NSPS Association

Big Congratulations to our Students
for Fall 2016!
 

For successfully defending their Ph.D. thesis:

 Heather Norman, PhD in Nutritional Sciences Melanie Pleiss, PhD in Pharmacology
 Kendra Staggs, PhD in Pharmacology Maja Redzic, PhD in Nutritional Sciences

For successfully getting her Master’s Degree: 

 Yongshi Liu, MS in Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in Wellness and Sports Nutrition

For successfully passing their Qualifying Exams.

 James Wise   Jared Hoffman
 Han Gia (Ginny) Ly   Jessie Hoffman
 Hilaree Frazier Yongchao Wang
 Reem Basaqr

                                                                                                              


BETTER BITES PROGRAM

This past Sunday, December 4th, Kaia Hampton and Nika Larian volunteered at the PTA 5K with the Better Bites program to hand out healthy snacks and fruit-infused water to children. The Better Bites program is a part of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, which is a Lexington-based group dedicated to making healthy eating and physical activity popular and accessible to Lexington tweens and children in their homes, schools, and communities. The Better Bites program encourages kids to “snack strong” by providing examples of healthy snacks to children in their community, including at bus stops and recreational areas. NSPS has been in contact with the Better Bites group to plan more community nutrition service opportunities in the upcoming semester. 

Nika Larian (Left) and Kaia Hampton (Right)


CARDS FOR HOSPITALIZED KIDS 

Our Graduate Students recently participated in the "Cards for Hospitalized Kids"  drive. They channeled their artistic sides and hand-made close to 50 holiday cards for sick children spending the holidays in the hospital.

The department is proud of its students for their time and kind efforts!

  

From left to right top row: Heather Norman, Yasir Al-Siraj, Marion Coe, David Schnell, Jared Hoffman

From left to right bottom row: Kaia Hampton, Courtney Turpin, Kaiyuan Tan, Jessie Hoffman and Nika Larian


Merry Christmas Everybody!
















Happy Halloween!


Today some of the officers met to provide FREE, healthy snacks to our community. They  reserved the table through UK to promote health and wellness in between the Kentucky clinic deli and the Nursing building.


They  had a lot of people stop by and thank them for putting this healthy event on. :)

 


In an effort to serve the community, at least once a month our NSPS Students work with Volunteermatch. In September they worked on a  community garden (Get in a Garden- Whitney Ave Garden) in support of Seedleaf, an organization that emphasises:

Nourishing Communities by Growing + Sharing Food

Working to increase the amount, affordability, nutritional value, and sustainability of food available to people at risk of hunger in central Kentucky

Our students cleared weeds, planted over 5 different kinds of vegetables and helped pick veggies and... had a blast doing it!

From Left to right: Hilaree Frazier, Jared Hoffman, Nika Larian, Jessie Hoffman and Kaia Hampton


Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences Students Fall 2016Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences Students Fall 2016

 


2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Lexington, KY

The Walk to End Alzheimer's was a terric event! $175,922.90 was raised for the cause. More than 1,100 participants, 130 teams! One of them was the Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences' department. Organized by our NSPS Association that was able to raise $325 for the cause. Weather was top as was tha ambiance with all the participants. 


This is the 22nd year the Alzheimer’s Association has hosted the event. The walk’s success has supported research for a cure and helped over 100,000 families in the Chapter area living with Alzheimer’s.The Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, is the nation’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.


NSPS OFFICERS 2016-2017

Kaia Hampton, President

Research Interest:  Insulin Receptor signaling in the brain/adipocytes, S2R(PGRMC1) signaling in cancer.  Kaia comes from the sunshine state calling Tallahassee, FL home. She graduated from The University of Tampa with a Biochemistry degree where she was heavily involved in undergraduate research Cancer research and a scholarship student athlete. She entered through the IBS program and is in her third year in the lab of Dr. Rolf Craven. She recently has been awarded a T32 training grant.  Other interests: running (5ks to marathons), fitness, cooking healthy (meal prepping!) and animals.

Nika Larian, Vice President

Research Interests: Obesity, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), diabetes, adipocyte physiology, inflammasome, SAA. Nika graduated from Transylvania University with B.A.s in Biology and French Language and Literature. She began the Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. program in 2015 in Dr. Lisa Cassis’s lab as a recipient of an NIH T32 Training Grant and the Daniel Reedy Quality Achievement Award. As a Superfund trainee, Nika’s current work focuses on nutritionally-derived endogenous ligands of the AhR that regulate adipocyte differentiation and proliferation and may contribute to the development of obesity. She is also currently taking courses to receive her B.S. in Dietetics and Human Nutrition in order to become a Registered Dietitian. Nika’s other interests include cooking, fitness, playing tennis and flag football, fashion, and spending time with her friends, family, and puppy.

