Here are this week’s Accolades, a roundup of some of the honors and accomplishments of College of Medicine and UAMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students I’ve heard about recently!
Biochemistry Expertise in the National Spotlight
Dr. Kevin Raney, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, capped a three-year term as President of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry by overseeing the association’s annual meeting in Clearwater, Florida, this month. Dr. Jon Lorsch, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, presented a virtual talk during the conference – and gave high praise to two nationally prominent research cores at UAMS.
Dr. Lorsch lauded the National Resource for Quantitative Proteomics – which is supported by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the College of Medicine and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute – saying it may very well be the best in the nation. The Proteomics core is operated by Dr. Sam Mackintosh and Dr. Ricky Edmondson and led by Dr. Alan Tackett. Dr. Lorsch also praised the Bioinformatics Core facility, noting that UAMS’ use of Cloud Computing increased data analysis throughput by six-fold. The Bioinformatics Core is led by Dr. Stephanie Byrum. Congratulations to all of these outstanding Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty colleagues.
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Appointment
Dr. Aline Andres, Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Developmental Nutrition and Associate Director at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC), will lend her expertise as one of 20 nationally recognized scientists appointed to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee will review the current body of nutrition science and develop a report reflecting its independent, science-based advice for the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) to consider as the agencies develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2025-2030. Dr. Andres is highly regarded for her research into the effects of prenatal and postnatal nutrition on child growth and development, particularly in the first 1,000 days of life. At the ACNC, she also leads the Clinical Research Core. Congratulations to Dr. Andres on this well-earned appointment.
Nationally Recognized Brain Surgery & Stroke Care
Recently announced rankings and honors from Healthgrades are a reminder of the excellence of our cranial neurosurgery and stroke programs. For 2023, Healthgrades ranks UAMS among the top 5% of hospitals across the country for cranial neurosurgery. UAMS also received a Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award for the second year in a row, was named a Five-Star Recipient for Cranial Neurosurgery and, for the second consecutive year, for Treatment of Stroke. Special thanks to Dr. J.D. Day, Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Service Line Director; Service Line Administrator M.J. Orellano; Stroke Program Medical Director Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy Onteddu, Associate Professor of Neurology; Stroke Program Director Marzella Backus, MNSc, RN; and the many other outstanding team members who made these distinctions possible. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Advances in Cancer Research
Dr. Zhiqiang Qin, Associate Professor of Pathology, and Dr. Lu Dai, Assistant Professor of Pathology, recently published two papers. An article in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology reports on the importance of IL1 signaling molecules in Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) pathogenesis and tumorigenesis, which may represent attractive therapeutic targets against these virus-associated diseases. The second paper, published in PLOS Pathogens, discusses the development of new HDACs/BRD4 dual inhibitors targeting virus-associated lymphomas. Research staff members Dr. Jungang Chen and Dr. Zhengyu Wang made major contributions to both studies. Additional UAMS collaborators included the Dr. Hong-Yu Li, a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Steven Post, Professor of Pathology, and Dr. Samantha Kendrick, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Family Medicine National Fellow
Dr. Sujit Kumar Kotapati, Assistant Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Medical Director of the UAMS Health Neighborhood Clinic on Financial Center Parkway, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP). Dr. Kotapati will be recognized at an upcoming AAFP Fellowship Convocation. Congratulations, Dr. Kotapati, and thank you for your service and clinical leadership.
Celebrating CRNAs & Physician Anesthesiologists
This week (Jan. 22-28) is National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) Week, and next week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4) is Physician Anesthesiologists Week. As we celebrate our team members across these two professions, I join with Dr. Jill Mhyre, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, in thanking our CRNAs and physician anesthesiologists for their hard work and crucial contributions to taking excellent care of our patients throughout the year.