Education

UK gets $19.8 million grant to turn medical research into treatment

The University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital has received the state’s top ranking from U.S. News and World Report.
The University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital has received the state’s top ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

A University of Kentucky health care center that turns research into treatments for patients has received a $19.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science received the four-year grant. In 2011, the center received a five-year, $20 million award. UK is one of 21 institutions with federally designated research centers in translational science, aging and cancer.

“Our capacity to engage at the intersection of research disciplines — which we translate from the cellular level to the community and to the commonwealth — will be emboldened by this highly competitive award,” UK President Eli Capilouto said Wednesday at a news conference, which was attended by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr. They supported UK’s grant application.

The UK center focuses on health disparities in Kentucky and Appalachia. So far, the center has financed 100 science and research projects.

The so-called “bench to bedside” research and treatment has led to a variety of innovations for patients, UK officials said. For example, researchers from the colleges of medicine and public health studied behavioral problems in children with hearing loss. That research led to a new screening process for those children. The researchers also are applying for a grant to help implement family-based interventions to address behavioral problems in those children through clinics in Appalachia.

UK also has pioneered treatment of Parkinson’s disease with deep-brain stimulation, research that was partly financed through the center.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford

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