Welcome from the Chief
Welcome to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Pediatrics and the Section of Developmental Nutrition.
Developmental Nutrition is the primary home of research faculty within the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC). Our research faculty and scientific staff are dedicated to exploring the fundamental biology of childhood cardiovascular, bone, brain and metabolic processes. Using a combination of preclinical and clinical approaches, we study mechanisms by which diet and physical activity (maternal and child) impact these networks and promote healthy development and long-term health outcomes.
Faculty within our Section conduct research at the ACNC, located on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Campus, within the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI). The ACNC is one of six national USDA Human Nutrition Research Centers, and one of only two dedicated to research in maternal and child health, working in partnership between the USDA-Agricultural Research Services, ACRI and UAMS. Since its inception in 1994, the ACNC has become a premier research venue for the study of maternal-child health and early childhood development. With our strong and established collaborative ties with ACRI, UAMS, USDA-ARS and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture – and our location in the heart of Little Rock – the Section of Developmental Nutrition and the ACNC are positioned for success. We are part of a supportive research community, with a high patient volume in an academic medical center providing seamless accessibility to champion translational research.
In 2021, I had the honor of joining this incredible UAMS team as a Professor and Chief of the Section of Developmental Nutrition and Director of the ACNC. Having spent 18 years on the faculty at Land Grant Institutions, I have first-hand experience building and working in collaborative teams that bridge food, nutrition, and health sciences. I bring my interests in micronutrients and plant bioactives and their relation to human health to the Section and the ACNC. My experiences also include engagement in efforts that foster translation of critical findings to new food products geared to improving food systems for health. Together with researchers at UAMS and the ACNC, we work to build interdisciplinary teams that enhance our basic and clinical research programs, foster translation to the development of sound dietary guidance, and in turn, connect to our food systems for impact to maternal and child health.
We invite you to learn more about our research programs and the faculty driving these innovations. We are always interested in research partnerships and have the flexibility to develop unique training opportunities for doctoral, medical fellows, and post-doctoral trainees. With researchers that encompass food, nutrition, and translational research, we look forward to meeting you and creating new collaborative opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more.
Mario G. Ferruzzi, Ph.D., Director, Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center
Developmental Nutrition Chief
Department of Pediatrics
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences