University of Louisville Magazine

FAL 2016

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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F A L L 2 0 1 6 U O F L M A G A Z I N E | 11 H A P P E N I N G H E R E UofL researcher brings in $18.9 million to study liver disease, alcohol UofL researchers have been recognized over the past the few months for their expertise in liver diseases and alcohol via two highly competitive grants totaling nearly $19 million. Craig McClain, MD, associate vice president for health affairs/ research, is the principal investigator of one team that in September received an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health as a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) to explore liver disease focusing on hepatobiology and toxicology. "Dr. McClain and his team are among not only the nation's leaders, but the world's leaders when it comes to researching liver diseases," said Gregory C. Postel, MD, UofL interim executive vice president for health affairs. "Receipt of this grant demonstrates the breadth of the program Dr. McClain has developed through the years and the importance of that work in our understanding liver function, liver disease and how to combat it." The UofL team has several areas of interest including liver cancer and alcoholic liver disease. McClain and UofL also received a nearly $8 million grant from the NIH in June to designate UofL as one of only 20 NIAAA Alcohol Research Centers in the nation. The UofL center is the only one in the country with a focus on nutrition. "This funding will allow us to look at the problems that alcohol abuse causes, as well as the potential benefi ts of alcohol," McClain said. "Our focus on dietary nutrition and abuse is unique. For example, only a small proportion of people who abuse alcohol will develop liver disease. We believe the type of dietary fat intake is critical in the development of alcohol-induced organ injury." Craig McClain, MD, speaks at the press conference announcing an $11 million COBRE grant to study liver disease. Impressive class of 2020 arrives on campus At nearly 2,800 strong, the UofL Class of 2020 joined the Cardinal community as one of the largest, most diverse and best-prepared the university has ever seen. This year's crop of freshmen exceeded last year's historic count by 100 students. Not only are there more of them, but also they represent a wider range of backgrounds than previous classes: 13.5 percent of its members are African- American and 4.1 percent are Latino. Executive Director of Admissions Jenny Sawyer believes this is a new record for racial diversity. "I checked our numbers going back to 1988 and I feel pretty confi dent that this year represents our highest numbers for African- American and Hispanic/ Latino students," she said. In addition, this year's freshman class is the most well-prepared academically in the institution's history. Nearly half of its students arrived having already earned some level of college credit, and its average ACT score of 25.5 surpasses both the 2015 national average of 21 and the state average of 20. Of the freshman class, 465 students are part of the university's honors program, while 236 are Kentucky Governor's Scholars. "It's a good feeling to know that we are attracting top-notch students from across the U.S. who are well equipped to begin college," said Acting President Neville Pinto. "Our incoming students are extraordinary in many ways — nearly half already have some college credits; the class is highly diverse and their ACT scores are impressive." Students cross campus during Welcome Week 2016. *Numbers are preliminary from the Offi ce of Institutional Research.

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