23rd Showcase Highlights Work of National Center for Toxicology Research

By Spencer Watson

The series is intended to foster scientific collaboration by sharing research through social receptions with poster presentations. It is sponsored by the College of Medicine and the Division of Research.

NCTR Researchers presented more than a dozen posters covering a variety of topics during the collaborative event.

NCTR Researchers presented more than a dozen posters covering a variety of topics during the collaborative event.

“This sharing is so important. It’s an opportunity to get everybody together,” said William Slikker Jr., Ph.D., director of the NCTR. “Naturally in any community there’s always turnover, so we need to find the new people, the folks who just came into town, and get an opportunity to get to know them and build collaborations with them, as well as renew the collaborations we’re already doing.”

That theme of collaboration was reiterated by UAMS researchers who hosted the event.

“The NCTR is really a unique facility and we’re very fortunate to have such a great federal laboratory so nearby,” said Rick Morrison, Ph.D., executive associate dean for research in the College of Medicine. “Over the years UAMS has had a lot collaborative efforts with NCTR and there has been collaboration with a lot of different departments in the basic sciences like pharmacology and toxicology, microbiology and immunology, neurobiology, radiology and more.”

Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., who was introduced at the showcase and recently joined UAMS as its vice chancellor for research, emphasized that these basic science collaborations can have tremendous translational value in fields from cancer prevention and treatment to interventions for addiction recovery to treating cardiovascular diseases and encouraging healthy aging.

Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., was introduced as the new UAMS vice chancellor for research.

Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., was introduced as the new UAMS vice chancellor for research.

“This is really the new frontier,” she said. “Ramping up collaborative research between our two Arkansas institutions, UAMS and the NCTR, will undoubtedly help create a powerhouse for advancing precision medicine and reducing health disparities in Arkansas and across the nation.”

That starts with working together, Morrison said.

“One of the purposes of this showcase is to foster more collegial interactions between groups, to allow us to understand what’s going on at NCTR and hopefully a light bulb will come on and we’ll see where there could be some potential for collaborative interactions,” he continued.

In addition to UAMS and the NCTR, the event featured participation by the Arkansas Research Alliance, a public-private partnership that invests in research to stimulate innovation and collaboration and strengthens economic opportunities in the state.

Jerry Adams, Arkansas Research Alliance

Jerry Adams, Arkansas Research Alliance

“I always describe NCTR as our most undervalued asset in Arkansas, and events like this and the work that the Alliance does really help elevate the value and leverage that this unique organization provides the state,” said Jerry Adams, president of the Alliance.

Research on display covered a broad range of topics, from disease and cancer treatment and prevention to the study of dietary supplements and new techniques and technologies with a variety of health applications.

Slikker said that UAMS is a natural partner in presenting and advancing such research.

“UAMS is the premier medical center within Arkansas and the surrounding area, and as such it’s wonderful to come here to exchange ideas, building projects together and garnering support to get the good work done,” he said. “Here you have a tremendous care facility that is responsible not only for human health, but also a lot of research. We can help with both parts of that. We can collaborate on research opportunities, we can help with funding and support to do collaborative projects and we can use all that data to support human health care.”

NCTR Visiting Scientist Zhichao Liu, Ph.D., discusses his research in the Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.

NCTR Visiting Scientist Zhichao Liu, Ph.D., discusses his research in the Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.


Poster presentations at the showcase included:

Division of Microbiology at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research

Steven L. Foley, Carl E. Cerniglia


Microbiome Research in the Division of Microbiology

Youngbeom Ahn, Huizhong Chen, Bruce Erickson, Steven Foley, Kuppan Gokulan, Mark Hart, Jinshan Jin, Sangeeta Khare, OhGew Kweon, Seong-Jae Kim, Fatemeh Rafii, Doug Wagner, Carl Cerniglia


Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research

Joshua Xu


In silico Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Treatment Development

Zhichao Liu, Hong Fang, Donna L. Mendrick, Anne Praiser, William Slikker, Weida Tong


Non-Clinical in vivo Bioimaging

S. Liachenko, X. Zhang, C. Wang, F. Liu, S. Liu, N. Sadovova, A. Tripp, W. Slikker Jr.


Evaluation of olfactory pathway neuropathy in a transgenic rat model of Alzheimer’s disease

Sumit Sarkar, Elvis Cuevas


Sex differences in repolarization reserve, a possible mechanism for sex-related differences in drug-induced QT prolongation and Torsades de pointes

Feng Wei, Chengzhong Cai, Beverly Lyn-Cook, Li Pang


Assessment of a 28-day oral exposure to the dietary supplements nattokinase and lumbrokinase individually or in combination with aspirin in Sprague-Dawley rats

Camacho L, Silvia CS, Vanlandingham MM, Patton RE, Olson GR, Felton RP, Ferguson SA, Law CD, Swift S, Abdel-Rahman A, Fitzpatrick S


Gene expression and DNA methylation alterations in the glycine N-methyltransferase gene in diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-associated liver carcinogensesis

Barbara Borowa-Mazgaj, Aline de Conti, Volodymyr Tryndyak, Igor Pogribny


Aptamer-based Proteomics Identifies Potential Predictive Biomarkers of Doxorubicin-induced Cardiotoxicity

Li-Rong Yu, Jaclyn R. Daniels, Zhijun Cao, Richard D. Beger, William Mattes, Issam Makhoul, Angela Pennisi, Jeanne Y. Wei, Jane P.F. Bai, Julia T. Lathrop, Jinong Li, Valentina K. Todorova


Somatic Cancer Driver Mutations as Biomarkers of Cancer Risk

Barbara L. Parsons, Meagan B. Myers, Kelly L. Harris, Karen L. McKim


Genome-wide Mutation Detection by Interclonal Genetic Variation Analysis

Javier Revollo, Azra Dad, Lea McDaniel, Mason Pearce, Vasily Dobrovolsky


Development of Standard Test Method for Poly(ethylene glycol) Coating Quantitation on Gold Nanostructural Materials Using Reversed Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Evaporative Light Scattering Detection (HPLC-ELSD)

Goutam Palui, Aahana Ganguly, Achyut Raghavendra, Anil K. Patri


Standard Test Method Development for Lipid Quantitation in Liposomal Formulations

Achyut Raghavendra, Sunil Ramasahayam, Udaya Nasini, Anil K. Patri