Markey, LLS Host Third Annual 'Meet the Researchers Day'

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted their third annual "Meet the Researchers Day" on Tuesday. Meet the Researchers Day is a field trip given as a prize to two schools in the region who successfully raise more than $1,000 for the LLS's Pennies for Patients campaign.

This year, students from Meece Middle School (MMS) in Somerset, Ky., and Lexington Traditional Magnet School (LTMS) won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research.

After a formal introduction by Kathleen O'Connor, researcher and associate director of cancer education for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the students had the opportunity to rotate between presentations by pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio and biochemist Craig Vander Kooi. Additionally, researchers Tianyan Gao and Garretson Epperly assisted O'Connor in giving the students a tour of O'Connor's research lab space in the BBSRB.

Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the School & Youth division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It encourages students to collect spare change during a set three-week time frame early in the year. Funds raised support leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research; patient and community service; public health education; and professional education.

For this year's campaign, 233 schools across the region raised a total of $264,062.03. Kentucky schools participating in Pennies for Patients had to raise a minimum of $1,000 to win the chance to attend Meet the Researchers Day. MMS and LTMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising $1,216.55 and $2,505.21, respectively.

To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit www.schoolandyouth.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu