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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Realtor’s Gift Honors Nanotechnologist Biris

Janet JonesJanet Jones, founder and president of the The Janet Jones Company, has created a $25,000 mentorship program honoring Dr. Alex Biris, chief scientist of UALR’s Nanotechnology Center.

The Dr. Alex Biris Mentorship Fund will provide an annual award presented to a deserving student by Biris and Jones at the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology. The fund will support mentorship activities under Biris’ direct guidance.

“I am honored to be involved in the mentorship program, especially in conjunction with Alex Biris and the Nanotechnology Center,” Jones said. “The cutting edge research being done in this field at UALR is both inspiring and so much fun.”

Jones said she understands the importance of mentors who open the doors of imagination of young people. She saw it happen with her 10-year-old grandson, a budding scientist whom Biris has introduced to the world of nanotechnology and the research being done at UALR.

The Nanotechnology Center at UALR is a state-of-the-art, user-oriented facility focused on research, hands-on education, and development of commercially viable technologies. Research under way at the center includes:

  • Creation of nanotechnology-based sensors to detect radiation, gases, and explosives
  • Development of new nanostructural materials for tissue and bone regeneration
  • Novel cancer therapies targeting individual cancer cells
  • Anti-icing coatings for the aerospace industry
  • Anti-counterfeit taggants
  • Development of new nanostructural composite materials with applications in sensors, nanoelectronics, and nanocomputing
  • Creation of new polymeric nanocomposite materials with reduced surface energy and low friction

A new Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Science currently is under construction on the west side of the UALR campus.

Jones, a member of the UALR Board of Visitors, founded the company that bears her name in 1980 and now has the largest market share of residential real estate in the city of Little Rock. She has served as the first female chairman of the Board of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and also as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the Little Rock branch.