The Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) encompasses collaborative research efforts of five institutions through agricultural and medical research to improve the health of Arkansans. The ABI was created as the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000 (sometimes referred to as Initiated Act I), which was approved in general election by 64% of Arkansas voters. The five-member institute represented a major win for promoting discovery and improved health of Arkansans, and it continues to grow and benefit the people of Arkansas.
As outlined in the Act, the purpose of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute is to conduct:
- Agricultural research with medical implications;
- Bioengineering research that expands genetic knowledge and creates new potential applications in the agricultural-medical fields;
- Tobacco-related research that identifies and applies behavioral, diagnostic, and therapeutic knowledge to address the high level of tobacco-related illnesses in Arkansas;
- Nutritional and other research that is aimed at preventing and treating cancer, congenital and hereditary conditions, or other related conditions; and
- Other areas of developing research that are related or complementary to primary ABI-supported programs.
Scientists from the five member campuses - Arkansas Children's Hospital; Arkansas State University; the University of Arkansas-Division of Agriculture; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - focus on agriculture and basic and clinical science research that lead to health improvement, especially in the area of tobacco-related diseases.
This joint venture in science research strengthens all participating ABI partners by enhancing collaborations in the common research areas of agriculture, bioengineering, tobacco-related illnesses, nutrition and related science, and other complementary fields in engineering, computer science, and the life sciences.. The ABI partners leverage their state-supported research funding to generate additional research dollars from national and philanthropic sources, some of which are only available by conducting collaborative research.
|State-of-the-art facilities in plant genetic engineering, DNA and protein analyses, mammalian cell culture, microscopy and advanced computation provides significant resources to faculty, students and industry. These facilities enable a broad spectrum of research activities that range from direct manipulations at the DNA and single cell level to large scale bioproduction and assessment of medicinally active compounds.
Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
With recent advances in molecular medicine, the human genome, and agriculture, biotechnology is the next major engine of economic development in the U.S. The Delta's strengths in agriculture and food industries make this region a "natural" to capitalize on this revolution. Our goal is to ensure that the region participates fully in this economic growth through development of intellectual property and state-of-the-art facilities, workforce training, and strong collaborations with other institutions and business organizations. Faculty within the Arkansas Biosciences Institute engage in entrepreneurial activities including companies, joint ventures and other business relationships to facilitate technology transfer and regional economic development. This interactive environment provides problem-solving capabilities and innovations to industry and unique cross-disciplinary experiences and training to students in science and business alike.