• Medical Breakthroughs Start in the Lab
    Medical Breakthroughs Start in the Lab

Message from the Chancellor

Dear Readers, UAMS, like other universities, is primarily in the knowledge business. As an academic health sciences center we also provide comprehensive health care services, but our heart and soul is as a health sciences university. We develop new knowledge through research, transmit knowledge through education programs and use our knowledge for the benefit of individuals and society at large. ... Read More

Lawrence Cornett, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research, focuses on advancing UAMS research and team science.

Medical Breakthroughs Start in the Lab

Without medical research, there would be no antibiotics to treat pneumonia, children with polio would still be breathing in iron lungs, and bloodletting with leeches would still be used to treat everything from inflammation to stroke. And without scientists whose overwhelming desire and interest is in discovering why the world works as it does and how they can improve the ... Read More

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Translational Research Institute: Beyond the Lab

UAMS’ Vladimir Zharov, Ph.D., is a “translational” researcher. His inter-nationally recognized nanomedicine research has led to new, exciting possibilities for early diagnosis of cancer, infections and stroke, as well as prospects for commercialization of in vivo noninvasive blood testing. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking for more Zharovs in the biomedical research field, and UAMS, through its NIH-funded ... Read More

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Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence: Federally Funded Centers Deliver Results

Two multi-million dollar research programs at UAMS supported by federal grants are having a real-world impact on health problems facing Arkansans today. The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allowed UAMS to help Arkansas dramatically improve its infant mortality rate. It is also helping UAMS scientists tackle an array of diseases ... Read More

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New Faces of Research: Microbiology, Immunology Researchers Collaborate

One is studying dangerous bacteria, another how to prevent the herpes virus from causing cancer. The seven junior faculty in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology are making their mark in the quest to improve human health through basic research. And they are attracting the type of national funding that makes it all possible. Department Chair ... Read More

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Addressing Health Disparities in Northwest Arkansas

Sharlynn Lang’s mother has struggled with diabetes for about 25 years, and in that time, Lang has lost family members and friends to diabetes and diabetes-related complications. “Not just a few but many,” said the Springdale resident. Lang, her family and friends are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a tiny chain of islands in the south Pacific. Drawn ... Read More

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Disparities: Tackling the Economics of Health

Health disparities are expensive, and in a country that spends more than trillion annually on health care, measuring those disparities, studying and quantifying them, helps craft policy solutions that will be cost-effective in eliminating them. “How we allocate resources in this country really affects health. And it’s very expensive. What we spend on health is about 20 percent of ... Read More

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VA Mental Health: Identifying Bias In Access to Care

Sometimes it’s not enough for a doctor to know the right treatment for a patient. Sometimes that puzzle includes other pieces, such as whether the treatment is delivered in the most comfortable, effective way. Still other times doctors must not hesitate to ask themselves whether they are letting preconceived opinions unconsciously get in the way. These are just a couple ... Read More

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Nursing PCORI: Drafting Patients as Research Partners

Better health outcomes is the goal of community-based research. That research is most effective when patients are full partners, offering opinions about what direction the project should take. UAMS nurse scientist Pam Williams has experienced that through her studies about the impact of rare disease on patients. A research project can be more productive when it involves affected patients — ... Read More

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Student Diversity: Encouraging Diversity in Science and Health Care

As dean of the UAMS Graduate School, Robert McGehee Jr., Ph.D., takes pride in every student. But when degrees were awarded in December 2014, he said it was “a great day.” What set it apart was seeing the first graduate of a program to recruit and graduate more doctoral students from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. “These students will be the ... Read More

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INBRE: Student Fellowships Build Pipeline to Research Careers

A UAMS-led effort to strengthen the biomedical research environment in the state is intended to pay off now and in the future. Arkansas is one of 23 states to receive funding from a National Institutes of Health program — totaling .7 million since 2001 — that is being used to recruit research faculty to Arkansas universities, purchase needed scientific equipment and ... Read More

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Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science: Human Health Problems Require Multifaceted Approach

Large problems in human health require researchers with a broad perspective. UAMS is working to ensure its Graduate School students are equipped to meet that challenge. “We are working to develop a unified admission process in which every basic science graduate student is admitted to a centralized curriculum, then, depending on their interest, moves into a specific program or track, ... Read More

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Arkansas Research Alliance: Recruiting and Retaining Research Leaders

The Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) is looking for entrepreneurial research leaders who are potential job creators. It found such a match in Peter Crooks, Ph.D., D. Sc., who was recruited to UAMS in 2011 to chair the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy. A Crooks innovation — a breakthrough gel for the treatment of a form of ... Read More

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Bioventures: Business Incubator Helps Start-ups Succeed

Learning about a new scientific breakthrough can be exciting. Learning that it may not positively affect your life for many years to come can be frustrating. UAMS BioVentures, a biomedical business incubator, works to shorten that wait. Through the companies UAMS BioVentures helps germinate and grow, it increases the access of people to advances in medicine and technology, making concrete ... Read More

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Little Rock Technology Park: Creating a Reseach-Technology Center

Each rents a tiny working space — a desk and a chair, really — by the month; but these dozen or so budding entrepreneurs are hoping to make it big in research and technology. The small teams, sometimes just a one-person startup, are the first fruits of the Little Rock Technology Park, which set up operations in early 2015 in ... Read More

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Surgeon Researchers: From the Operating Room to the Research Lab

A career in surgery undoubtedly leads to long hours and high stress. So why would a surgeon choose to add medical research to his or her already hectic schedule? For pediatric head and neck surgeon Gresham Richter, M.D., the reason is simple. “I want to find a way to help patients without putting them through the ordeal of surgery,” he ... Read More

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Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center: Using Research Findings to Improve Children’s Development

What a pregnant woman eats can affect the development of her child before and after he or she is born with consequences that may extend even into adulthood. Researchers at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center are finding that proper nutrition maintains health through more complicated ways than previously imagined. Scientists at the center are looking at how nutrition interacts with ... Read More

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Child Injury Prevention: Research Center Supports Many Aspects of Child Health

ATVs are Mary Aitken’s passion. That’s not unusual in a rural state such as Arkansas where children sometimes are riding an all-terrain vehicle while still in elementary school. But you won’t find Aitken, M.D., a professor of pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine, out riding one in the deer woods. Instead, she and her team have devoted the last nearly ... Read More

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Cancer Vaccine: Clinical Trials Induce Antibody Response

For breast cancer survivors, the possibility of their disease returning is a frightening reality. That’s why scientist Thomas Kieber-Emmons, Ph.D., has spent his career searching for ways to prevent recurrence and give patients a much-needed peace of mind. His years of study have led to the development of a vaccine that is showing great potential not only to prevent the ... Read More

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Osteoporosis: Age, Not Decreased Estrogen, to Blame

Years of research in osteoporosis at UAMS have paid off with a series of discoveries that are changing the way doctors and the public think about the bone-weakening disease. Researchers at the UAMS Center for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases have shown during the last twenty years that osteoporosis is not just a disease caused by menopause, a stage when women ... Read More

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Radiation Injury: Protecting People on Earth and in Space

From the Earth to beyond the sky, UAMS College of Pharmacy scientists are searching for better ways to protect people from radiation injury. A UAMS research team, led by Marjan Boerma, Ph.D., is investigating the effects of space radiation on cardiovascular health. One of the countermeasures against radiation injury in which the research team is interested is tocotrienol, in the ... Read More

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Food Allergies: New Treatments Being Tested

For a person allergic to peanuts, nothing is simple. Besides not being able to eat peanut products, even exposure to small amounts of peanuts ingested accidentally as a hidden food ingredient could result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. Stacie Jones, M.D., and her research team at the UAMS-affiliated Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), are working to protect people who ... Read More

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Meth Addiction: Blocking Meth’s Effects on the Brain

For more than 30 years, Michael Owens, Ph.D., has sought a way for drug addicts to overcome their addiction and return to a drug-free life. His research began in the 1980s by studying how to treat the overdose of phencyclidine, or PCP. A decade later, he joined forces with UAMS’ Brooks Gentry, M.D., and together their research has evolved into a ... Read More

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Lung Cancer: Public Health Tackles Lung Cancer

Mohammed Orloff, Ph.D., is hoping to figure why, despite the proven link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, some smokers never develop the disease and some non-smokers do. By extension, the hope is to shed light on why anyone develops the disease. To further that understanding of the causes of lung cancer, Orloff is studying the genetics of individuals and ... Read More

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Biomedical Informatics: Using Data to Improve Health Care

One of the most valuable assets of academic health science centers is clinical data generated every time a patient receives care. This has spawned a relatively new discipline called biomedical informatics, which takes large amounts of health care data and uses it to make improvements in health care. With forward thinking, in 2010, UAMS leadership charged UAMS Biomedical Informatics and ... Read More