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College of Education Health and Human Sciences


UT Professor Awarded NIH MIRA Grant for 3D Genome Structure Research

Skin cancer cell nuclei buckle, bend, and deform as the cells squeeze through narrow constrictions in a dense collagen gel. The more these nuclei can change their shape, the more likely the skin cancer is to become metastatic, crawling through the body to spread to distant sites. Figuring out how these shape changes happen will be a step toward improving diagnosis and treatment of metastatic cancer.

A UT biophysicist has been awarded a $1.84 million Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute for General Medical Science (NIGMS) to investigate how the 3D folded structure of the human genome reacts to physical stress in health and disease.

The award provides funding to operate Rachel Patton McCord’s lab and research program. McCord is an assistant professor in UT’s Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology.

NIGMS is among the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The MIRA program provides long-term stability—the funding is granted over five years—and allows for flexibility if the direction of a project shifts.

McCord’s project seeks to clarify the role of a chromosome’s structure in its biological response to physical stress, which can inform future disease diagnosis and treatment.

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Maddie’s Fund to support research and development of AlignCare, a health care system designed to improve access to veterinary care for underserved families.

AlignCare grew out of concern for the millions of pets in the United States that lack access to veterinary care, primarily because of their family’s limited financial resources. When these pets experience an illness or injury, they may face prolonged pain or premature death. Some are relinquished to overburdened animal shelters. Having millions of pets with inadequate health care also presents risks to public healtMi

The three-year AlignCare study involves researchers from UT’s College of Social Work, the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in the Haslam College of Business, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Department of Public Health in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. It is an extension of work done by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition, which commissioned a national study of barriers to veterinary care, performed by the College of Social Work’s Center for Applied Research and Evaluation and also funded by Maddie’s Fund. The results of that study will be available by the end of the year

Read more about the grant at news.utk.edu.


his daughter Ann Skadberg and her husband Dean, have established the Andrew D. Holt Endowed Professorship in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Julia Jaekel, associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies, has been named the first recipient of this honor.

“I am deeply grateful for having been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Andrew D. Holt Professorship,” said Jaekel. “Since my arrival at UT in 2015, I have heard many wonderful testimonies of the outstanding achievements and treasured memories of Dr. Holt, and I will strive to carry on his mission of academic excellence and dedication to teaching, service, and research.”

2018-19 Community Engagement Incentive Grant Winners

As part of UT’s commitment to community engagement and the scholarship of academic outreach, five faculty and staff members have been selected to receive Community Engagement Incentive Grants through the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach.

These grants provide funding for proposals that enhance the public engagement mission of the university. They are allocated through a competitive annual process, subject to both academic and community peer review. Panelists’ decisions were based on the proposal’s benefit and impact on the university, community, academic scholarship, and sustainability.

Click here to see the projects that will begin July 1, 2018 and run through June 30, 2019.

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Corker and Hillyer spoke alongside Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce about the importance of American diplomacy in the world.

Financial Times Ranks Haslam Third Among Publics for Custom Executive Education

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business is the third most highly-ranked public business school in the country for custom executive education, according to the Financial Times.

The college has risen two spots since last year, and also has grown in stature among national and international schools overall. Haslam gained three spots in the Financial Times custom executive education list to become the No. 10 most highly-ranked business school nationwide, as well as eight spots to become the No. 28 college worldwide.

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