LITTLE ROCK, AR. (May 15, 2024) – The Arkansas Center for Food Allergy Research (ArCOFAR) at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) will continue pursuing groundbreaking discoveries with a $2.3 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

The seven-year award will equip the center to continue hosting innovative therapeutic trials, longitudinal studies and provocative research design concepts all aimed at improving the lives of children who have allergies to foods including peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat and tree nuts.

Earlier this year, research conducted at the center led to the first FDA-approved biologic treatment for children and adults with allergy to peanuts and multiple food allergies.

“The ArCOFAR team is committed to excellence in delivering state-of-the art clinical care, innovative education and mentoring, and cutting-edge translational research,” said Stacie Jones, MD, who leads the center, is a principal investigator for many of its studies and treats allergy patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “We have seen astounding advancements for families affected by food allergies over the last 20 years, but our work is far from done. The next phase of funding will help us create better opportunities for global implementation of the most effective therapeutic and prevention options.”

Jones is also a professor of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology in the University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) College of Medicine.

The funding renews a 2017 award that created ArCOFAR as part of an expansive network of institutions researching and evaluating new approaches to treat and prevent food allergies. Food allergy research expertise has flourished at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute during the previous three decades. In 2005, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases established the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) to address gaps in understanding the natural history of food allergies and to advance the development of effective therapeutic options for both children and adults. Arkansas Children’s Food Allergy Program was an inaugural center.

The renewed funding has three aims: growing study participation among diverse populations in rural and underserved regions; increasing research into new focus areas; and promoting career development for early-career food allergy scientists through mentoring and direct engagement.

ACRI is one of 10 CoFAR clinical sites. The others are at Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University at Chicago, Stanford University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


Arkansas Children's is the only health care system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' nearly 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Arkansas Children’s is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in seven pediatric subspecialties (2023—2024): Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery and Urology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the northwest Arkansas region, is a level IV pediatric trauma center. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.