The FDA National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson celebrated its 50th anniversary and renewed its strategic partnership with the Arkansas Research Alliance this week. FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock and Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a five-year renewal of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during events commemorating the anniversary on Aug. 11.
The MOU, originally signed in 2011, guides the formal working relationship between the FDA and the state. It recognizes a 50-year history between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and NCTR and builds on the long track record of university research and training collaborations in Arkansas. It reinforces the role of the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) in taking a strong lead in growing and coordinating these activities across all research institutions in Arkansas, as well.
“This MOU continues a long and fruitful relationship that will yield even more life-changing research by world-class scientists,” Hutchinson said.
The updated agreement also frames activities for future partnerships. The MOU provides opportunities for more interaction between Arkansas institutions and FDA. These efforts are aimed at obtaining solid scientific data to provide public health protection.
The Arkansas Research Alliance facilitates collaborations between six research institutions – the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences , Arkansas State University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and NCTR.
In 2015, the non-profit established the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows, which assembles talent from all six research institutions to address the world’s most pressing challenges through science and innovation.