Dave Schnell, Secretary

SchnellResearch Interests: Cancer, cell metabolism, free radical/antioxidant biology A West Virginian transplant originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Dave earned his B.S. in exercise physiology from West Virginia University. He is currently in his fourth year as a PhD student in Nutritional Sciences working in the laboratory of Daret St. Clair examining the role of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD/SOD2) in regulating metabolic patterns in pre-tumor cancer development. When not doing science, Dave can generally be found cooking and eating delicious food,riding a bicycle unreasonable distances, or performing some sort of music.

Jessie Hoffman,  Treasurer

Research interests: Atherosclerosis, environmental pollutants, intestinal health, gut microbiome, dietary fiber.  Jessie graduated from Newberry College in Newberry,  South Carolina in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology.  She received her M.S. in Nutrition in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she conducted research regarding the benefits of consuming grapes on attenuating obesity and related health outcomes.  She began the Nutritional Sciences PhD program in 2015 in Dr. Bernhard Hennig’s lab as a trainee within the UK Superfund Research Center.  Her current research focuses on the way that nutrition can combat the negative health effects associated with exposure to environmental pollutants. She is also a recipient of the NIH T32 Training Grant.  Other interests: fitness, cooking, playing soccer, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. 


 AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION HEART WALK

Each year our department supports the American Heart Association Heart Walk by putting together a team. Through this, our team raises money and awareness about the critical issues regarding heart health here in the state of Kentucky. We would love to have faculty and staff involved and supporting our departmental team.

Remember, actual participation in the walk on May 14th 2016 at 9am at Keeneland is not necessary to join the team. All support, advocacy, and donations go much further. Please join today and share the link with anyone you think would be willing to help. The AHA has funded a lot of research here at UK so we should all make the effort to give back!

Click the link below to join and get involved!

Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences Page (Click here!) 

Once you click the link, look for the "Join Team" and "Donate Now" buttons in the right corner of the webpage. 


 

February 5th 2016 - Our students had a great turn out for their NSPS monthly meeting! They had a guest speaker from UK's Proposal Development Office discussing grant writing. They are currently working on creating a workshop to be held at the end of the semester that will cover the following topics in "Scientific Communication": (1) how to give scientific seminars (2) how to prepare and write a thesis (3) how to communicate science to a non-science background audience.

 

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology Students (NSPS) association is to promote social and academic camaraderie among graduate students in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences. Our primary aim is to encourage participation in group activities both inside and outside the walls of the University of Kentucky. NSPS facilitates regular student-led meetings, community service opportunities, social events, and peer support for graduate students. Our goal is to aid in personal and professional growth and support students along their path to academic success.

 Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences Students Fall 2015

 

NSPS OFFICERS 2015-2016

Dave Schnell, President

SchnellResearch Interests: Cancer, cell metabolism, free radical/antioxidant biology A West Virginian transplant originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Dave earned his B.S. in exercise physiology from West Virginia University. He is currently in his fourth year as a PhD student in Nutritional Sciences working in the laboratory of Daret St. Clair examining the role of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD/SOD2) in regulating metabolic patterns in pre-tumor cancer development. When not doing science, Dave can generally be found cooking and eating delicious food,riding a bicycle unreasonable distances, or performing some sort of music.

 

Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Vice President

Heather Norman-Burgdolf

Research Interests: Obesity, adipocyte physiology, brown adipose tissue, metabolic function. Heather graduated from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2011 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. Taught nutrition at the community level for one year, and then joined the doctoral program in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in 2012. Currently working in Dr. Shuxia Wang’s lab and funded with an NIH Training Grant. Current work is focusing on a specific cellular membrane receptor and its regulation in adipocyte function. Other Interests: food, playing recreational sports (kickball, soccer), reading, volunteering, spending time with friends and family.

 

Aida Javidan, Secretary

Aida JavadanResearch Interests: Obesity, probiotics and diabetes. Aida took her B.S. in Human Nutrition from Iran. As a second year international graduate student, she is currently enrolled in the Molecular and Biochemical Nutrition program. Out of the academic environment, Aida loves to cook, spend time in gym and have fun with friends

 

 

Kaia Hampton, Treasurer

Kaia HamptonResearch Interest:  Insulin Receptor signaling in the brain/adipocytes, S2R(PGRMC1) signaling in cancer.  Kaia comes from the sunshine state calling Tallahassee, FL home. She graduated from The University of Tampa with a Biochemistry degree where she was heavily involved in undergraduate research Cancer research and a scholarship student athlete. She entered through the IBS program and is in her third year in the lab of Dr. Rolf Craven. She recently has been awarded a T32 training grant.  Other interests: running (5ks to marathons), fitness, cooking healthy (meal prepping!) and animals.

 

Please direct all comments, suggestions, or concerns to nsps.group@gmail.com.

