About ABI

Background | Administration | Board of Directors


The vision for the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) emerged during a statewide planning process for use of the state’s share of the 1998 nationwide tobacco settlement.

Health care leaders across the state spoke out in favor of dedicating a portion of the tobacco settlement funds to innovative research that could help reduce or prevent smoking-related illnesses.

The voters eventually endorsed the proposed Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000 by 64 percent in a referendum in November 2000. The Arkansas General Assembly enacted the provisions of that proposal as Acts 1569 through 1580 of 2001. Part of that legislation established the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) as a consortium of five research institutions: Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH); Arkansas State University (ASU); the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF); and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The legislation designated the president of the University of Arkansas System to chair a board of directors for the institute, with the board to include the senior executive of each member institution as well as two members to be appointed by the Governor.

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ABI Administration

Robert E. McGehee, Jr., Ph.D.
Director, Arkansas Biosciences Institute
Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics
Dean, UAMS Graduate School
4301 W. Markham, Slot 821
501-603-1998 (tel)
501-526-6873 (fax)

Leslie Humphries
Coordinator, Arkansas Biosciences Institute
4301 W. Markham, Slot 821
Little Rock, AR 72205
501-526-6810 (tel.)
501-526-6873 (fax)

ABI Scientific Coordinating Committee

The ABI Scientific Coordinating Committee has been appointed by the five member institutions to provide guidance for ABI scientific research

Roger E. Koeppe II, Ph.D.
University Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Nathan McKinney, Ph.D.
Interim Director, UA Division of Agriculture

Lawrence E. Cornett, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research, College of Medicine
Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Andrew Sustich, Ph.D.
Associate VC for Research and Tech Transfer
Arkansas State University

Greg Kearns. M.D.
President, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Arkansas Children’s Hospital

ABI Science and Industry Advisory Committee

For ABI to move forward with quality research, its programs must continually be assessed and reassessed. In order to provide excellent human health research projects, an external advisory committees has been named to assist this effort. The ABI Science and Industry Advisory Committee is composed of distinguished, knowledgeable persons in the fields of science and industry and serve as resources for the Arkansas Biosciences Institute Board. The committee provides advice and recommendations on potential areas for new research; for strengthening on-going research; for promoting ABI research and disseminating information to the public; and for facilitating research results into commercial, alternate technological, and other applications.

ABI Science and Industry Advisory Committee

James J. Giovannoni, Ph.D.
Research Molecular Biologist, USDA ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

John C. Peters, Ph.D.
Chief Strategy Office and Professor
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Denver, CO

R. Barry Holtz, Ph.D.
Principal, Holtz Biopharma Consulting
Austin, TX

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Board of Directors

ABI Board of Directors

The Arkansas Biosciences Institute Board, established in accordance with the Act, held its first meeting in January, 2002. The ABI Board, which provides for overall program coordination and direction, meets quarterly and reviews ABI-supported research projects.

Donald R. Bobbitt, Ph.D., President
University of Arkansas System

Beverly Lyn-Cook, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
National Center for Toxicological Research

Marcy Doderer, President and CEO
Arkansas Children’s Hospital

William Slikker, Ph.D. Director
National Center for Toxicological Research

R. Mark Saviers, Partner
Sage Partners

Mark Cochran, Ph.D., Vice President for Agriculture
University of Arkansas System

Joseph Steinmetz, Ph.D., Chancellor
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Cam Patterson, M.D., Chancellor
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Charles Welch, Ph.D., President
Arkansas State University System

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