/////UAMS, Partners Receive $6 Million for Biomedical Research Network
UAMS, Partners Receive $6 Million for Biomedical Research Network 2018-01-05T08:58:58+00:00

SEPT. 28, 2001 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and two partner campuses have received a $6 million, three-year grant to create a network of high-powered research laboratories and expand Arkansas’s biotechnology workforce.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant to UAMS to form the network with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (UAF) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Each campus will bring separate, complementary strengths to the project, which Director Lawrence E. Cornett, Ph.D., predicts will enhance the biomedical research resources in Arkansas and improve the state’s position in the biotechnology industry. (See examples of the research the network will foster in a video.)

UAMS is the state’s leading institution for health-related research, with established groups of scientists in most major fields of interest to the NIH. (See more information at Current Research at UAMS.) UAF is a major site for theoretical and applied research and recently earned the highest classification as a research institution from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Meanwhile, UALR recently established the George W. Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering and is developing interdisciplinary academic and research programs in bioinformatics.


The new project, called a Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN), will have three major goals:

to expand biomedical research opportunities for undergraduate faculty and students through collaborations with graduate institutions in Arkansas;


to stimulate more proposals from Arkansas scientists for federal grants in the biomedical sciences; and


to advance statewide expertise in the rapidly developing disciplines of bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, and digital microscopy, as related to biomedical research and the biotechnology industry.


Bioinformatics is the emerging discipline that uses powerful computational resources for analyzing, storing, and communicating large volumes of biological information from genomic and proteomic research. This discipline includes database development, data mining, and many other applications of computer technology to biological problems.

Genomics is a discipline that identifies genes, their interactions, and their effects on biological processes. Genomics promises to accelerate the development of new approaches to treating human diseases.


Proteomics is a discipline involving the characterization of proteins, their structure, and function. Through identification of proteins and understanding their biological function, proteomics proposes to determine their role in human health and disease.


Digital microscopy allows researchers to locate macromolecules within cells and tissues, thereby better assessing their function in normal and diseased states.


The partner universities will offer courses in bioinformatics, technical workshops, and summer research experiences for faculty and undergraduate students. With more firsthand experience at sophisticated biomedical research, undergraduate faculty at many campuses in Arkansas will be able to offer more courses, preparing their students for graduate work in biomedical and biotechnology fields.


Stimulating more grant-funded basic research projects through the BRIN will boost the state’s economy. Such projects are important for recruiting top faculty and students to university campuses and for stimulating biomedical research by individual scientists. Thus, they have a “trickle down” effect that is beneficial educationally and economically. New research findings and greater availability of sophisticated research equipment also should be valuable to the poultry, rice, and aquaculture industries.


The following scientists will direct the project:

Lawrence E. Cornett, Ph.D.
Director, Arkansas BRIN
Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, College of Medicine, UAMS
Coordinator, UAMS Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics

Helen Beneš, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Director of Biotechnology, Arkansas BRIN
Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine, UAMS

Donald R. Bobbitt, Ph.D.
Director of Recruitment and Mentoring, Arkansas BRIN
Associate Dean for Research and Sciences Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, UAF

Charlotte A. Peterson, Ph.D.
Genomics Leader, Arkansas BRIN
Professor, Department of Geriatrics, College of Medicine, UAMS

Kevin D. Raney, Ph.D.
Proteomics Leader, Arkansas BRIN
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, UAMS

Richard C. Kurten, Ph.D.
Microscopy Leader, Arkansas BRIN
Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, College of Medicine, UAMS

Mary L. Good, Ph.D.
Interim Director of Bioinformatics, Arkansas BRIN
Donaghey University Professor and Dean, College of of Information Science and Systems Engineering
UALR

Gary A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Bioinformatics, Arkansas BRIN
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Science, College of Information Science and Systems Engineering, UALR

Jung H. Kim, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Bioinformatics, Arkansas BRIN
Professor, Department of Systems Engineering, College of Information Science and Systems Engineering, UALR

The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, a state agency, has committed $600,000 to the project. Other institutions in the state, including the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas State University, the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences, and the National Center for Toxicological Research, may participate in the network.


Links on This Page


Biotechnology Meeting: http://www.uams.edu/today/071901/biotech.htm
Southwestern Bell Gift: http://www.uams.edu/info/NewsReleases/brinkley.htm
Video: Cellular and Molecular Research:
http://www.uams.edu/today/092701/video.htm
Current Research: http://www.uams.edu/research/
Department of Physiology: http://www.uams.edu/physiology/phystitle.htm
Department of Anatomy: http://anatomy.uams.edu/
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: http://www.uams.edu/biochem/biochem.htm
Arkansas Science and Technology Authority: http://www.state.ar.us/asta/


Original Article:  This article originally appeared as a UAMS Today article on September 28, 2001:
http://www.uams.edu/today/092701/partners.htm