Bellido, Zhan Join ARA Scholars Program

Bellido, Zhan Join ARA Scholars Program
Teresita Bellido of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Justin Zhan of the University of Arkansas.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Research Alliance on Thursday announced two new ARA Scholars to the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows.

They are Teresita Bellido, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; and Justin Zhan, distinguished professor of data science at the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

Bellido joined UAMS after serving as a tenured professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine. Zhan comes to the UA from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he was a professor and director of Big Data Hub.

"We're incredibly proud to have Teresita and Justin in the state of Arkansas," ARA President and CEO Jerry Adams said. "Both add impressive credentials to the state's research portfolio."

Launched in 2010, the ARA Scholars program helps recruit leaders in scientific research to the state's five major research universities: Arkansas State University, the UA, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, UAMS and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. 

ARA Scholars receive a $500,000 grant paid over three years. 

The program helps recruit and support researchers whose work helps strengthen the competitiveness of the state. Scholars focus on innovations in artificial intelligence, plant biochemistry, drug discovery, nanoscience, microbiology, big data and more. There are about 30 researchers in the program.