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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

Thomas M. Badger, PhD

Distinguished Faculty Scholar 
Professor Emeritus
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Click Here To View Biosketch 

 

Mario Cleves, PhD

Section Chief, Biostatistics
Professor
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Click Here To View Biosketch 

Dr. Cleves is a Professor and Biostatistics Section Chief in the Department of Pediatrics at UAMS, and serves as Director of Biostatistics at Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center. Dr. Cleves received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and his postdoctoral training in Statistical Genetics at Case Western University. He joined the UAMS Department of Pediatrics in 2000 and the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in 2011. His current research interests focus on the effects of early nutrition on normal child development and the effects of macronutrients on obesity, bone and body composition. Dr. Cleves is also involved in the assessment of genetic and environmental causes of major structural congenital malformations and in the identification of acute and prodromal myocardial infarction symptoms among women.

 

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.

 

Edgar Garcia-Rill, PhD

Director, Center for Translational Neuroscience
Professor
Department of Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Edgar Garcia-Rill earned his PhD at McGill University in Montreal in 1973, and did postdoctoral work at UCLA. He came to UAMS in 1978, and has been continually funded by Federal agencies since 1979, bringing over >$50 million in support as PI.  He is a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience (CTN) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  His research interests include the neurophysiology of sleep, spinal cord injury, movement disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia.  Dr. Garcia-Rill has served as chair and member on numerous review committees at NIH since 1985.  He has six U.S. Patents, published two books, co-authored six law reviews, and has over 200 articles and chapters.  He is the recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Award and Outstanding Mentor Award at UAMS as well as being appointed member of the Board of Scientific Councilors for NIDA.  His strengths have been in building large programs, being selected as PI of EPSCoR I (1980-85) and II (1990-95), and later receiving the first COBRE Phase I and II (2004-14) awards at UAMS, as well as a COBRE Phase III (2014-19).  He has mentored numerous investigators and graduate students, and the faculty in his programs has generated an additional >$100 million in grant support over the years.  The CTN was established as a mini-CTSA for neuroscience and has been successful not only in promoting basic scientists, but also clinician scientists.  The CTN also established a Telemedicine Core Facility and one of its programs, Peds PLACE, decreased infant mortality in the state. 

 

Jeannette M. Shorey II, M.D.

Associate Provost for Faculty
Professor
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
Professor
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. 

 

M. Kate Stewart, MD, MPH

Director, Office of Community Based Public Health,
Director, Community Engagement, Translational Research Institute
Co-Director, Community Engagement, Arkansas Prevention Research
Professor
Department of Health Policy & Management, College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Stewart is the Director of Community Engagement for the Translational Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at UAMS. Dr. Stewart has over 25 years of experience engaging communities, both domestically and internationally, in research, evaluation, and in interdisciplinary efforts to improve public health, particularly among rural populations with health disparities. She has partnered with communities to create data and human resource infrastructure for community engaged research and program evaluation with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Agriculture, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as state-level public and philanthropic sources. She has directed the Office of Community-Based Public Health in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) since 2001 and also oversees community engagement for the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities. Dr. Stewart obtained her medical degree at UAMS and her MPH at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, where she also completed her Preventive Medicine Residency and a Child Health and Survival Fellowship.

 

Joseph Thompson, MD, MPH

President and CEO, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
Professor
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.

 

CCOP@uams.edu
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.