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Arkansas Biosciences Institute to host
ABI fall research symposium Sept. 25

Sept. 22, 2009 -- The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro will host the Annual state-wide ABI Fall Research Symposium, Friday, Sept. 25, in the Student Union Auditorium, 101 North Caraway Road.

The symposium is being held on the ASU campus this year.  The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) encompasses collaborative research efforts of five institutions through agricultural and medical research in order to improve the health of Arkansans.

The ABI was created as the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000. More than 150 scientists from the five member campuses - Arkansas Children's Hospital; Arkansas State University; the University of Arkansas - Division of Agriculture; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are expected to travel to ASU for research talks, posters and scientific networking.

Keynote speaker Dr. John C. Peters, associate director of Corporate Research and Development for the Procter and Gamble Company, will discuss “Health Promotion in the 21st Century: Challenges and Choices” in the third floor auditorium from 2-3 p.m. on Friday.

The symposium will open with a welcome from Arkansas State University’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Chief Research Officer, Dr. Michael Dockter, followed by the statewide Arkansas Bioscience Institute director, Dr. Bobby McGehee. Dr. McGehee will introduce Dr. Bill B. Lefler, Major General USASU (Ret.), the chairman of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission, which has oversight of the five-member institution.  

Five professors from around the state of Arkansas will make oral presentations including  Dr. Malathi Srivatsan, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Arkansas State, who will discuss “Neuron Survival, Growth and Regeneration: What Can Nanomaterials or Nicotine Do?”  Dr. Rosalia C.M. Simmen, professor at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Department Physiology and Biophysics, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center will present “Early ‘Nutritional’ Experiences and Adult Chronic Diseases.”

Dr. Luke Howard, professor of the University of Arkansas Department of Food Science in the Division of Agriculture, will present “Processing and Storage Effects on Blueberry Polyphenolics. Associate professor Dr. Josh Sakon of the University of Arkansas Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will discuss “One-Time Injection of Novel Fusion Protein of Parathyroid Hormone and Collagen Binding Domain (PTH-CBD) Results in Greater Than 30 Percent Increase in Bone Mineral Density in Mice.”

“The Age-Dependent Responses to Disuse and Reloading Involve Compromised Proliferation, Differentiation, Activity and Survival of Myogenic and Osteoblastic Cells” is the presentation topic by Dr. Dana Gaddy, associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Following lunch, a scientific vendor show and poster sessions is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. in the Heritage Lounge and Mockingbird Room on the third floor.

The symposium precedes the Sept. 26 ASU-ABI’s five-year celebration and the ASU-ABI Commercial Innovation Center groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. at the ABI south entrance. Tours of the research areas in the ABI facility are open to the public Saturday morning from 10-11:30. For additional information, contact Hope Phillips (, ABI project/program director, at (870) 972-2025.

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