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Kentucky College of Optometry announces new faculty

September 08, 2016 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Gergana Deevska, Ph.D., joins the faculty at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) as an assistant professor of biochemistry with dual appointments at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and KYCO.

Deevska received her doctoral degree in biochemistry from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria, after completing four years of graduate research focused on lipid metabolism and signaling in collaboration with faculty members from the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Prior to earning her Ph.D., she earned a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in molecular biology with a major in virology from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Following her passion for lipid research and eager to investigate the role of bioactive lipids in human health, Deevska continued her work on lipid metabolism during her postdoctoral training in the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine from 2009 to 2015. Her studies were focused on investigating novel mechanisms for hepatic fat accumulation and were supported by a two-year American Heart Association Postdoctoral fellowship award. Deevska received several awards at national and international scientific meetings for her research. During her graduate and postdoctoral training she had the opportunity to be involved in training more than 15 undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral students and staff members.

In 2015, Deevska was appointed as an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Fellow in recognition of her voluntary contributions to the society’s initiatives in the areas of instruction and assessment. Prior to joining the University of Pikeville faculty, she was an adjunct faculty instructor at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College from 2013 to 2016, where she was involved in course development and teaching students with interests in health care professions.

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. Construction is under way on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country.

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