The College of Medicine launched several magnet initiatives in the past few years to build on existing research and clinical strengths. By “connecting the dots,” UAMS medical expertise and resources associated with different diseases and spread across many departments and laboratories, can be focused on improving the health of all Arkansans. The COM magnet groups meet on a quarterly basis. Some are well established and active, while others are building momentum or are exploring their focus. The following active groups are updated below.



– The COM cardiovascular magnet initiative has grown and evolved into the UAMS Cardiovascular Center (UCVC).

– Nancy Rusch, PhD, Chair of the Dept. of Pharmacology/Toxicology, David Rutlen, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Jean McSweeney, PhD, RN, Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Nursing serve as co-directors for the UCVC in alliance with steering committee representatives from several UAMS colleges.

-The UCVC hosts a seminar series featuring internal and guest speakers sharing their areas of expertise in cardiovascular medicine. Steve Post, PhD., Professor in the Dept of Pathology, serves as the Director of the UCVC Seminar Series. These seminars are held monthly in conjunction with Cardiology Grand Rounds.

– UCVC hosts a cardiovascular research interest group, UCVC Research Updates, which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month for the purpose of fostering interaction and collaboration between clinical and basic science researchers. UCVC Research Updates is directed by Philip Palade, PhD, Professor in the Dept of Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Nanomaterials in medicine


– The COM nanomedicine magnet initiative has also grown into the Arkansas Nanomedicine Center (ANC). This COM enterprise integrates nanomedicine efforts and resources from within UAMS and partnering institutions.
– The center is directed by Vladimir Zharov, PhD, a professor in the Dept. of Otolaryngology and Director of the Phillips Classic Laser and Nanomedicine Laboratories. Michael Borrelli, PhD, a Professor and Director of Research in the Dept. of Radiology, and Rob Griffin, PhD, a Professor in the Dept. of Radiation Oncology and co-leader of the Experimental Therapeutic Program, are center co-directors.
– ANC researchers are applying nanotechnology methods and materials to decipher the mechanisms of biofilms and infectious disease, cancer, and stroke among other areas.
– The ANC is also working closely with the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) on nanotoxicity and other projects. NCTR faculty also collaborate with UAMS and other researchers around the state on nanomaterials.
– ANC leaders also serve on the statewide planning committee for the annual Nanotechnology for Healthcare conference, held at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. For more information, contact

Trauma & Emergency Care

– The trauma and emergency care magnet is co-chaired by Todd Maxson, MD, an Associate Professor of Surgery and Trauma Director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH), and Ron Robertson, MD, a Professor of Surgery and UAMS Associate Trauma Director.
– The trauma magnet was formed to stimulate and facilitate collaborative trauma and injury research, including collaboration with the new trauma system and the designation of UAMS and ACH as Level I trauma centers.
– In conjunction with the UAMS Translational Research Institute, the group is assessing and cataloging existing research activities of faculty along with the diverse data resources relevant to trauma research.

Personalized Medicine

– The personalized medicine magnet group, chaired by G. Richard Smith, MD, Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry, seeks to facilitate communication between clinicians, basic science and translational researchers in molecular testing and other issues crucial to the advancement of personalized medicine capabilities at UAMS.
– We are assessing billing and IT hurdles and making plans to clear them.
– We are strengthening the connection with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Genomics Program and establishing a Molecular Consortium between the College of Medicine Department of Pathology, CAVHS, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital to foster collaboration on testing and samples.