Burns Receives Medical Education Excellence Professorship

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – E. Robert Burns, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, was recently invested with the Charles Hartzell Lutterloh and Charles M. Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship.


“I saw this as an opportunity for all of us to reward Dr. Burns for many years of teaching innovations and excellence, which has had significant impact on the field of medical education locally, statewide, nationally and internationally,” Gwen Childs, Ph.D., chair of the Neurobiology & Developmental Science Department, said in nominating Burns for the professorship.


The endowed Lutterloh professorship is part of the Lutterloh Trust for the Advancement of Medicine, given to UAMS by Carroll Hartzell Lutterloh, widow and mother of two prominent Arkansas physicians.


Burns was the course director for medical microscopic and developmental anatomy for 18 years and the co-director of the UAMS Mini Medical School for three years. He is the founding and current director of elementary and high school education programs at UAMS.


His Partners in Health Sciences (PIHS) program began in 1991 and has attracted $1.47 million in extramural funding from such sources as the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, and The Kellogg Foundation. The PIHS program also received a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds a statewide educational outreach effort involving elementary and high school teachers.


The PIHS program includes summer mini-courses for teachers, video teleconferences for students and teachers, computer-based workshops for teachers on construction of Web sites and interactive computer-assisted education modules. Burns also was involved in setting up a PIHS grant based in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, the Partners in Behavioral Health Sciences, making UAMS the only medical school in the nation to have two SEPA grants from the NCRR-NIH.  


Burns is a basic scientist in cancer research and has authored or co-authored four medical textbooks as well as 86 full-length publications on biological rhythms and their effect on the chemotherapy of cancer. He received his Ph.D. in anatomy (experimental oncology) from Tulane University School of Medicine.


He completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in cancer pathology at The George Washington University, and has received a National Cancer Institute Research Career Development Award. Some of his published research on biological rhythms was recently referenced and quoted in “Rhythms of Life” by Foster and Kreitzman, published by Yale University Press in 2004 and reviewed by Newsweek.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.