UAMS Translational Research Institute Awards $300,000 for Six Promising Pilot Research Studies

By Liz Caldwell

The annual awards of about $50,000 each are made to studies with the strongest likelihood of developing into larger research programs that lead to improved health and health care.

“The Translational Research Institute is providing our talented scientists the resources they need to make meaningful discoveries that will benefit the people of Arkansas and the nation,” said Laura James, M.D., institute director. “We’re excited about each of our 2014 recipients and the work they’re doing.”

The UAMS researchers and their project titles are:

  • Paul Gottschall, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: Targeting lecticans to enhance synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gur Kaushal, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine: Antifibrotic therapy by upregulation of autophagy to reverse renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease
  • Dennis Kuo, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics: Barriers and facilitators to health care transition from pediatric to adult health care
  • Lee Ann Macmillan-Crow, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: Novel therapy to reduce injury to human donor kidneys prior to transplant
  • Mark Mennemeier, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences: A joint CTSA (Clinical and Translational Science Award) project with Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis)) leading to a Phase II clinical trial for tinnitus
  • Steven Post, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pathology: Pathological features that predict clinical outcome in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma patients

The UAMS Translational Research Institute’s mission is to help accelerate research that will improve the health and health care of people in Arkansas and across the country. It was established with major funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009 as a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) recipient. The institute’s funding from NIH flows through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.