Dr. Kimberly Ward Anderson, Gill Eminent Professor of Chemical Engineering, received a University Research Professorship for 2010-2011 from the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. Anderson was among five University of Kentucky faculty members awarded a research professorship, which carries a $40,000 award to support research.
Anderson plans to use her award to expand her research on the interactions of cells and proteins with interfaces. Specifically, she will investigate the physical properties of cancer cells and the role of these properties in metastasis. The award will provide funding for Anderson to bring in a Ph.D. student to work in this area.
The award also provides funding to further catalyze recent initiatives to promote collaborations between faculty in the College of Engineering and researchers at UK’s Markey Cancer Center, something that Anderson considers important. “When I first came to the College of Engineering in 1987, multidisciplinary research was not very prevalent,” Anderson said. “In recent years that has changed. Research is much more exciting when you work with other investigators that have different perspectives. Especially for engineers working in areas such as cancer, it’s important to work with our colleagues who have a medical background and understand the clinical aspects of the problem. Dr. Mark Evers, director of the Markey Cancer Center, has done an excellent job at initiating these types of collaborations and I plan to use part of my award to support a workshop that will further promote these interactions.”
In addition to her research in the department of chemical and materials engineering, Anderson is director of an Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) that provides funding for Ph.D. students pursuing interdisciplinary research in Engineered Bioactive Interfaces and Devices. Anderson is also director of a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program. Both projects are funded through the National Science Foundation. She also serves as director of undergraduate studies for chemical engineering at the College of Engineering.
Anderson came to UK in 1987 and was the first female faculty member in the College of Engineering. She has served in a variety of administrative capacities in the college as well as being a major researcher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Youngstown State University in Ohio and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.