Campus Happenings

First FDA-approved treatment for polycystic kidney disease

ch-icon-pill.pngA drug with a decades-long history of research and testing at KU Medical Center was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as the first treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), the most common form of polycystic kidney disease. “This is the aspiration of all of us here to be able to do science that develops a completely new treatment that can then be translated to the bedside; tested in patients; and shown to be effective,” said Alan Yu, professor and director of the Jared Grantham Kidney Institute. The drug, Tolvaptan, has shown it can slow the progression of the disease and while not a cure, is a significant breakthrough in the treatment of ADPKD. The drug is marketed under the name Jynarque™.


New service award for students

ch-icon-people.pngThe Dole Institute of Politics recently announced the creation of a new annual award for KU students. The Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award is given to a member of the institute’s Student Advisory Board for their demonstrated leadership and commitment to public service. “Our Student Advisory Board offers unparalleled opportunities for students interested in political involvement and public service,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute. “We are pleased to have this avenue to honor their contributions and grateful to John Pinegar and Kathleen and Douglas Smith for their generosity in creating this award.” 


A first in education 

The University of Kansas has launched the nation’s first college-based center dedicated to the exploration of Montessori education. The KU Center for Montessori Research, founded this year, conducts joint research studies to examine the potential influence of Montessori principles on education and human development. The center’s mission is to build a robust body of knowledge so Montessori education and philosophy will benefit all children.


Celebrating campus diversity

This past April, members of the KU community gathered to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. The center was made by possible through the support of the Sabatini Family Foundation. Hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event marked the 2008 opening of the center, whose mission is to recognize and celebrate diversity at KU. 


The KU School of Pharmacy is No. 4 in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding. 




Thanking loyal Jayhawks

KU Endowment has unveiled a new recognition program to celebrate the university’s most dedicated donors. Jayhawk Faithful acknowledges supporters of KU who have given gifts of any size for two or more consecutive years. Members receive annual appreciation mailings and a Jayhawk Faithful window decal, as well as special items for milestone giving years.


ch-cofrin-logan.jpgHope for people struggling with addiction

As health practitioners, politicians and families grapple with solutions to the opiod crisis, KU is establishing a new resource to better understand and treat addiction. With a $2 million gift from KU alumnus Daniel Logan and his wife, Gladys Cofrin, KU has launched the Cofrin-Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment. The center will serve as a hub for addiction research, training and outreach. 

“The essence of treating addiction is about giving people hope,” Logan said. “Part of what having a center like this does is give the opportunity to have hope that things can be different.”


KU professor wins big at Cannes

ch-icon-film.pngKevin Willmont, professor of film and media studies at KU, is garnering international fame as the co-writer of “BlacKkKlansman.” The Spike Lee-directed feature film won the prestigious Grand Prix at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. The biopic tells the story of an undercover black detective and his Jewish partners who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. It is just the fourth American movie to receive the festival’s second-highest award since the category debuted in 1967. “BlacKkKlansman” opened nationwide on Aug. 10.


Professorship honors a life of service

ch-icon-service-honor.pngThe Hall Family Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., has made a $500,000 gift to create the Robert Almy Kipp Professorship of Practice in City Management. The professorship honors Kipp’s career, his civic leadership and his service in the field of urban development. Robert Kipp, of Leawood, had a distinguished civic and professional career, including serving as city manager of Kansas City, Mo., CEO of Crown Center Redevelopment and vice president of Hallmark Cards. “I am honored by this recognition because KU’s city management program has earned a distinguished reputation by instilling a sense of public service as well as humility and morality in its graduates,” Kipp said.


You said it


“As a former Air Force ROTC student at the University of Kansas, I would like my gift to be designated to help their Student Veterans Center.”

Col. Glenn Martin, bachelor’s in electrical engineering 1986 | Centreville, Va.


“I was a Robinson scholar and this trip was life-changing for me, so I would like others to experience what I did!”

Elissa Frost, bachelor’s in education 2014, bachelor’s in occupational studies 2015, master’s in occupational therapy 2017 | Scottsdale, Ariz.


“In honor of my first born in his first year at KU. Doing it all on his own and using his God-given talents!”

Angela Burnes | Minneapolis, Minn.


“In honor of Ryan Haugaard, my kidney donor, and the support of KU throughout medical school and continuing education today.”

Casey Poell, M.D. 2002 | Manhattan, Kan.