LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Governor Asa Hutchinson joined the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) today to announce six new ARA Fellows during a press conference at the State Capitol. The ARA Fellows program, launched in 2014, recognizes research leaders who are currently working in Arkansas at one of the state’s five research campuses: University of Arkansas (UA); University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS); University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock); University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB); Arkansas State University (A-State); and also from the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, AR, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lab located outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area. ARA Fellows from university campuses receive a $75,000 grant.

The ARA Fellows program was created to advance the mission of ARA by supporting world-class researchers whose work strengthens the competitiveness of the state through research. ARA Fellows focus on innovations in biomedical engineering, plant biochemistry, nanoscience, microbiology, nutritional improvements, electronics research and more, often resulting in a direct impact on the state’s economy.

ARA is celebrating 10 years of making research matter in Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson said, “ARA impacts our state in so many positive ways, from increasing the amount of federal research funds available in Arkansas to accelerating the commercialization timetable, to connecting research to our established businesses.”

The six new ARA Fellows join existing ARA Scholars and Fellows in the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows, now twenty-six members strong. The new ARA Fellows are:

  • Nitin Agarwal, Ph.D., UA Little Rock, Distinguished Professor, Information Science Department
  • Jingyi Chen, Ph.D., UA Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Steven Foley, Ph.D., NCTR Deputy Director, Division of Microbiology
  • Xiuzhen Huang, Ph.D., A-State Professor of Computer Science
  • Clint Kilts, Ph.D., UAMS Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Mansour Mortazavi, Ph.D., UAPB Professor and Vice Chancellor

“ARA Fellows are nominated by their respective institutions,” said Jerry Adams, ARA President and CEO. “We are honored to have these immensely talented researchers join the ARA Academy of Scholars and Fellows.” 

About Arkansas Research Alliance
Founded in 2008, ARA is a 501(c)3 organization governed by a board of trustees comprised of chancellors from Arkansas research campuses and CEOs from across the state. The Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) is dedicated to elevation the fundamental belief that research matters. Operating as a public-private partnership, ARA invests in research that stimulates innovation, encourages collaboration and strengthens economic opportunity in areas in which Arkansas possesses core competency. To learn more, visit