Little Rock, AR, United States

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

www.ualr.edu
Little Rock, AR, United States

University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a metropolitan public research university located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Established as Little Rock Junior College by the Little Rock School District in 1927, the institution became a private four-year university under the name Little Rock University in 1957. It returned to public status in 1969 when it merged with the University of Arkansas System under its present name.Located on 250 acres, the UALR campus encompasses more than 56 buildings, including the Center for Nanotechnology Integrative science, the Emerging Analytics Center, and the Sequoyah Research Center, and the Ottenheimer Library Ottenheimer library. Additionally, UALR houses special learning facilities that include a learning resource center, art galleries, KUAR public radio station, University Television, cyber café, speech and hearing clinic, and a campus-wide wireless network. Because of the university's location in the state capital, UALR students benefit from close contact with leaders in government, business, industry, medicine , information technology, and arts and culture. As the state's only metropolitan university and as a member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, UALR provides a strategic focus on the needs of the community by creating active links between the campus, community, and commerce.The Center for Integrative Nanotechnology science is a state-of-the-art facility focused on faculty and student research, education, and economic development. The center advances the science of nanotechnology through research and outreach, along with accelerating technological innovations into applications for society. In 2013, the Emerging Analytics Center opened to provide advanced visualization and interactive technologies enhance economic development in Arkansas and around the world. Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, globally recognized as an international pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, directs the center, which is creating exciting collaborative endeavors to bring faculty, students, and industry professionals toward transforming innovative ideas into tangible research and development projects. Wikipedia.

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Savchenko V.L.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Neurotoxicity Research | Year: 2013

Neuronal excitation is mediated by the activation of NMDA receptor and associated with the formation of reactive oxygen species due to the activation of NADPH oxidase complex proteins. The activation of Gs protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) induces neuronal activation in the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated signal cascade and regulates NADPH oxidase activity. However, it is unknown whether PKA regulates NADPH oxidase gene expression in neurons and microglia. In the present research, the NADPH oxidase gene expression was studied in rat cortical neurons and microglia in vitro. Purified microglial cells were identified with OX-42 antibody and they also expressed apolipoprotein E (ApoE). The time-dependent effect of cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) (20 ng/ml) in NADPH oxidase gene expression was studied in microglial cells. The levels of mRNA were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The expression of NOX1, NOX2, and NCF2 was upregulated after IL-4 treatment for 4 h, but it was downregulated after 8-24 h. The expression of NCF1 was suppressed during any time of cytokine effect. IL-4 upregulated arginase1 (Arg1) and serine racemase1 (SRR1) gene expressions in microglia. Amyloid beta (Ab) suppressed NOX2, NCF1, and NCF2 gene expressions and upregulated glutamate cystine transporter (xCT), although IL-4 attenuated the effect of Ab (500 μM) in the upregulation of xCT gene expression. The activation of PKA with agonist dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) (100 μM) induced the upregulation of Arg1 gene expression in microglia involving in the process of microglial activation. The transcription of NOX1, NOX2, and NCF1 was suppressed in microglial cells after dbcAMP treatment within 24 h. Neurons were identified with the microtubule-associated protein tau. The uniform distribution of tau along axons was established in normal neurons. Tau protein was redistributed after PKA agonist dbcAMP treatment for 24 h. l-glutamate (50 μM) caused the apoptotic processes and the accumulation of tau in the soma of neurons and along axons. The activation of PKA for 24 h induced the transcriptional upregulation of NOX1 and NCF1 in cortical neurons. However, l-glutamate suppressed NOX1 gene expression in neurons. These data demonstrate that the effects of IL-4 and dbcAMP are similar in the regulation of SRR1, Arg1, and NADPH oxidase complex gene expressions in neurons and microglia. IL-4 prevents glutamate release from microglia suppressing xCT expression induced by Ab. These findings suggest that the activation of GPCR in PKA-mediated pathway leads to transcriptional regulation of NADPH oxidase complex. The modulation of GPCR activation may inhibit the oxidative stress in neurons. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Cisler J.M.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Bush K.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Steele J.S.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
NeuroImage | Year: 2014