UP COMING EVENTS:

 Fall 2014 MS and PHD Students                                               Fall 2014 Master and PhD students in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences

 

RECENT EVENTS

Tuesday, August 18:  IBS Orientation in the Atrium of the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB)

Tuesday, August 25: Nutritional Sciences new student orientation in Charles T Wethington Building, room 411. 

Tuesday, August 25: NSPS sponsored departmental picnic to welcome new students, Shillito Park, Shelter 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 20, Barnstable Brown Obesity and Diabetes Research Day, awards for best posters went the Department of Pharmacology and Nutrtional Scienes in the following categories: Fellow; Yipeng Sui in Changcheng Zhou’s lab was awarded second prize. Nate Helsley, also in Zhou lab, was first place awardee in the Student  category. Yasir Al Siraj in Lisa Cassis lab took second; Heather Norman in Shuxia Wang’s lab was third; and Jianing Li in Greg Graf’s lab was fourth.  In the Staff category,  Nika Larian in Cassis lab was third place choice.

Friday, April 3rd, Noon in CTW 523 Student Luncheon: Students held a working lunch focused on updating LinkedIn profiles, starting your LinkedIn profile, cleaning up social media, and spending time professionalizing our online image. 

Friday, March 6th, Student Luncheon, Noon in CTW 523 : Guest speaker addressed transitioning from academia to a career in industry. 

Friday, Jan. 23: Nutritional Sciences students visited Maxwell Elementary to lead sessions focused on nutrition-based careers and the importance of a healthy body weight and nutritious diet for heart health. This event was a collaboration between the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences and Maxwell Elementary. 

Beginning second from the left and moving right: Lauren Mitchell, Millie Nowak, Alyssa Jarrell, Heather Norman, Aida Javidan, and Shayan M. Moradi

Students as Maxwell Elementary interact with NSPS representatives Heather Norman and Alyssa Jarrell

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 5-8 PM: NSPS volunteers prepared dinner for the families staying Ronald McDonald House.Maxwell Elementary.

Tuesday, December 16, 9 AM- 3PM:  "Grant Writing Strategies for Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Scholars." Presenter, Craig R. Rush, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research. Location: Hilary J Boone Center dining room  (510 Rose Street).

Heather Russell-Simmons

Friday, December 5: Monthly student meeting with guest speaker, Heather Russell-Simmons from the Research Communications Office in the Markey Cancer Center, who spoke to students about “Scientific Presentation Dos and Don'ts.”

Thursday, November 20:  Was the deadline NSPS students to drop off their donations for the Thanksgiving Basket food drive. Students participanted generously with both non-perishable goods and cash donations.

Tuesday, November 11:  Final 3MT Competition for PhD and Masters students  Jianing Li in Dr. Greg Graf's lab won 1st place in the 3MT Competition for PhD and Master students. She also received the People's Choice award. Jianing will be going to New Orleans next semester for the regional competition. In the Masters category, Shayan Mohammadmoradi won 1st place as well as the People's Choice award. Kendra Staggs in Dr. Eric Blalock's lab was a finalist in the PHD competition. Watch their presentation in this video:

http://www.research.uky.edu/gs/StudentDevelopment/3MT_Competition.html

Shayan Mohammadmoradi  and Jianing LiCongratulations Shayan Mohammadmoradi (left) and Jianing Li (right)!

Friday, November 7: Monthly student meeting with guest speaker Nicole Keenan, Director of Student Success and Career Development within the College of Pharmacy. Mrs. Keenan addressed the importance of good CVs and  resumes in finding job opportunities. Nicole Keenan, Director of Student Success and Career Development

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 11th: NSPS members volunteered their time and talents at the Color Me Rad 5K (http://www.colormerad.com/race/lexington-fall). Proceeds from the event benefited the Ronald McDonald House.


1st Photo, far left - NSPS group picture, left to right: Millie Nowak, Kristen Platt, Maja Redzic, Murong Ma, Melanie Pleiss, Yimeng Shen, Yangshuang Xu, and David Schnell. 2nd Photo: Millie Nowak on the keys; 3rd Photo: Yangshuang Xu gives thumbs up for the event; 4th Photo: Kristen Platt and Maja Redzic show-casing the merchandise, far right picture.

Friday, October 3: Monthly student meeting with special external speaker, Dr. Scott Diamond, who discussed his transition and experiences moving from academia into community education.

 

Saturday, September 27: NSPS members participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, 9AM: Downtown Lexington

Monday, September 8: NSPS helps prepare dinner at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass. The Lexington facility opened in December 1984 as a home for families of hospital patients to stay. Since that time, Ronald McDonald House has served over 25,000 families. Heather Norman, Melanie Pleiss, Shaniya MaimaitiMelanie Pleiss and Shaniya Maimaiti

Friday, August 15:  Twenty-five students, faculty and staff represented NSPS for a night out at the Lexington Legends.  The legends lost miserably, but NSPS had a great time together.


 

Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences students Fall 2013 

 

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