Scholars Program


The Physiology Scholars Program offers undergraduates a unique, immersive experience in biomedical research. The competitive program allows students to work in a research laboratory of the Department and discover what a career in the biomedical sciences involves.

Department Commitment

The Department of Physiology provides opportunities for undergraduate students considering a career in biomedical sciences to accumulate first-hand research experience while they are studying at UK. The Department will appoint up to 3 undergraduate students as Physiology Scholars in each of the spring and fall semesters. Once appointed, Scholars can maintain their status throughout their undergraduate studies provided adequate progress is being made.  The scholars will have monthly lunches with a member of the faculty, at which they can discuss their research and career goals. In addition, there will be an annual award to the Scholar of the Year, which will be given each Spring at the Scholar day; a physiology seminar slot dedicated to the Physiology Scholars. Finally, the Department of Physiology will provide travel funds, to a maximum of $1,000 to any Scholar who has their own abstract accepted for presentation at a major national or international scientific meeting (for example, Experimental BiologyNeuroscience, or AHA Scientific Sessions). The faculty members are extremely committed to providing a fulfilling research experience to the appointed Physiology Scholars.

Student Commitment

Upon appointment, Scholars are asked to identify a faculty member with whom they would like to do their research. Scholars can apply to work with any faculty member who has a primary appointment in the Department of Physiology. Once they have been accepted into the laboratory, they are expected to work in their chosen laboratory at least 6 hours per week during the academic year. Continuation as a Scholar will require the successful review of an annual one-page written report to the Physiology Scholars committee.

Scholars may, under some circumstances, be able to gain research credit for their efforts by enrolling in courses such as BIO395 (Independent work in biology) and BIO504 (Independent work in physiology). In addition, there are funds available through the undergraduate office and national organizations on a competitive basis for summer work. Such programs include the Bucks for Brains and the American Physiological Society Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship.

Application Process

Students who wish to become Physiology Scholars should send their CV, a transcript and a one-page statement describing why they are interested in the Scholars program to Dr. Donna M. Wilcock ( by 5 pm on Friday September 25th 2015.  Strong candidates will be invited to interview with the Physiology Scholars Committee in October and appointments will begin immediately.

Newly appointed Scholars will have two weeks to interview and identify a faculty member as their research mentor. Lunches will begin in February and dates will be determined based on the schedules of the individual Scholars.  The faculty member and the Scholar will be asked to both sign an agreement that identifies each individual’s responsibilities and expectations.


 Current Scholars

Kyeong Ran JangJohn GenselNovember, 2013
Jensen GohSasha RabchevskyNovember, 2013
Jessica MeuthJohn McCarthyApril, 2013
Kaitlyn BraunDonna WilcockJanuary, 2013
Alicia KasetaSasha RabchevskyJanuary, 2013



Adam DuffKaryn EsserMay, 2011
Hannah Minard-EsgaioKen CampbellApril, 2013
Laura NovikoffBret SmithMay, 2011
Priyanka PatelMike ReidNovember, 2010
Matthew WardPaco AndradeNovember, 2010
Erica Weekman November, 2011
Shaniya MaimaitiBret SmithMay, 2011
Manasi MalikSteve EstusNovember, 2011


Physiology Scholars Committee

  • Donna Wilcock (director)
  • Grenory Frolenkov
  • John Gensel
  • Bret Smith
  • Dexter Speck
  • Melinda Wilson