Alumni News

Dr. Barbara Nikolajczyk (B.S. Animal Sciences with distinction, '85) has been named Associate Director of Translational Research in the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at the University of Kentucky (UK) School of Medicine, and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at UK. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Boston University School of Medicine for 19 years. Dr. Nikolajczyk’s current research focuses on the role the immune system plays in obesity and the related co-morbidities of type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease. Her work further queries how changes in fuel sources in these diseases impact immune cell function. She published the first functional analyses of B cells and T cells in type 2 diabetes patients, and her work includes a molecular understanding of mechanisms responsible for pro-inflammatory lymphocyte functions in these patients. Complementary mouse work in Dr. Nikolajczk’s lab rigorously tests concepts identified for humans in a whole animal model. Her work in both human subjects’ material and mouse models demonstrates facility in multiple major experimental approaches and is a strong example of success from concurrent bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench work with cross-disciplinary impact.