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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Ice bucket challenge highlights research’s impact

Everyone, it seems, is getting doused with buckets of ice water these days to support the nonprofit foundation for the treatment and cure of ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

UALR’s own Chancellor Joel E. Anderson good-naturedly took on the ice bucket challenge during the first full week of fall classes and UALR Department of Public Safety officers were doused on Monday, Aug. 25.

More recently, the Office of Communications is responding to a challenge from Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs Brad Patterson to support the cause.

However, long after the ice has melted, it is important to remember what happens to money collected by organizational fundraisers such as the ALS ice bucket challenge. Grants and fundraisers often support research performed by UALR faculty and students that can make a deep and lasting impact in the lives of millions of people. 

From studies that contribute to understanding the causes of childhood obesity to the development of a co-robotic cane for the visually impaired, UALR research is often at the forefront of breakthrough discoveries.

Through the years, UALR has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and similar government agencies that help support important university research.

UALR’s research profile has seen critical development in the last decade, generating almost $30 million in 2013 in competitive awards from federal, state, and private sources.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral on social media, a wonderful boon for supporters of ALS research. But for true progress to be made in the area of medical research, sustained funding from government and other sources will always be crucial.

Learn more about research at UALR.


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