The overall goal of the UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES) Pilot Program is to enhance the interactions and expand the critical mass of investigators and citizen scientists with expertise and experience in transdisciplinary, translational environmental health research on the UK campus and in Appalachian communities. The purpose of pilot program is to provide a new opportunity and resources to support innovative, collaborative environmental research. To accomplish this, the program will:
Expand the research mission of UK-CARES by supporting new and novel areas of investigation in promising transdisciplinary and community-engaged areas of environmental health sciences and environmental medicine.
Provide research support, including financial, administrative, and mentoring, for early career faculty to establish competitive research programs in environmental health sciences and environmental medicine.
Provide support for faculty to explore new and innovative directions representing a significant departure from ongoing funded research into the environmental health sciences discipline.
Enhance the interactions with citizen scientists in Appalachian Kentucky and expand the critical mass of investigators with expertise and experience in transdisciplinary, translational environmental health and environmental medicine research on the UK campus and in the community.
Foster opportunities that meet the goals and research interest areas relevant to NIEHS and the Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers.
Early Career Investigator Grants
This award is intended to support pilot studies by early stage investigators to obtain preliminary data for an extramural grant submission. This award may provide the research funds required to apply for the UK-CARES Career Development program. The maximum award will be $25,000 in direct costs which must be spent over 10 months. This award is only open to investigators in the early stage of their career (NIH definition), or investigators who are transitioning into a new area. Applicants must identify a mentor to assist with the investigator’s training.
Innovation and High Impact Grants
This award is for investigators at all stages of career development; early career, midlevel, and senior investigators, and is intended to stimulate innovation and to support pilot studies that will lead to extramural funding. Pilot grants will support projects that catalyze new research opportunities, expand research interactions with citizen scientists, volunteer faculty, or bring new dimensions to the Center. The total award is limited to $50,000 in direct costs which must be spent over 10 months.
Small grants of up to $10,000 are available to strengthen applications for extramural research funding (for example, NIH R or K-awards or awards from private foundations) or address reviewer’s comments for a manuscript. For example, funds can be used for personnel support, analysis of existing biological samples or environmental sampling with existing populations. These grants are limited to seven (7) months in duration. Because of the short duration of these proposals, the required documentation such as IRB, IACUC, etc., needs to be in place at the time of submission. This mechanism will not fund clinical trials (NIH definition).
COHORT I –July 2017
Assessing Environmental Health Literacy among Appalachian Technical Stakeholders
Anna Hoover, PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, College of Public Health (Early Career Investigator)
Environmental Exposures and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Appalachian Kentucky
Debra Moser, PhD, Department of Nursing Practice, College of Nursing
Andrew Morris, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
The BREATH Study: Using Breath biomaRkers to understand Environmental contributions to Asthma in THe Appalachian region of Kentucky
Jamie Sturgill, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine (Early Career Investigator)
Community-Engaged Appalachian Drinking Water Health Effects Study
Jason Unrine, PhD, Department of Plant and Soil Science, College of Agriculture
Wayne Sanderson, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health
Click here to download the Preliminary Technical Report.
Click here to view the Community Report Back event led by Martin County Concerned Citizens.
COHORT II – April 2018
Epigenetic Rearrangement in Sperm Caused by Chronic Cadmium Exposure
Yyonne Fondufe-Mittendorf, PhD, Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine (High Impact)
Arsenic Exposure and Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Obese Children From Appalachian Kentucky
Margaret Murphy, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Early Career Investigator)
Transcriptional Effects of Per and Poly Fluorinated Alkyl Substances
Hollie Swanson, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, College of Medicine (High Impact)
COHORT III – January 2019
Exosomal Protein Biomarker Profiling of Extant Plasma Samples Acquired from a KLCRP Radon/Tobacco Smoke Exposure Project
Teresa Fan, PhD, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, College of Medicine (Rapid Response)
Bisphenol A: A Trigger of Neurovascular Dysfunction and Memory Decline in Alzheimer's Disease?
Anika Hartz, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, College of Medicine (High Impact)
Estimation of Watershed Glyphosate Exports in Karst Landscapes
Shakira Hobbs, PhD, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering (Rapid Response)
Communicating Risk Information through Community Participatory Processes: Appalachian Drinking Water Health Effects Study
Dan O’Hair, PhD, Department of Communications, College of Communication and Information (High Impact)
Interactions between epigenetics and exposure to environmental particulates in lung cancer in Appalachian Ky residents
Olga Tsyusko-Unrine, PhD, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (High Impact)
Linking Environmental Exposure and Health Outcomes: The Importance of Data Coordination
Amy Wolfe, PhD, Kentucky Geological Survey, Office of the Vice President of Research (Rapid Response)
COHORT IV - April 2020
Access to Personal Protective Equipment for a High Risk Appalachia Population using Aerial Drones and Community Health Workers
Fran Feltner, PhD, Center of Excellence in Rural Health, College of Medicine (Rapid Response)
Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality Related to Oil and Natural Gas in Rural Ohio
Erin Haynes, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology & Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, College of Public Health (Rapid Response)
Stimulatory Effect of Inhaled Sulfur Dioxide on Vagal Bronchopulmonary C-fibers and Its Impacts on Lung Health
Lu-Yuan Lee, PhD, Department of Physiology, College of Medicine (Rapid Response)
PFAS Incineration in East Liverpool, Ohio
Andrew Morris, PhD, Department of Cardiology, College of Medicine (Rapid Response)
Exposure to E-cigarette Vapor Alters Gene Expression and Induces Inflammatory Response
David Orren, PhD, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, College of Medicine (High Impact)
Effects of Dietary Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) Exposure on Body Burden and Diabetes Risk
Cetewayo Rashid, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, College of Medicine (Early Career Investigator)
WACKY: Wastewater Assessment for Coronavirus in Kentucky*
James Keck, MD, MPH, Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine (High Impact)
*Funding provided by UK-CARES through the UK CURE Alliance Pilot Program
COHORT V - April 2021
The Role of Oxidized Lipids and CD36 in PFOS-induced Immunotoxicity
Pan Deng, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy (Early Career Investigator)
UAV-based Aeroradiometric Mapping to Understand Geologic Controls on Intraformational Radon Variability: Towards an Improved Rational Basis for Indoor Radon Potential Microzonation
William Haneberg, PhD, Kentucky Geological Survey, Office of the Vice President of Research
Metabolism-linked Epigenetic Mechanism in Arsenic Carcinogenesis
Richard Higashi, PhD, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, College of Medicine (High Impact)
*Matching funds provided by the Markey Cancer Center
Evaluating the Risk of Complex Mixtures of Emerging Contaminants, Heavy Metals, and Nutrient Exposure: Identifying Hot Spots and Hot Times in Surface Water Across Kentucky
Tiffany Messer, PhD, Department of Biosystems Engineering, College of Engineering & College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (Early Career Investigator)
Nanoplastics in Human Aqueous Fluid
Daniel B. Moore, MD, Department of Opthalmology, College of Medicine (Rapid Response)
Examining the Contribution of Home Air Particulates to the Development of Lung Fibrosis Post COVID 19 ARDS
Peter Morris, MD, Department of Pulmonology, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, College of Medicine (High Impact)
Thomas Curry, PhD
College of Medicine &
Center for Clinical and
Teresa Fan, PhD
College of Medicine
|Research Development Director|
Joel Thompson, PhD
Center for Clinical and
Center for Clinical and