based physician in the U.S. that were or were not referred to physical therapy. Secondly, to describe the percentage of ankle sprain patients with or without medication administered, supplied or ordered.
Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the cross-sectional National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) from 2007 to 2016. The NAMCS is a multi-stage probability sample survey of visits to office-based physicians. The percentage and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for visits that had a physical therapy referral or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), opioid and non-opioid analgesics administered, supplied or ordered. Sampled data were weighted to produce national-level estimates.
Results: A physical therapy referral was given for 16.8% (95% CI: 13.2, 21.2) of ankle sprain visits. Approximately 34.5% (95%CI: 30.5, 38.7) of all ankle sprain visits had a medication administered, supplied or ordered. NSAIDs (72.1%; 95% CI: 66.9,76.8) and opioids (21.0%; 95% CI: 16.3, 26.5) were the two most common types of medication.
Conclusions: NSAIDs and opioid medication combined were administered, supplied or ordered more frequently than a referral to physical therapy. These findings provide evidence that suggests many ankle sprain patients reporting to an office-based physician are not receiving the recommended care; physical therapy. Rather, medication appears to be the primary type of care provided to patients. These data are important because it gives a focused area to improve the treatment of an ankle sprain by developing strategies that ensure all patients are provided the recommended care from the onset of entering the healthcare system.
Hudson, Lauren - listed as First Author in publication
Lauren Hudson, Neuroscience and Biology, Sophomore - listed as First Author in publication.
Hudson, L., Samons, K. M., Dicken, H. E., Prichard, C., Weiss, L. T., Edward, J., Vanderpool, R. C., & Vanderford, N. L. (2020). A Brief Educational Intervention Enhances Basic Cancer Literacy Among Kentucky Middle and High School Students. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education, 10.1007/s13187-020-01696-3. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-020-01696-3
Kentucky experiences the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality rates in the USA with the greatest burden in the eastern, Appalachian region of the state. Cancer disparities in Kentucky are driven in part by poor health behaviors, poverty, lack of health care access, low education levels, and low health literacy. Individuals with inadequate health literacy are less likely to participate in preventive measures such as obtaining screenings and making healthy lifestyle choices, thus increasing their chances of developing and dying from cancer. By increasing cancer literacy among youth and adults, it may be possible to decrease cancer disparities across Kentucky. This study aimed to establish connections with middle and high schools in Kentucky that would facilitate pilot implementation of a brief cancer education intervention and assessment of cancer health literacy among these student populations. A baseline pretest cancer literacy survey consisting of 10 items was given to 349 participants, followed by the delivery of a cancer education presentation. Immediately following the presentation, participants were given a posttest with identical items to the pretest. Participants were primarily Caucasian (89.4%), female (68.7%), and in 10th through 12th grade (80.5%). Significant (p < 0.0001) increases in both average and median percent of correctly marked items were observed between the pretest and posttest (average, pretest = 56% versus posttest = 85%; median, pretest = 60% versus posttest = 90%). The scores for all individual items increased after the brief intervention. The results demonstrated a significant increase in cancer literacy levels immediately after the pilot educational intervention. We suggest that it may be possible to improve cancer literacy rates in Kentucky by integrating cancer education into middle and high school science and/or health education curricula. This could ultimately drive changes in behaviors that may help lower cancer incidence and mortality rates. Plans for future interventional studies measuring long-term cancer knowledge retention and resultant behavioral changes among middle and high school students as well as the feasibility of integrating cancer education into middle and high school curricula are also discussed.
Potter, Samuel – listed as First Author in publication
Samuel Potter, Biology, Junior – listed as First Author in publication.
Potter, S., Krall, R.M., Mayo, S. Johnson, D., Zeidler-Watters, K., and Cooper, R.L. (2015). Population dynamics based on resource availability and founding effects: live and computational models. (In Press, The American Biology Teacher).
Tillson, Martha - listed as First Author in publication
Martha Tillson, Justin C. Strickland & Michele Staton (2017) Age of First Arrest, Sex, and Drug Use as Correlates of Adult Risk Behaviors Among Rural Women in Jails, Women & Criminal Justice, 27:5, 287-301, DOI: 10.1080/08974454.2017.1291392
Incarcerated women frequently report initiation of substance use and sexual encounters at an early age, and often engage in high-risk drug use and sexual behaviors as adults. This study examined the timing of first sex, drug use, and arrest, as well as their unique influences on specific risky behaviors in adulthood, among a high-risk population of rural women recruited from jails. Ages of initiation were all positively and significantly correlated, and each independently increased the likelihood of several risky behaviors in adulthood. Implications are discussed for screening, intervention, and treatment targeting high-risk women and girls in rural areas, particularly within criminal justice settings.
