Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Research Alliance on Thursday announced five new ARA fellows. They are:
- Laurent Bellaiche, Ph.D., a distinguished professor in the Department of Physics and Institute for Nanoscience & Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He came to UA in 1999 and is a visiting professor at Ecole Centrale in Paris, France, and Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China. He is researching the properties of ferroelectrics, magnetic compounds, multiferroics, semiconductors, nanostructures and graphene.
- Tansel Karabacak, Ph.D., a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has worked at the university since 2006 and serves as the graduate coordinator of its applied science physics Ph.D. track. Karabacak's research focuses on the properties and applications of nanostructured and thin film materials, and he is well known for his pioneering work on glancing angle deposited nanostructures.
- Rebecca Lochmann, Ph.D., interim chair/director of the Aquaculture & Fisheries Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She began working at UAPB in 1993. Lochmann researches how diet affects the growth, health, product quality and reproductive performance of several species of fish. Cost-effectiveness of ingredients is also assessed when possible, to estimate the effects of diet manipulations on production profitability.
- Merle G. Paule, Ph.D., director of the Division of Neurotoxicology and senior biomedical research scientist at the National Center for Toxicological Research. He joined NCTR, part of the FDA, in 1983. Paule helped develop an automated system for monitoring multiple complex brain functions in nonhuman primates, children and rodents. The functions are used as measures for determining the effects of drug and other chemical exposures.
- Mark Smeltzer, Ph. D., a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis & Host Inflammatory Responses at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He has been a faculty member at UAMS since 1993 and also serves as program director of a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. Smeltzer's research focuses on infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, with a particular emphases on those infections involving bone and indwelling orthopaedic devices.
The fellows program recognizes research talent at UA, UAMS, Arkansas State University, UA Little Rock and UAPB. Thursday's announcement brings the number of ARA Fellows to 14.
ARA's goal is to attract and retain world-class researchers and support research that fuels innovation, encourages collaboration, and strengthens economic opportunity.
"These five new Arkansas Research Alliance Fellows will be an incredible asset to our state in the area of scientific research and progress," Hutchinson said in a news release. "And in today's continuously evolving economy, more people are recognizing the massive influence science and innovation have on our economy. Arkansas Research Alliance continues to serve the state well with its commitment to economic prosperity through science and technology based jobs."