The Arkansas Research Alliance has added eight individuals to the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows in a major expansion. In total, the ARA has added two ARA scholars and six ARA Fellows.
With the new additions, the ARA Academy of Scholars consists of 32 scholars and fellows. These individuals include research scientists from six Arkansas research institutions, studying nanomaterials, Big Data, artificial intelligence, agricultural science and more.
“The ARA Academy is ready for growth,” ARA president Jerry Adams said in a statement. “The members we’ve added today are truly representative of the enormous scientific talent we have in the state of Arkansas.”
The University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences had the greatest representation of new ARA members with two each. Arkansas State University, the National Center for Toxicological Research, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff each had one new ARA member.
The two ARA Scholars include Phillip Massey and Edward Yeh. Massey is an associate professor of public health in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the University of Arkansas, as well as the director of the Center for Media, Technology and Health. He focuses on health communication, media and technology in the United States and social media, cancer prevention, substance use and more. Yeh is a professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, focusing on cardio-oncology.
The ARA Fellows include Hugh Churchill, Mariya Khodakovskaya, Fabricio Medina-Bolivar, Laura K. Schnackenberg, Alan Tackett and Karl Walker.
Churchill is a University of Arkansas professor in the Dpeartment of Physics who focuses on quantum materials and devices. He is also assistant director for the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering.
Khodakovskaya is a professor of plant biology and the director of the Applied Science Graduate Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Khodakovskaya’s research focuses on improving agricultural and industrial plants using biotechnology and nanotechnology. Her focus is on enhancing plant productivity and stress tolerance.
Medina-Bolivar is a professor of plant metabolic engineering at Arkansas State University, where he researches bioproduction, biosynthesis and biological activity of plant-delivered natural products. He is also the executive director of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants, chief scientific officer of Nature West and the chair of the Northeast Arkansas Hispanic Professional Network.
Schnackenberg is the branch chief for the Innovative Safety and Technologies Branch of the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). In this role, Schnackenberg develops translational in vitro and in vivo models to understand drug toxicity and disease mechansisms.
Tackett is the deputy director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Walker is an associate professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, researching bioinformatics, data science, artificial intelligence and STEM education.
“The ARA Academy brings incredible value to Arkansas,” ARA CEO Bryan Barnhouse said. “The research community in our state is a catalyst for economic, social, and academic growth. We leverage the most from this human resource by working together.”