Markey Researchers Present Latest Studies at Annual Research Day

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center held its sixth annual Markey Cancer Center Research Day, highlighting the work of UK students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from the past year.

Research Day provides an opportunity for investigators to showcase their work and also view the work of their colleagues across the campus. Markey researchers are housed all across the University, spanning seven colleges and 26 departments.

“We’ve investigators interested in cancer research from all across the campus coming together to talk about their latest findings and sharing those findings,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “We’re seeing new collaborations being formed through this day, and overall it’s just a wonderful event that brings researchers together.”

UK College of Pharmacy graduate student Sherif El-Refai, who presented a poster for the first time at Research Day this year, echoed Evers’ sentiment.

“This is the best way to get a feel for the research being done all across campus, and to find collaborators interested in the same subjects that you are,” El-Refai said, noting that he’d already met several professors and statisticians to collaborate with in the future.

This year’s event featured 122 posters; oral presentations from a current medical student, two graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow; and faculty oral presentations from Ellen Hahn, the Marcia A. Dake Endowed Professor in the UK College of Nursing, and Dr. John D’Orazio, Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair in the UK Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Edward Romond, breast oncologist at Markey, was honored for his years of breakthrough research and stellar patient care with a lifetime achievement award from the Markey Cancer Foundation.

Additionally, Evers presented his annual State of the Cancer Center Address, highlighting major accomplishments from Markey over the past year. Evers’ annual address is a highlight for many attendees.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to hear Dr. Evers talk about the Cancer Center – especially everything we’ve done well over the past year, and also what we need to do in the future,” said Jamie Studts, associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky and director of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative.

To finish the afternoon’s presentations, Kentucky native Phil Sharp, Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor for the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture.

The event concluded with an award ceremony. Awards were presented in two different categories - basic science and clinical/translational science - for both graduate and postdoctoral fellows. An Overall Winner was honored, as well as a Researcher's Choice Award, based on a popular vote by people who attended Research Day.

The winners are:

Basic Sciences - Graduate
SECOND: Payton Stevens

Basic Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Yekaterina Zaytseva
SECOND: Jie Chan

Clinical and Translational Sciences - Graduate
FIRST: Meghana Kudrimoti
SECOND: Kristine Song

Clinical and Translational Sciences - Postdoc
FIRST: Rachel Stewart
SECOND: Swati Yalamanchi

Researcher's Choice Award
Fengmei Pi

Overall Winner
Stuart Jarrett

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or