Active Research Funding:

Cornet UAMS/UTMHSC Award        (Griffin/Yallapu, PIs)               09/01/2017-08/30/2018

TNF-Targeted Nanomedicine for Improved Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatment in HNSCC

Major goals:  To develop a new nanogel formulation of TNF-loaded nanoparticles for improved tumor therapy.


RGA011 Pinnacle Biologics, LLC (Griffin, PI)                           07/01/2017-06/30/2018

Thermal therapy for improvement of photofrin-based PDT

Major goals: To determine the increase in photosensitizer uptake and improvement in tumor control when moderate thermal therapy is applied to a head and neck carcinoma model.


AWD00052238 Graphitic Nano Onions LLC (Griffin, PI)                    7/6/2017 – 7/5/2020

Carbon nanoonion technology for advanced theranostic applications in cancer therapy

Major goals: To explore and quantify the potential of carbon nano-onions to be used as an ultrasound or photoacoustic imaging agent and function as a thermal ablation enhancement agent against solid tumors.


4P20GM103625-05 (Smeltzer, M; PI)                                      05/01/2017–04/30/2022


Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and host Inflammatory Responses

ROLE: mentor for project 4 (Dings, PL) 


NSF EPSCoR (Zou and McClure, PIs)                                          08/01/2015-07/31/2020

Arkansas Advancing and Supporting Science, Engineering, and Technology Multifunctional and tunable Nanostructured Surfaces (ASSET) III

The goal is to develop durable, low friction, self-sharpening multifunction surfaces for various applications, including biomedical.

ROLE: Co-Investigator, aECM co-leader, UAMS overall administrative PI.  Work focused on exosome characterization when cells are grown on various surfaces to be produced by the materials group, working towards new approaches for stem cell differentiation and improving cell-cell crosstalk.


R01 EB017217 (Zharov, PI)                                                         07/01/2014–06/30/2019


Photoswitchable nanoprobes for in-vivo flow cytometry

ROLE:  Co-Investigator.  Major goals:  to utilize photoswitchable chemistry to probe the origin and destination of circulating tumor cells before and after development of metastatic lesions and before, during and after therapy.


R01CA188500 (Xia, F; PD/PI)                                                09/02/2014 – 08/31/2020

Novel functions of Pyruvate kinase M2 in DNA double-strand break repair

Major Goals: To identify cancer risks and risk reduction strategies, to identify factors that cause cancer in patients, and to discover and develop mechanisms for cancer prevention in patients.


R01CA163838 (Xia, F; PD/PI)                                                07/12/2012 – 04/30/2019

GSK3b mediates radiation-induced cytotoxicity in hippocampal neurons.

Major Goals: A formidable challenge in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain cancers, especially in children, is the long-term neurocognitive deficiencies resulting from cranial irradiation (IR)-induced hippocampal neuronal apoptosis. Our laboratory has discovered a novel functional connection between the metabolic kinase GSK3¿ and the Non- homologous End-joining (NHEJ) pathway that repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs).


R01CA118158 (Xia,F; PD/PI)                                                09/26/2006 – 10/31/2012

The role of BRCA1 in nonhomologous repair of chromosomal double-strand breaks

Major Goals:  The long-term objective of this research is to understand the mechanisms that regulate the repair of chromosomal double-strand breaks (DSB), arisen during physiological processes or after ionizing radiation or chemotherapy. We aim to learn the impact of deregulated DSB repair on cellular mutagenic processes and genomic instability that promote carcinogenesis.


Development Enhancement Awards for Proposals (DEAP) (Leung, J; PI)

Mechanistic Characterization of the cell cycle-dependent DNA repair pathway