Clinical and Translational Sciences Faculty

Dr. Robert E. McGehee, Jr., Program Director

Aline Andres, Ph.D. (Pediatrics)
Our research program is centered around the prevention of diseases through the optimization of early nutrition. We are particularly focused on fetal and neonatal programming of obesity. Our translational approach seek to understand the mechanisms underlying obesity programming and develop strategies to prevent it.

Alexei G. Basnakian, M.D., Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Toxicology) Web profile
My interests are both in translational research and basic science. In translational research, my team studies on the role of carbamylated LDL (cLDL) in atherosclerosis that occurs in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) and smokers. Our studies show that cLDL induces pro-atherosclerotic injuries in cultured vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, as well as in ApoE knockout mice with CRF. Plasma cLDL elevation is associated with atherosclerosis in CRF patients and tobacco smokers. In basic science, we study the role of cytotoxic endonucleases (CEs) in a variety of tissue injuries. Our data strongly indicate that DNA fragmentation by endogenous CEs is the key mechanism of irreversible cell death in all cells and

Sarah Blossom, Ph.D. (Pediatrics)
Blossom is an immunologist working in the area of immunotoxicology and reproductive immunology. Her research uses a mouse model to study the neuroimmune modulation caused by maternal and early life exposure to toxicants such as trichloroethylene and cigarette smoke. Understanding the immunologic basis and environmental triggers involved in the etiology of neurologic disorders could be crucial for the development of effective screening, therapeutic, and preventive strategies for human disorders. Dr. Blossom also conducts research within the Section of Birth Defects Research by studying the role of the maternal immune response and congenital heart defects in humans.

Puran Bora, Ph.D. (Opthalmology) Web profile
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), an eye disease which can cause loss of central vision in the population over the age of 50. Our laboratory is studying the Molecular and Biochemical mechanisms of AMD and uvietis in order to find a cure and/or prevention of the diseases.

Marsha Eigenbrodt, M.D., M.P.H. (Cardiology)
As a pathologist and epidemiologist, I have broad interests in chronic diseases with a particular interest in the methodological issues facing observational and clinical studies. Specific interests include indicators of arteriosclerosis severity and vascular aging, gene-environmental interactions, orthostatic hypotension, stroke, the relationship between alcohol and cardiovascular disease, and novel vascular risk factors in renal disease.

W. Brooks Gentry, M.D. (Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology)
Our goal is to develop antibody-based medications for stimulant abuse, which alter the pharmacokinetic properties of these drugs. These studies are part of a multidisciplinary, clinician scientist approach to the rational development of therapeutic strategies, and provide the background information necessary for translational research of the efficacy of antibody-based medications for the treatment of human drug abuse.

Robert J. Griffin, Ph.D. (Radiation Oncology) Web profile
The radiation biology group led by Dr. Griffin investigate molecular and physiological mechanisms of radiation and thermal sensitization of solid tumors; modulation of tumor blood flow, angiogenesis and oxygenation; and oxygen partial pressure as a predictor of cancer treatment outcomes. In addition, research projects are being performed with nanoparticles to target the tumor microenvironment or assist other therapy in achieving tumor destruction. In all aspects of our work, the influence of contact between tumor cells and stromal cells, such as endothelial, smooth muscle or fibroblast cells on cancer biology and treatment response is also being studied to understand the importance of cell-cell crosstalk and mechanisms of bystander cell communication and responses.

Andrew James, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) Web profile
Dr. Andrew James is an assistant professor at the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) in the Department of Psychiatry. His research uses novel functional neuroimaging paradigms to explore the impact of individual variability upon brain networks encoding cognition (such as attention and executive function). He seeks to develop a large, normative functional MRI database to improve the translational impact of functional neuroimaging in clinical care.

Laura James, M.D. (Interdisciplinary Toxicology)
Dr. Laura James is Principal Investigator for the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Her research emphasis in the basic sciences is in understanding mechanisms of repair for hepatotoxins (acetaminophen, chloroform) in the mouse model.  She is also interested in the detection of biomarkers of acetaminophen toxicity (acetaminophen protein adducts) in clinical samples and their correlation with clinical endpoints.

Clint Kilts, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) Web profile
Dr. Kilts is the founding Director of the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) in the new UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI) and an Associate Director of the PRI. Dr. Kilts has a long record of NIH-funded research, most recently in the use of in vivo brain functional, molecular and connectivity imaging to explore the neural network processing basis of human behavior. With a focus on drug abuse and addiction, he has a clinical research focus on the use of neuroimaging technology to define the brain basis of psychiatric disorders and their treatment.

Lee Ann MacMillan-Crow, Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Toxicology) Web profile 
Our laboratory has been investigating the role that increased mitochondrial oxidant production has on the early events leading to renal dysfunction following renal preservation and warm ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in vivo. Previous studies have suggested that inactivation of the major antioxidant within the mitochondria, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), plays a pivotal role in inducing renal injury during I/R injury. Using both cell and rodent models we are also assessing the therapeutic potential of known and novel antioxidants to alter I/R and transplantation induced renal dysfunction.

Bradley C. Martin, Pharm.D., Ph.D. (Pharmacy Practice) Web profile
The Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy program investigates the impact pharmaceutical products, policies, and services has on patient and system level outcomes.

Robert E. McGehee, Ph.D. (Pathology, Physiology & Biophysics, Bioinformatics)
Molecular biology; adipocyte development; regulation of adipogenesis by retinoblastoma proteins

Jeffery Moran, Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Toxicology) Web profile
My research efforts focus on developing new metabolomic approaches which can help us better understand adverse drug reactions and provide new therapeutic strategies.  Currently, we are studying phase I and II metabolism of warfarin and applying this information to clinical applications by trying to understand the relationship between warfarin metabolism and anticoagulant therapy outcomes.

Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Pathology) Web profile
T cell immunity to human papillomavirus as it relates to the development of therapeutic vaccines and immunotherapy.

Alison Oliveto, Ph.D. (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) Web profile
Research interests include the phase I and II clinical trials focused primarily on the development of new medications and combinations of medication and behavioral interventions for the treatment of opioid and/or psychostimulant dependence and withdrawal.

Anna Radominska-Pandya, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Structure-function relationship studies of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs); Transcriptional regulation of UGTs via environmental pollutants; Role of UGTs in breast cancer and in cancer prevention; and Detoxification of drugs and endogenous compounds

Nancy J. Rusch, Ph.D. (Pharmacology, Interdisciplinary Toxicology) Web profile
Calcium and potassium channels conduct Ca2+ and K+ ions, respectively, across the surface membrane of vascular muscle cells. Abnormalities in these channels trigger contraction of small arteries resulting in high blood pressure (hypertension). The goal of our laboratory is to discover abnormalities of ion channel expression and composition that contribute to systemic and pulmonary hypertension, and identify channel-based therapies to treat these diseases. We employ a multi-faceted approach of patch-clamp, molecular, cellular and in-vivo techniques to accomplish this goal.