Many cognitive and clinical neuroscience research studies seek to determine how contextual factors modulate cognitive processes. In fMRI, hypotheses about how context modulates distributed patterns of information processing are often tested by comparing functional connectivity between neural regions A and B as a function of task conditions X and Y, which is termed context-modulated functional connectivity (FC). There exist two exploratory statistical approaches to testing context-modulated FC: the beta-series method and psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis methods. While these approaches are commonly used, their relative power for detecting context-modulated FC is unknown, especially with respect to real-world experimental parameters (e.g., number of stimulus repetitions, inter-trial-interval, stimulus duration). Here, we use simulations to compare power for detecting context-modulated FC between the standard PPI formulation (sPPI), generalized PPI formulation (gPPI), and beta series methods. Simulation results demonstrate that gPPI and beta series methods are generally more powerful than sPPI. Whether gPPI or beta series methods performed more powerfully depended on experiment parameters: block designs favor the gPPI, whereas the beta series method was more powerful for designs with more trial repetitions and it also retained more power under conditions of hemodynamic response function variability. On a real dataset of adolescent girls, the PPI methods appeared to have greater sensitivity in detecting task-modulated FC when using a block design and the beta series method appeared to have greater sensitivity when using an event-related design with many trial repetitions. Implications of these performance results are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2015

With funding from the National Science Foundations Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, the University of Arkansas, Little Rock (UALR) is working with Henderson Middle School, UALR Childrens International and the Museum of Discovery to recruit 40 undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines and prepare them to become secondary school teachers. Additionally, internships will support five first and second-year students in informal science settings to provide them with early teaching experiences. Upon completion of licensure, Noyce teachers will be supported by biannual UALRTeach Professional Development Days during induction, and work primarily in the high-needs Little Rock School District.

Arkansas is in particular need of STEM trained professionals due to the overall shortfall in college degrees within the state which contribute to severe shortages in STEM areas, and the UALRTeach program will respond to this need through the preparation of highly-qualified STEM secondary teachers. Underrepresented students will be targeted for recruitment into the UALRTeach program to increase the diversity of secondary STEM teachers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Fellowship | Program: | Phase: GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS | Award Amount: 92.00K | Year: 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a highly competitive, federal fellowship program. GRFP helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. This award supports the NSF Graduate Fellows pursuing graduate education at this GRFP institution.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS | Award Amount: 74.07K | Year: 2016

Fluid flow in porous media is important in many areas, including oil extraction and recovery, environmental protection, energy conservation, and the design and operation of fuel cells, solar cells, and batteries. Development of accurate, efficient, and reliable numerical schemes to simulate such fluid flow has received considerable attention in mathematics and engineering communities over the past decade. However, mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of fluid flows in heterogeneous media and realistic settings remain a challenge. Much of the difficulty in porous media flow simulations is due to the involvement of different length scales, from macroscopic scale to microscopic scale. This research project aims to develop accurate, efficient, and reliable numerical algorithms for flows in porous media. Weak Galerkin finite element methods (WGFEMs) will be developed for flows in highly heterogeneous domains, porous media, and complex flows in heterogeneous media. The methods under development are anticipated to significantly advance the utility of numerical analysis for realistic scientific and engineering applications. Graduate students are involved in the project.

This project aims to develop new weak Galerkin (WG) finite element methods (FEMs) with excellent flexibility in element construction and mesh generation, suited to dealing with heterogeneous physical parameters. Additionally, it is envisioned that the new multiscale WGFEMs will be applicable in other fields, such as structural analysis, electromagnetic wave scattering, image processing, and computer vision. Collaboration with petroleum industry partners is planned in this research project.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 291.91K | Year: 2014

This award is co-funded by EPSCoR program.
This MRI project is to acquire a petascale data storage system to add to the existing high-performance computing (HPC) systems at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). The projects concern analysis of medical images, cosmological simulations, social network analyses and protein structure prediction. A number of well-developed broadening participation activities in education and research are proposed.
The project augments existing high performance computing capabilities, includes projects in different disciplines to be facilitated by cyber upgrades, provides integration of research and education through training opportunities for students at all levels, and has a potential for broadening participation and development of a diverse scientific workforce.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.72K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The long term goal of this project is to develop and test a nutritional product that will improve physical function in individuals with heart failure H in the geriatric population Our approach to nutritional therapy NT focuses on increasing skeletal muscle strength improving vascular reactivity and optimizing regulation of energy substrate metabolism All of these anticipated responses to NT should contribute to improved physical performance and thereby interrupt the vicious cycle of heart failure progression that ultimately leads to morbidity and mortality While the popularity of nutritional supplements designed to address specific health concerns has grown the credibility of the field has suffered due to an abundance of unsubstantiated claims and unscrupulous sales approaches Essential Blends LLC is committed to marketing only products that have been developed from sound theory and validated by tightly controlled clinical trials Thus our ultimate goal is to perform a tightly controlled clinical trial assessing the response of individuals with HF to NT using our proprietary blend of amino acids In order to perform such a study a number of issues must be resolved It is therefore the goal of this Phase I project to make all the necessary preparations t efficiently perform a controlled clinical trial in the subsequent Phase II aspect of this project Following are the Specific Aims of this Phase I proposal Specific Aim To develop a palatable beverage that incorporates all of the essential components in the appropriate amounts in a format that can be produced relatively inexpensively Specific Aim To perform a pilot study to determine variability in determination of functional capacity in individuals with HF in order to determine the necessary number of subjects for the clinical trial and to predict power reasonably accurately Specific Aim To prepare existing data management capabilities for the clinical trial and to expand the subject registry The outcome of this Phase I project will be completion of all aspects of preparation to perform a clinical trial assessing the benefits of NT with our nutritional formulation PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This project will develop a nutritional beverage to improve physical function in elderly individuals with heart failure The Phase I project will formulate the beverage and perform the necessary experiments and actions to fully prepare for a randomized clinical trial for the Phase II aspect of this project


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FED CYBER SERV: SCHLAR FOR SER | Award Amount: 276.42K | Year: 2016

Cybersecurity competitions are an important component in security education and research, as they complement and enhance traditional pedagogical approaches. However, the benefits of security competitions may not be fully realized without addressing a few challenges in current security education including lack of competent training facilities and shortage of appropriate and shareable training materials that cater to security novices. Moreover, security competitions may be perceived as a burden to the many two or four year teaching institutions that lack the necessary resources. As a result, these institutions miss an opportunity to engage a large population of young talent in cybersecurity.

This research project seeks to address those challenges by developing a novel, virtual platform for both competition and education, namely PROMISE (Platform for Competition and Education in Cyber Security), and a set of learning and competition modules using the platform. Built on top of state-of-the-art, open-source cloud computing systems, the PROMISE platform is scalable and flexible and supports competitions of different styles as well as hands-on security puzzles, labs and projects, which makes it a versatile facility for both security competition and general education and research. The learning modules cover a variety of important security topics and each of them has four levels of content (including concept level content for learners with little security background) to engage learners with different backgrounds and interests. By sharing developed software and learning materials, collaborating with diverse institutions such as high schools and community colleges, and organizing cyber-defense competitions and professional development workshop, this project is expected to make both immediate and long-term impacts on cyber security competition and education.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 289.66K | Year: 2014

This site is co-funded by the CISE Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Program. This funding establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Undergraduate students will participate in summer research focused on the integration of fundamental security and forensics research with the latest technical advances in mobile computing, cloud computing, and social networks. The research is led by an experienced faculty team that plans to offer a balance of theory, applications, and practical skills as well as mentoring and professional development opportunities for the students. The site will focus on recruiting students from the South Central region of the United States using established regional connections.

The intellectual merit of this project lies in strong research basis and the expertise of the faculty. The projects are in research areas that are current and address national priorities. The site will leverage its National Security Agency designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and NSF funded Cloud Computing Research Instrument and Computational Research Center to enhance and enrich participants competitive research experiences. The undergraduate student participants will be able to gain a broad and unified picture of the significance of security and forensics through interactions with university professors, professionals and researchers in forensics labs, practitioners in IT industry, and security officers in military service. The research has the potential to contribute to the research core of the emerging field of cyber security.

The broader impacts are centered on the opportunities for a diverse pool of students to gain research experiences in cyber security and forensics. The site will capitalize on the established collaborations and communication channels with regional institutions for student recruitment. Through extensive research training and careful mentoring, this program has a great potential to attract fresh young minds into graduate schools and advance the state of the art of research and education in cyber security and forensics at undergraduate level in the South Central part of the United States.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-CSA | Phase: FCH-04.2-2014 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2015

Despite major technological development and the start of commercial deployments of the fuel cells and hydrogen technology, the public awareness of FCH technologies has lagged behind this technical progress so far, restricting the appetite of potential customers and risking a lack of support from policymakers. To address this challenge, a consortium of leading experts has come together, combining communication experts, PR of established manufacturers and technology suppliers and world-class experts on the societal benefits of low carbon technologies. Together, the they will deliver HY4ALL, an ambitious programme to drive a step-change in awareness and excitement around fuel cells and hydrogen and deliver clear and consistent messages that resonate with all audiences, from policymakers to the general public. The project will be active in minimum 11 member states, and will be closely linked to the large numbers of existing hydrogen initiatives and demonstrations, maximising its impact and allowing the communication strategy to influence dissemination work beyond the project for lasting effects. The project aims will be delivered through the following activities: Development of an overarching communication strategy, that will form the basis for all subsequent project activities and will allow the FCH community to speak with one voice Creation of an interactive web portal for FCH technologies, providing a one stop shop for visitors seeking information and acting as a single brand and hub for all other dissemination activities A cross-European hydrogen for society roadshow with fuel cell vehicles travelling between cities across the EU. The roadshow will form the focal point for a variety of innovative dissemination activities, public debates, co-hosting of national vehicle and infrastructure launches A robust assessment of of the macro-economic and societal benefits of FCH technologies, providing fact-based analysis used to convey clear messages

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