Medicine Bag 2018-04-30T14:13:03+00:00

Medicine Bag - Cancer Institute News

Meenakshi Upreti
Meenakshi Upreti, Ph.D.

Fellowship Award

A UAMS scientist is the first in Arkansas to receive a postdoctoral fellowship award from the American Cancer Society.

Meenakshi Upreti, Ph.D., of the UAMS Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the award that carries with it $50,000 to further Upreti’s research of a particular class of anticancer drugs known as microtubule inhibitors. These drugs cause very specific changes in Bcl-2 proteins, a certain group of proteins present in all cells that are important in controlling the programmed cell death known as apoptosis that occurs during chemotherapy.

Upreti will pursue this study under the guidance of Timothy Chambers, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman of the UAMS Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Energizing the Body &Soul

The Energizer ReTreat Spa set up shop for four hours in October to offer complimentary back massages and manicures for patients and caregivers at the Cancer Institute.

As a national series sponsor of the Komen Race for the Cure, Energizer representatives travel via RV to 20 cities throughout the country to offer the event for women affected by breast cancer.

At each stop, a local spa partners with Energizer to provide the massages and manicures. For the third year, Turtle Cove Spa offered its services during the Little Rock stop.

About 100 women took advantage of the services at UAMS, while another 200-300 participated during the Race for the Cure in downtown Little Rock on Oct. 11.

Research Grant Awarded

A scientist at UAMS has been awarded a $720,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to study how cells replicate and form tumors.

The four-year grant was presented to Amanda Charlesworth, Ph.D., director of the Molecular Biology Core Facility in the UAMS Center for Translational Neurosciences.

“What we are studying is how cell growth is normally controlled so that we can learn how it goes wrong when cells sometimes replicate themselves uncontrollably to the point that they form tumors,” said Charlesworth.

Charlesworth hopes that the results could lead to very specific treatments of some gynecological cancers.


A recent donation from the Wal-Mart Store on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville meant an additional $1,125 toward construction of the Cancer Institute’s new tower. As with all donations to the construction project, the contribution was matched dollar for dollar by the state of Arkansas resulting in a total donation of $2,250. The check presentation was made at the Wal-Mart store in front of about 150 Wal-Mart employees and executives.


Minority Health Assistance

UAMS recently received $121,000 from the Arkansas Minority Health Commission to benefit targeted areas of the state’s underserved and uninsured residents.

The Cancer Control Breast Cancer Education and Navigation Program received $24,000, while the Prostate Cancer Patient Education, Screening and Navigation Program received $24,999.

The remainder of the amount benefits the UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Northeast in Jonesboro, the UAMS AHEC Southwest in Texarkana and UAMS Regional Programs Community-Based Medical Interpreter Training Partnership program.