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UK College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) graduate student Kaitlind Howard received a competitive grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a project that previously received pilot funding from the UK Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC) program. Howard is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate from the pharmaceutical sciences program working in Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova’s laboratory. She works as a chemist in the lab where her primary focus is antibacterial agents through multidisciplinary research. Howard’s work has earned her the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) for her dissertation project titled “Development of zafirlukast derivatives against Porphyromonas gingivalis.”

The NIH F31 fellowship is awarded to predoctoral students who display excellent productivity, strong academic record, the ability to develop into an independent researcher, and those that have a supportive sponsor and strong mentoring team. The project focuses on developing new antibacterial agents that specifically target P. gingivalis to treat periodontal diseases, such as periodontitis.

This project was made possible by Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC), a program designed to increase cross-college collaborations at UK. IRC facilitated the collaboration of Prof. Garneau-Tsodikova’s laboratory (UKCOP) and Dr. Octavio Gonzalez (College of Dentistry), allowing two professors that have very diverse expertise and research backgrounds to work together for the good of the Commonwealth.

Photo of Kaitlind Howard smiling and wearing a grey sweater that says Wildcat in blue lettering

Fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate Kaitlind Howard

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.