High School teachers from around the state participate in a cybersecurity workshop at UA Little Rock. Photo by Ben Krain.

Emerging Analytics Center hosts teacher workshop to promote cybersecurity education

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center hosted a three-day workshop for secondary education teachers who teach cybersecurity in Arkansas June 5-7.  Continue reading “Emerging Analytics Center hosts teacher workshop to promote cybersecurity education”

Photo of Emilie Darrigues by Ben Krain.

UA Little Rock student wins awards for research into treatment of pancreatic cancer using nanomedicine

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Applied science doctoral students, with Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya, right, are researching the heat tolerance of rice Students are from rleft, Diamond McGehee, Zoya Faruqui, Kamal Pandey and Sudha Shanmugam.

UA Little Rock receives $1 million to study genetics of heat-tolerant rice

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor and several doctoral students are researching heat tolerance in rice in hopes of helping rice farmers improve their yield – and ultimately – reduce hunger. Continue reading “UA Little Rock receives $1 million to study genetics of heat-tolerant rice”

UA Little Rock researcher receives nearly $50,000 to study effects of nanomaterials on immune systems

Dr. Kieng Bao Vang-Dings, research assistant professor at the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, received $49,509 from the Center for Advanced Surface Engineering to study the effects of tunable nanosystems on the human immune system.

This study will help scientists understand the immune system’s response to nanosystems –  important knowledge as nanosystems are increasingly used in both medical interventions and everyday products.

Tunable nanosystems are tiny materials (measured between 1 to 100 nanometers) that can be manipulated for use in various science and engineering applications, including cancer treatments, regenerative medicine, and neural stem cell differentiation. With this growing prevalence in mind, Vang-Dings will study how one commonly used nanosystem, gold nanoparticles coated with silver, interacts with the immune system.

“The immune system is the body’s primary defense against pathogenic microorganisms,” Vang-Dings said. “If tunable nanosystems are to be used in biomedical applications, we must fully understand how they can influence the immune system.”

Vang-Dings will collaborate with Dr. Alexandru Biris, director and chief scientist of the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences at UA Little Rock. The research team will use surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to monitor the nanomaterials’ interaction with primary immune cells for seven days. The team will then assess any surface protein or cytokine changes caused by treatment with the nanosystem.

The project was awarded through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s seed grant program, which supports Arkansas researchers in higher education who focus on creating nanomaterials that are useful for various science and engineering applications.

Vang-Dings joined UA Little Rock in 2015. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota in 2002 and a doctorate in microbiology, immunology, and cancer from the University of Minnesota in 2010.

This project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation under award number 1457888. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Contributing Editor Lydia Perry / Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Photo by Benjamin Krain

In the upper right photo, Noureen Siraj works in her chemistry lab. Photo by Ben Krain.

UA Little Rock professor receives 188k grant to research new methods to create optoelectronic materials

A chemistry professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $188,863 from the National Science Foundation to study experimental methods of developing organic optoelectronic materials.  Continue reading “UA Little Rock professor receives 188k grant to research new methods to create optoelectronic materials”

Ingrid Helgested, Noah Asher, Nick Lester, and their faculty advisor Stuart McLendon take first place in the undergraduate division of the Governor's Cup competition.

UA Little Rock students win big in 2018 Arkansas Governor’s Cup

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John Siratt. Photo by Ben Krain.

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SBIR Road Tour

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J.T. Pooler, his fiance, Amber Mitchell, walk their two dogs. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

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