U of L will be part of the new hub for healthcare innovations in Kentucky Monday, Nov 4 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve healthcare technologies Oct. 31. This grant will be used to form a Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, which includes all eight of Kentucky’s public universities along with Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System.

“One of the things to keep in mind is that the health care sector here in Kentucky privately employs over 30,000 of our fellow citizens,” said interim secretary for the Cabinet for Economic Development Vivek Sarin. “It’s one of the top sectors driving our total economy.”

The hub will be called the “Kentucky Network for Innovation & Commercialization,” or KYNETIC, and is one of five hubs funded by the NIH. The hub is designed to speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and tools to improve patient care and enhance health, according to the NIH.

“This is not a trick but a great treat for every single person in the Commonwealth,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “This will provide innovation to improve the health of Kentuckians and people around the world.”

According to NIH, selected hubs are required to match the federal funding they receive and develop partnerships with life science and economic development organizations. The KYNETIC founding members will provide a $2.56 million direct-cost match to help with the funding.

Each university involved will also partner with the Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3), a science and technology nonprofit that supports invention and entrepreneurship across the state.

“Kentucky’s ability to win this grant — one of only a handful ever awarded nationwide — was made possible in large part because of the unprecedented collaboration between our economic development cabinet, public universities and technical colleges in creating our non-profit commercialization center, C3,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “This grant further validates the significance of C3’s public-private structure and our decision to revitalize Kentucky’s innovation and entrepreneurial support system. Together, we can have a truly positive impact on the health of Kentuckians and people around the world.”

KYNETIC aims to bring innovations such as new pharmaceuticals, therapies, devices and other healthcare technologies to the market. They also aim to address issues like lack of healthcare in rural areas.

This new hub will also be an asset in expanding U of L Health’s current research and medical developments.

“With the acquisition of Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health properties, researchers at U of L will have additional opportunities to recruit patients for clinical studies to advance research emerging from KYNETIC,” said Bendapudi. “Projects developed through KYNETIC will have the potential to further existing U of L research efforts in optimal aging, improve access to quality health care in underserved urban and rural regions, and bolster efforts to both attract and retain top faculty and students at U of L.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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The pay-to-play tipping point in Kentucky Monday, Oct 14 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

After California passed their collegiate Fair Pay to Play Act, Kentucky State Senator Morgan McGarvey is looking to follow in their footsteps.

If passed, the law would ensure that Kentucky’s collegiate athletics remain competitive against California. With California’s universities like UCLA being able to pay players starting in 2023, this could have a negative effect on Kentucky recruiting efforts.

Dozens of states are attempting to mimic California’s ground breaking act, including Illinois and Pennsylvania. On the federal level, the House of Representatives has also been toying with the idea of national pay-to-play legislation.

The NCAA commented in response to the California legislation stating that it is an existential threat to collegiate sports. However, public support for pay-for-play is at an all-time high.

McGarvey said, “When you see a place like California and all of it’s universities doing something like this we want to make sure that Kentucky is also positioned on the forefront of being fair to its college athletes.”

The California legislation includes prohibiting the NCAA from penalizing athletes for receiving compensation and prohibiting colleges from rebuking scholarships. These two key elements are at the foundation of McGarvey’s law.

Both the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky earn in the top 20 national revenue for the NCAA, amassing over $134 million each.

In context to basketball, U of L and UK both are the most profitable teams taking the one and two spot in accordance to NCAA revenue rankings. Louisville averaged $30.4 million and Kentucky at $22.9 million in the last three years.

With these massive revenues for in-state teams, if Kentucky colleges had the ability to compensate players, this could ensure collegiate recruiting dominance.

McGarvey also explained how the compensation of players is critical to the treatment of college athletes.

“We want to make sure that those athletes are getting treated fairly and that we continue that for years to come,” said McGarvey.

The bill will be introduced in the next session of the Kentucky General Assembly at the beginning of next year.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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