Internal Advisory Committee 

The Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) includes senior level administrative and research faculty from ACRI and UAMS, all of whom have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields. The IAC provides internal institutional advice and guidance for Overall Center operations as well as the development and mentoring of the junior investigators by:

  • Evaluating the progress of the individual research projects and the progress of the junior investigators towards acquiring extramural funding and independent program status
  • Reviewing and scoring primary, pilot and affiliated study proposals submitted by junior faculty across campuses
  • Evaluating the development of the Center and assisting in identifying resources in support of the Center
  • Participate in semi-annual meetings with the External Advisory Committee

IAC Members


Larry Cornett, PhD

Vice Chancellor of Research
Director, Arkansas INBRE
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Cornett is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Vice Chancellor for Research. Dr. Cornett earned a BS in biology from the University of California, Riverside, his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California, Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow in reproductive endocrinology and cardiovascular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. His research interests include the role of 2-adrenergic receptors in mediating airway responsiveness in asthma and hormonal regulation of stress responses at the level of the pituitary gland.  In addition, he is the Director of the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), a program funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop biomedical research infrastructure in the state.  Dr. Cornett is a member of the American Association of Medical Colleges GRAND Steering Committee, the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and the EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation Board.  Among his many honors, Dr. Cornett received a fellowship from the NIH Fogarty Center and a Research Career Enhancement Award from the American Physiological Society.


Jeannette M. Shorey II, M.D.

Associate Provost for Faculty
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Shorey is an internist, clinician-educator, and administrative leader whose multifaceted career has focused largely on creating and supporting good learning and working environments and on the organizational culture of the academic medical centers in which she has served. Currently, her work concentrates on the professional vitality of the faculty of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine within her role as Associate Provost for Faculty. She served the faculty of academic medical centers across the country as the 2011 Chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs.

As a clinician-educator, she directed three primary care residency programs within Harvard Medical School hospitals. Her leadership of the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Primary Care Residency Program achieved both national and international recognition for the program’s design and outcomes. As an administrative leader in her former role as Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and Faculty Affairs at UAMS, Dr. Shorey guided the revisions of promotion and tenure policy to align with 21st Century medical reality, co-authored the UAMS College of Medicine Professionalism Guideline, created mechanisms to support the consistently professional behavior of faculty physicians and residents, helped create the UAMS College of Medicine Faculty Wellness program, and served as a mentor and coach to the faculty at large.

Dr. Shorey is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College and received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, from which she graduated first in her class. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


Mark Smeltzer, PhD

Director, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis & Host Inflammatory Responses
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Mark Smeltzer has been a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at UAMS since 1993.  His research focuses on infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus with a particular emphasis on those infections involving bone and indwelling orthopedic devices.  He has trained many MS, PhD, and MD/PhD students and received numerous awards for his efforts in teaching medical and graduate students. This includes having been named the recipient of a Graduate Faculty of the Year award, the UAMS College of Medicine (COM) award for Excellence in Research, and being recognized by the COM as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar.  He was also recognized by the American Society for Microbiology as a Distinguished Lecturer.  In addition, Dr. Smeltzer serves as the Program Director of the UAMS Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Responses. This Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) was awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2012 at $10 million. Phase II began May 1 2017 and is $11 million. This COBRE center promotes the careers of new investigators and builds the infectious disease research capacity at UAMS and within central Arkansas. 


Joseph Thompson, MD, MPH

President and CEO, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Department of Health Policy & Management, College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

 Dr. Joe Thompson’s work is centered at the intersection of clinical care, public health and health policy. He is responsible for developing research activities, health policy, and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in Arkansas.

Dr. Thompson has led vanguard efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform, tobacco- and obesity-related health promotion and disease prevention programs. He has worked with Arkansas’s executive and legislative leadership and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a creative alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition, Dr. Thompson is guiding Arkansas’s innovative initiatives to improve health system access, quality and cost including a systematic, multi-payer overhaul of Arkansas’s health care payment system.


Clint Kilts, PhD

Professor and Wilbur Mills Chair in Alcohol and Durg Abuse Prevention
Department of Psychiatry 

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Director,  UAMS Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC)

Associate Director for Research, UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute 

Dr. Kilts is a computational human neuroscientist and drug addiction researcher with 25+years of continuous NIH research funding. His current human functional neuroimaging research focuses on the neural information processing networks related to the development and maintenance of drug use disorders, with specific emphasis on the neurodevelopmental influence of multiple environmental and behavioral risk factors and the roles of future oriented thinking. Dr. Kilts is also the PI/PD of a multi-level, interdisciplinary National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) T32 training program (“Translational Training in Addiction”). Linking 21 UAMS faculty across five academic departments, this program supports the training and career development of 8-12 predoctoral, postdoctoral, medical students and psychiatry resident trainees at a given time. Dr. Kilts received his PhD in Pharmacology at Michigan State University and his postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to relocating to UAMS in 2009 he was on the faculties at Duke and Emory Universities.


Namvar Zohoori, MD, MPH, PhD
Chief Science Officer, Arkansas Department of Health  
Adjunct Professor
Department of Epidemiology, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


Dr. Zohoori joined the ADH in 2004, having worked previously in the areas of public health, nutrition, epidemiology, aging and chronic diseases in Russia, China, the Philippines, Jamaica and the US.  As the State Chronic Disease Director, and the Director of the Center for Health Advancement, he directed the State’s programs in Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health, WIC, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, and Oral Health. Dr. Zohoori has served as Chairman of the Arkansas Legislative Stroke Task Force, and of the Arkansas Chronic Disease Coordinating Council.
Nationally, Dr. Zohoori served for 7 years on the Board of Directors, and as President, of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. He has served on a number of CDC Special Emphasis Review Panels, and as a member of expert panels on the CDC-AMA-AARP Preventive Services Collaboration for Building Clinical and Community Linkages in the US. Dr. Zohoori has also worked and consulted with a number of national and international organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and WHO/PAHO.


Paula Roberson, PhD

Professor & Department Chair, Department of Biostatistics 
Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Sean Adams, PhD
Director, Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center
Professor & Section Chief, Developmental Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Adams serves as Director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC), one of six national USDA-funded human nutrition research centers.  The ACNC’s 65+ faculty, staff, and trainees have a mission to understand how maternal-child nutrition and physical activity optimize health and development.  His personal research has mainly focused on prevention of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, using tools such as metabolomics and xenometabolomics to identify host and gut microbiome-derived metabolites that track health.  In addition, his lab also studies how exercise and metabolic health impact muscle and systemic-factors that associate with a healthy versus unhealthy metabolism.

Prior to joining ACNC, Dr. Adams was the Research Leader for the Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit at the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Nutrition at UC Davis, where he worked for almost 10 years.  Before his USDA service, he spent over 7 years at pharmaceutical companies Genentech, Novartis, and Amylin, where he characterized drug leads and targets for metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.  His academic training includes degrees from Cal State University Fresno (Biology), UC Santa Cruz (Marine Sciences), and the University of Illinois (Nutritional Sciences), followed by postdoctoral fellowships in Barcelona, Spain and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas Texas.  Dr. Adams has authored over 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers, serves on scientific advisory boards for academic institutions, and has given over 75 invited talks in the U.S. and abroad.
The Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM109096. The content of this website and research reported in publications resulting from work performed under this Award are solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.