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8 > Image 8 of Kentucky Alumni, vol. 74, no. 4, Winter 2003

Part of Kentucky alumnus

, , I vi. r ; r i -tt - I , . . - - g; yi- I t i `I V ~l i A -ii j i ; i . ~, V , .< . ( p lt i UK Gene Research l Mlg GIVE clues analysis, a high-tech method that can examine the be- q to Organ REgEnBIatin havior of thousands of genes at the same time. In B RBI h Dmcksgn preparation for the study, some 45,000 salamander I V li gene fragments have been sequenced, with most of j the work performed at a robotic workstation in Voss P Collaborative research at the University of Kentucky laboratory. r and the University of California, Irvine, involving the ge- "Once the key genes involved in regeneration ` netic structure of salamanders might offer clues about have been identified, they can be sequenced in full regeneration of living tissue. and compared with those in other animals, including E "Clearly, there is a lot of interest in the regeneration humausf ggjd VcSS_ Wc atc vcyy excited about thc , ol` tissues, and tissue repair in Org21DiSmS is within f3Ch,ii next few years, I have a great group of people in my said Stephen Randal Voss, an assistant professor in the lab and our department has some of the finest equip- * Department of Biology in the UK College of Arts and ment in the country for pursuing questions of this na- i Sciences. l~Iowever, we are a long way from understand- tuyc_" ing how to coax the human body into regenerating com- Voss research is funded by three different sources. plex body parts after injury or disease," he said. Voss is In 2001, he was awarded a $500,000, five-year Na- hoping that powerful genetic approaches and an atypical tional Science Foundation CAREER Research grant research organism will reveal clues about regeneration and a fiveyear, $1.4 million grant from the National p in humans Institutes of IIealth.This past December, he was Voss and David Gardiner, a research professor of bi- awarded a $300,000, threeyear grant from the Ken- ology at UClrvine, are engaged in an extensive research tucky Spina] Coyci Hcud Injury Rcgcurch Trust to t project l`undcd by the National Science Foundation to look at spinal cord regeneration. ` characterize genes that are expressed during limb regen- t eration in a Mexican salamander called the Axolotl _ (named for an Aztec god).Salamanders can regenerate SQc|a| WQrk t complex body parts like a tail or a leg, but a couple hun- * dred years of study has revealed relatively little about Program iiiiiiiiiiiiziiig piiiccsi . Thanks to a three-year, $600,000 grant from the U.S. ln some ways, we know more about their early de- Department Of Health and Human Services, the UK """" , , Vciiifiifiiiiii iiiiiii we do iiiioiii Oui College of Social Work will participate in a program i ' iiWii Siiid VOSS Tiiiiy make huge to help incarcerated fathers bond with their children. I W iiiiiisiiiciiiii eggs and you can Wiiicii The Fathers and Children Together (FACT) , i iiiciii m*r<= iiiiiiii Q miigiiiiyiiig giiissii programs philosophy is to reduce the potential for (/ , Biii iikc ii iiii iii iiaiiy ifiiifiicii Oigaii child abuse and neglect by promoting fathers in- I ~ mA><***S tell OM *V<>tWhS<=l volvement in the isa of their carats. by msg li iiiicii iiiiiicii iii Oiigiiiiisms Wiiii iiisi positive father/child experiences and opportunities W generation times that could be easily for lcamm inside Yiwu FACT - - tl d . z z d in the laborator g ii ' is iom y Spcmsorc I l fb limp ig iii _ . y' by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK) and ` id iiiiwiii/Ci` Wiiii iiiii iccciii iidviiiii Oi Blackburn Correctional Complex (BCC) Mary Se- ~ tools that can be used to rapidly character- Crm, associate professor in the College Ofsocial ' M9 iiii iii iii? gciics iii fiiiy_iiigiiiiiSm miiiiy mi` Work, will serve as principal investigator examining ditional research models like the Axolotl are the Costs and the benefits Of the Lcxmgmmbascd being re-examined, with the hope that novel YO mm I insights will be gained about human health ii g ` y and disease. "When salamander regenera- \ I tion occurs," Voss said. `certain genes within the salamander are turned on and others are i turned oI`l`." ._ As has been discovered recently for other vertebrates like fish, chicken, mice and humans, there are probably ' around 35.000 genes in a salamander. From this pool, F0,. more mformmion about Voss and ( iardncr plan to identify important regenera- i ,} research taking place at UK, tion genes from the Axolotl using DNA microchip visit WWW*8SkYd and .?:%1Z*?:Z?`;?-t Compiled from news reports about research at UK. 6 KliNTl(`KY/\l.llMNl