Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience
AR-SFN logo.gif UAMS NCTR ACH ASU UCA Hendrix UALR crest
Society for Neuroscience
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences National Center for Toxicological Research Arkansas Children's Hospital Arkansas State University University of Central Arkansas Hendrix College UALR/UAMS Joint Graduate Program in Bioinformatics

Contact information - Officers

President : Dr. Amrita (Mita) Puri,
President Elect: Dr. Andrew James,
Secretary: Alejandro (Alex) Ramirez Lee,
Treasurer: Dr. Jeffrey Padberg,
Webmaster: Dr. Abdallah Hayar,

Previous Years Officers
To update Chapter Representative at SFN, click here

Neuroscience Activities

News coverage and Events
Brain Bee- high school students show their neuroscience knowledge
Brain Awareness Week- every year in March
Arkansas Science Fair- annual award for neuroscience research
Society for Neuroscience past and future annual meetings

Member services

Arkansas Chapter of SfN member list 
Arkansas SfN member list
Membership Form 2020: Annual Dues: $30 Regular Membership, $10 Postdoc, Free Student Membership
Treasurer's Report (updated 12/4/2018)

Photos (2003-2007)- of society functions
ACSFN Bylaws (revised 7/28/2019) (pdf) (doc)

Forum- for discussions of interest to the society
Calendar- chapter event calendar (members can subscribe, officers can add events)

Dr. Amrita (Mita) Puri

Dr. Andrew James
President Elect

Alejandro (Alex) Ramirez Lee

Dr. Jeffrey Padberg

Dr. Abdallah Hayar

Central Arkansas Brain Bee Announcement

2020 Central Arkansas Brain Bee (Central Arkansas Main Library, Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 4:30-6:30 PM) Download flyer

US Brain Bee is March 27-29, 2020 at Northeast Medical University.

(for previous announcements, click here)

Date: January 6, 2020
Subject: 2020 Central Arkansas Brain Bee (Tuesday, February 25, 2020)
To: Arkansas High School Science Teachers, Science Department Chairs and Students

The Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute are sponsoring the 2020 Brain Bee as part of 2020 Brain AwarenessWeek. The Brain Bee is a question and answer competition testing students’ knowledge of neuroscience. The competition is open to high school students, ages 13-19 and grades 9-12. Up to three students (and one alternate) may compete in the Arkansas Brain Bee per sponsoring high school. Each high school is responsible for determining which student(s) will be sponsored to compete.

The Arkansas Brain Bee will use questions taken from the updated edition of "Brain Facts - a primer on the brain and nervous system", which can be downloaded for free from More Brain Bee information can be found at the USA and International Brain Bee site ( The competition will consist of (1) a timed written question round, (2) an oral response round, and (3) a final elimination round where students’ name different parts of the brain. Questions will test students’ knowledge of the brain and its relationship to intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, stress, aging, anatomy, sleep, addictions, Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, and other psychiatric and neurologic disorders.

The Arkansas student winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to compete in the 2020 U.S. National Brain Bee Championship as the Arkansas representative. The 2020 U.S. National Brain Bee will be held at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown Ohio from March 27th through March 29th.

The Brain Bee competition will be held at the Little Rock Main Library.
2020 Central Arkansas Brain Bee
Tuesday, February 25, 2019 (4:30-6:30 PM)
Darragh Center Auditorium (Main Library – Central Arkansas Library System)
100 Rock St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

Please circulate this announcement to any interested colleagues or post it in the teacher’s lounge.
Please inform us of who will be competing from your school no later than Friday, February 21, 2020 to indicate that they plan to attend. Please include the student’s age, grade, and school, as well as the name and contact information for the sponsoring teacher.
Andrew James, Ph.D., Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience Phone: 501-526-8345


Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience
(for previous meetings, click here)

Monday, September 30th, 2019, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Download the program)

The Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (ACSfN) will hold the Annual Conference and Business Meeting on Monday, September 30th, 2019, from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM in the Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium of Donald W.  Reynolds Institute on Aging, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


Events will include a keynote seminar from 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM by Dr. Xianlin Han from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The title of the seminar is “Alzheimer's disease is likely a lipid-disorder complication as revealed by shotgun lipidomics and CST knockout mice”. A poster session highlighting research by undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, will be held from 2:00 – 3:00 PM. Poster set-up will begin at 11:15 AM. A panel of judges will select one poster presentation from each category (undergraduate student, pre-doctoral student and postdoctoral scholar) for Poster Presentation Award. Prizes will be awarded for the best undergraduate, pre-doctoral, and postdoctoral poster presentations. The Chapter business meeting will be held from 3:00 – 3:30 PM.


Please submit a copy of each abstract you want to present at the poster session to Dr. Amrita Puri via email ( by Thursday, September 26th, 2019. There is no limit to the number of posters members can present. Please specify if a poster is being presented by an undergraduate student, pre-doctoral student or postdoctoral scholar (first author). A confirmation email will be sent to acknowledge receipt of your abstract(s). If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact Dr. Amrita Puri by email.


Lunch will be provided for all attendees. RSVP so we can get a head count.


Attached is the meeting program, invitation flyer, speaker flyer, and a membership renewal form. Note that student membership is free. Please send your membership renewal and check to Dr. Qiang Gu ( or bring them to the meeting on September 30th, 2019. The Annual meeting is an opportunity to inform other members of the Chapter about your latest research progress and find potential collaboration. We look forward to seeing you there!


Fang Liu, Ph.D.

