UAMS Translational Research Institute Awards $350,000 for Seven Pilot Research Studies

By Kelly Gardner

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Translational Research Institute recently announced awards to seven researchers totaling about $350,000 for pilot studies.

“The Translational Research Institute is excited about the potential findings that will be generated from this year’s group of pilot awardees,” said Laura James, M.D., institute director. “The awards span diverse areas ranging from better approaches to identify cancer using state-of-the-art detection systems to understanding how a particular drug class could improve the treatment of depression. In addition, for the first time, a portion of our pilot awards will focus on developing methods and tools that can help facilitate research for others in the future.” 

Also a first this year, the institute invited community and business stakeholders to participate in the evaluation of the pilot studies alongside scientific reviewers. The practice is in keeping with the translational research goal of ensuring that studies are relevant to communities. 

The UAMS researchers and their project titles are:

  • Laura Hutchins, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology: Development and implementation of video assisted process for the UAMS tissue biorepository and procurement service
  • Magomed Khaidakov, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology: Sessile serrated adenomas/polyps – search for biomarkers of malignant potential
  • Il-Young Kim, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics: Role of dietary protein intake on whole body protein in the elderly
  • Tamara Perry, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics: Exploring the effects of sleep patterns and physical activity on asthma in adolescents with wrist-worn smart devices
  • Ronald Salomon, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry: Ketamine effects on dorsal raphé function in depression
  • Scott Warmack, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy, UAMS Northwest Campus: Participant preferred dissemination methods
  • Vladimir Zharov, Ph.D., D.Sc., College of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology: Photoacoustic diagnosis of circulating clots in cancer patients

The UAMS Translational Research Institute’s mission is to help accelerate research that will improve health and health care statewide and nationally. The institute is supported by a 2009 Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,890 students and 782 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit or, or find us onFacebook.