August 2013

University Sets Record for Invention Disclosures

Solutions in the laboratory at Boston Mountain Biotech, a University of Arkansas-affiliated company that spun out of an invention disclosure.

The University of Arkansas closed the last fiscal year with a record number of intellectual property disclosures reported by campus researchers.

Faculty and staff at the state’s flagship university reported 42 inventions in fiscal year 2013, which started July 1, 2012, and ended June 30, 2013.

“The number is trending up, which is significant,” said Jeff Amerine, director of Tech-

-nology Ventures, the university’s technology-transfer office. “We’ll find in the future that getting more than 40 will be a regular occurrence.”

The fiscal 2013 figure included 18 disclosures by faculty with dual appointments at both the Fayetteville campus and the University of Arkansas System’s statewide Division of Agriculture, which includes the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. The division’s intellectual property is managed by Lisa Childs, who heads the Division’s Technology Commercialization Office.

Both Technology Ventures and the Technology Commercialization Office assist U of A faculty and research scientists identify, protect, and commercialize intellectual property developed from their research or other university supported activities.

The offices encourage campus researchers to formally report their discoveries, because completing the intellectual property disclosure form is the first step toward transferring their inventions into marketplace products and services. Submitting the form is also required under a patent and copyright policy approved by trustees of the University of Arkansas System.

“We try to encourage the people who do the research to value this as much as they value publication,” Amerine said. “We want high-quality disclosures, as if they were submitting something that will be reviewed by their peers.”

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Organic Chemist Receives NSF CAREER Award


Nan Zheng

Nan Zheng, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas, has received a $550,000 Faculty Early Career Development Program award through the National Science Foundation to further his research in chemical reactions

sparked by visible light.

Specifically, Zheng is investigating the development of environmentally sustainable methods for amine synthesis. The class of organic compounds known as amines is an important building block for pharmaceuticals.

Most organic compounds can’t readily absorb visible light. Instead, organic chemists typically rely on ultraviolet, or UV light, which has disadvantages in photochemistry, a branch of chemistry concerned with the chemical effects of light. Zheng and his research team use visible light from commercial fluorescent light bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to promote chemical reactions. Zheng calls this process “green” or “sustainable” chemistry.

“In sustainable chemistry, we want to create new reactions so that we can create a new molecule,” Zheng said. “There is a lot of room here to discover new reactivity, in addition to the green nature of this whole process.”

The office of vice provost for research and economic development maintains a full list of faculty who have won prestigious awards sponsored by government agencies, non-profit foundations and private institutions. The list can be found here.

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Researcher Finds Dehydration in Young Athletes

Stavros Kavouras

Even when young players have water available while practicing soccer, they still became dehydrated, a University of Arkansas researcher found in a field study in Greece. Stavros

Kavouras, an assistant professor of exercise science, said the findings have implications for athletes everywhere of all ages, including the Arkansas football players who will start fall practice soon.

Every year, high school football players begin fall practice in Arkansas in August, the hottest month of the year. Dehydration is one factor coaches and athletic trainers should try to monitor closely, according to Kavouras’ research.

Kavouras was the principal investigator who measured the initial hydration status of 107 boys between the ages of 11 and 16 on the second day of a summer sports camp. Of those, 72 of the young soccer players agreed to be monitored during two more training sessions during the camp.

The study found that 95 of 107 of the players were “hypohydrated,” a condition caused by chronic dehydration, before the practice. The researchers found that nearly 96 percent of the players who agreed to be monitored were dehydrated after the training session on the third day and about 97 percent were dehydrated after the fifth day of training.

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2013 Arkansas Poll: Call for Questions


The Arkansas Poll team of the Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society is pleased to announce its annual “call for questions.” Proposals should be submitted by Monday, Aug. 19.

Now in its 15th year, the Poll is an annual statewide telephone survey of Arkansas adults. Each year, the research team allocates space for one or more collaborative partners to add items — free of charge — to our survey protocol. The research team is especially interested in proposals from new faculty and/or those with policy-related research interests.

They should be no more than three pages in length, and should address the general objectives and significance of the research project. Proposing scholars should include drafted questions (with response categories) and note potential publication outlets. The Arkansas Poll team works with collaborators to blend the needs of their projects with theirs, and to help them meet social scientific standards in survey design. 

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University Sets Record for Invention Disclosures

Organic Chemist Receives NSF CAREER Award

Researcher Finds Dehydration in Young Athletes

2013 Arkansas Poll: Call for Questions


NanoMech Makes R&D 100

Esper Named Associate Editor of Supply Chain Journal

CEMB Carver Research Program Concludes


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Grant Award Winners

The following are the top 10 research grants (in terms of dollars) awarded to faculty in fiscal 2013, which ended June 30, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor.
• Sean Mulvenon, $3,098,365, The Corporation for Developing Awareness of World Need Inc.
• Frank Millett, $1,042,877, National Institutes of Health
• Vasundara Varadan, $658,477, Arkansas Science & Technology Authority
• Alan Mantooth, $600,000, National Science Foundation
• Alan Mantooth, $473,336, Arkansas Science & Technology Authority
• Alan Mantooth, $431,935, Auburn University
• Brent Smith, $423,939, U.S. Department of Justice
• Jin-Woo Kim, $412,789, National Science Foundation
• Julian Fairey, $404,969, National Science Foundation
• Jackson Cothren, $400,000, Arkansas Science & Technology Authority
• Magda El-Shenawee, $400,000, National Science Foundation


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1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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