Markey, LLS Host Fifth Annual Meet the Researchers Day

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their fifth annual "Meet the Researchers Day" last week. Meet the Researchers Day is a field trip given as a prize to two schools in the region who successfully raise more than $1,000 for the LLS's Pennies for Patients campaign.

This year, students from Bluegrass Baptist School (BBS) in Lexington, Ky., and Kenneth King Middle School (KKMS) in Harrodsburg, Ky., won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/ Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research.

After a formal introduction by UK researchers Tianyan Gao and Craig Vander Kooi, the students received a tour of cancer research lab space in the BBRSB and learned how to use some basic lab equipment from Gao, Garretson Epperly, and Jianhang Jia. The event also featured short talks by Henry Clay student and cancer survivor Rod Jackson, the LLS Honored Hero, and UK pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio.

Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the Student Series of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It encourages students to collect spare change during a set three-week time frame early in the year. Funds raised support leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma research; patient and community service; public health education; and professional education.

For this year's campaign, 445 schools across the region participated. Kentucky schools participating in Pennies for Patients had to raise a minimum of $1,000 to win the chance to attend Meet the Researchers Day. BBS and KKMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising a combined $3,617.64 for LLS.

To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit

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