Presented research at the 2020 Posters-at-the-Capitol in Frankfort, KY.
An ankle fracture is a common injury observed in the Emergency Department (ED) and is often treated conservatively or surgically, depending on whether the fracture is stable. Opioids provide value for the management of acute musculoskeletal pain. However, prolong opioid use is associated with well-known consequences in the United States such as dependence, abuse and/or misuse. Considering these concerns and the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of acute pain, it is critical to identify the prescribing patterns for patients diagnosed with an ankle fracture in the ED. Objective: Describe the percentage of patients prescribed a scheduled and non-controlled medication in the ED. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the publicly available data collected through the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006-2015. Data analyzed using the sampled visit weight, yielding an unbiased national estimate of ED percentages. Due to the complex sample design, sampling errors were determined using SAS software. Results: From 2006-2015, 86.9% of patients presenting with an ankle fracture received medication during their ED visit. Among those prescribed a medication, 63.02% were prescribed a controlled substance and 34.29% were prescribed a non-controlled substance. The majority of the controlled substances were given to patients between the ages of 25-64. Conclusion: Approximately 2 out of 3 patients diagnosed with an ankle fracture in the ED received a controlled substance. The majority of these given to young-adults. Other effective non-pharmacological interventions should be explored to prevent the risk of the well-known consequences associated with opioid use.
Presented research at The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 2019 Conference in Anaheim, CA.
"I had a great time presenting my research at the ABRCMS 2019 Conference in Anaheim, CA. This opportunity granted me the chance to travel to another part of the country and learn about new research students are working on. This was also a chance for me, an introvert at heart, to step out of my comfort zone and learn in a new environment." - Nicholas Graves
Presented research at The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 2019 Conference in Anaheim, CA.
"This opportunity was beneficial to me because I was able to gain experience presenting my research in a setting with experts from my discipline. I was also able to network with potential graduate programs and attend exciting research seminars. Research has contributed to my undergraduate experience by allowing me to think critically and ask questions in an environment outside of the classroom. Learning research skills has given me a more well-rounded education." - Maya Woolfolk, Biology major, UK Class of 2020
Presented research at the 2019 Southeastern Regional IDeA Conference.
"While attending the 2019 Southeastern Regional IDeA Conference, I was able to listen to great presentations about current research in a variety of different fields including biotechnology, cancer research, and clinical and translational science. Also, the conference allowed me to attend workshops to better develop my professional skills including a grant writing workshop. At the end of the conference, I presented my undergraduate research in a poster session. While presenting my poster, I received valuable feedback and insight on my project and also networked with other professionals in the scientific community." - Claire Crosby
SUMMER RESEARCH FELLOWS.
Lucas Barrett - 2019 Summer Research Fellow
"My summer experience was phenomenal. Dr. Osborn was and continues to be everything I look for in a research mentor and provides advice, guidance, and knowledge at every opportunity. The skills and experience I gained this summer will be essential in helping me to matriculate to a fully-funded MD/PhD program after finishing my undergraduate degree and will allow me to fulfill my goal of becoming a leading physician-scientist who studies disease to improve patient outcomes and health."
Emily Andreasson - 2019 Summer Research Fellow
"The experience of doing independent research with a faculty mentor has greatly enriched my undergraduate experience. It has given me the confidence to pursue greater knowledge in areas of personal interest even if there is not a class that can help me to explore those ideas. Furthermore, researching various forms of play, particularly nature play and contemplative play have allowed me to learn a lot about the value of things that I am passionate about –namely the environment and the importance of reflection." - Emily Andreasson, Interior Design major, 2019 Summer Research Fellow
Bernardo Aguzzoli Heberle - 2018 Summer Research Fellow
"This summer research experience has contributed greatly to my undergraduate education and life goals. My career goal is to become a professor/PI and do research to help improve the lives of people who suffer from mental health and/or neurological diseases. Learning about epigenetic mechanisms in drug dependency opened my eyes to a whole new field of knowledge with many practical applications. In addition, working at PUCRS has also taught me to navigate the dynamics of lab team and how important it is for all the members to maintain clear lines of communication. While at PUCRS I also learned protocols for important biochemical assays such as RNA extraction, cDNA conversion, and PCR. Lastly, the main thing that I have taken from working at this summer project is that scientific research is the field of work I want to pursue; this summer project has motivated me even more to pursue my aspirations." - Bernardo Aguzzoli Heberle - 2018 Summer Research Fellow