ACSfN President


ACSfN 2019 invitation flyer.ppt
ACSfN 2019 Speaker flyer.ppt

ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM: Monday, September 30th, 2019 (document)
Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium, Room 1207, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas

11:15 – 12:00 p.m. Setup Posters
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Box Lunch Available
12:30 – 12:45 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks, Fang Liu, Ph.D.
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. Keynote Seminar
“Alzheimer's disease is likely a lipid-disorder complication as revealed by shotgun lipidomics and CST knockout mice”
Xianlin Han, Ph.D., Profession of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

1:45 – 1:50 p.m. Brain Bee, BAW, Andrew James, PhD
1:50 – 2:00 p.m. Coffee Break/Networking
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Poster Session and Awards Committee Meeting with Undergraduate/Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Fellow Presenters to Evaluate Posters
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Business Meeting: 1) Officers' Reports - Treasurer and Secretary, 2) Election of Officers, 3) Awards for Best Posters, 4) Old Business, 5) New Business
3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Removal of Posters from Poster Boards

Sixteenth Annual Central Arkansas Brain Bee, February 22, 2018
(for previous years, click here)

The 2018 Arkansas Brain Bee was held February 22, 2018 at the Little Rock Main Library. Twenty-one students participated from six schools across Arkansas. The top six finalist were Shawn Cuffery (Little Rock Central High), Alex Han (Little Rock Central High), A’yanah Jefferson (Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts), Andrew Mathews (Episcopal Collegiate School), Nicole Occidental (Episcopal Collegiate School), and Sarah Shirley (Little Rock Central High). Sarah Shirley won first place and represented the state of Arkansas at the 2018 US Brain Bee in Baltimore MD, where she won fourth place.

All contestants

(Photo: Top six with Chiu). Caption: The top six finalist of the 2018 Arkansas Brain Bee. From left to right: Michelle Chiu, mentor for LR Central High team; Dr. Andrew James, Arkansas Brain Bee organizer; A’yanah Jefferson of ASMSA, Alex Hu of LR Central High, Nicole Occidental of Episcopal Collegiate School, Shawn Cuffery of LR Central High, Sarah Shirley of LR Central High, and Andrew Mathews of Episcopal Collegiate School.

The 2018 Arkansas Brain Bee winner, Sarah Shirley (left), receives the USA Brain Bee Championship Trophy from Sojas Wagle (right), winner of the 2018 USA Brain Bee and winner of the 2018 World Brain Bee. Ms. Shirley was entrusted to return the trophy to the USA Brain Bee Championship, held in Baltimore MD from March 15-18, 2018.

Transferring Trophy

Winner Sarah Shirley

Brain Awareness Day, April 15, 2017, at the Discovery Museum
(for previous years, click here)

Please mark your calendar! The Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience will be hosting Brain Awareness Day at the Museum of Discovery on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Please let Dr. Antino Allen ( know as soon as possible if you plan to host a booth or participate in Brain Awareness Day.


Brain Awareness Day, April 23, 2016, at the Darragh Center in the Little Rock Main Library
(for previous years, click here)

The Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience will celebrate Brain Awareness Day on Saturday, April 23, 2016. We are trying a few things different this year. First, since Brain Awareness Week falls on Spring Break (which typically reduces participation from undergraduate institutions), we are hosting the event later in the year. Second, the event will be hosted at the Darragh Center in the Little Rock Main Library so that the event is completely free to the public! We will repurpose the rental fees that we usually pay to the Museum of Discovery to advertising our event.

We have reserved the Darragh Center from 10am – 2pm. It is a large space that can easily accommodate presentations from about 20 groups. Dr. Andrew James ( is taking lead on organizing this event. Please let him know if representatives of your lab, department, or institution will present, as well as a tentative topic.

If you plan on presenting at Brain Awareness Day on April 23rd, please let Dr. James know as soon as possible.

Brain Awareness Day, March 21, 2015, Discovery Museum
(for previous years, click here)

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, the ACSfN sponsored Brain Awareness Day at the Museum of Discovery in downtown Little Rock from 9 am to 4 pm. This year’s event was overall a success, with more than 1000 children and adult visitors participating in the several interactive exhibits that focused upon various aspects of the central nervous system. The following ACSfN members were involved in organizing and presenting the exhibits and interacting with the attendees: Dr. John Bowyer (NCTR), Dr. Susan Lantz (NCTR), Dr. Matthew Fogle (NCTR), Dr. Andrew James (UAMS), Dr. Lisa Brents (UAMS), Dr. Jeffrey Padberg (UCA), Rachel Hendrix (UAMS), Dr. Laura Stanley (UAMS), Dr. John Chelonis (NCTR), Dr. Merle Paule (NCTR), Dr. Charles Fogle (NCTR), Dr. Rick Murray (Hendrix), Dr. Mahmoud Kiaei (UAMS), Rosemary Cornett (UAMS) and many graduate students and lab coordinators from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Central Arkansas. These included: Jonathan Young, Sonet Smitherman, Tonisha Kearney-Ramos, Rachel Hendrix, Paul Parcon, Brennon Luster, Helen Hayes, and JC Douglas (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences); Jordan Fletcher, Brad Moffitt, Josh Nichols, John Patterson, Brooke Skinner, Hailey Arens, Meghan Kenyon, Regan Harris, and Allyson Newton (University of Central Arkansas).

Dr. Andrew James, UAMS

Dr. Matthew Fogle, NCTR, “Operant behavior”

Dr. Andrew James, UAMS

Dr. Matt Fogle, NCTR

Dr. John Bowyer, NCTR, “Your Brain on Jell-O”

Susan Lantz, , NCTR, "How does your brain work"


Brennon Luster, Rachel Hendrix

Dr. Jeff Padberg, UCA


Dr. Laura Stanley, UAMS

Dr. Laura Stanley, UAMS

Arkansas High School State Science Fair

(for previous years, click here)

The 2015 Arkansas Science and Engineering Fair was held on April 3, 2015 at the Farris Center on the UCA campus.

Updated 1/26/2020