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. Fang Liu,
President Elect: Dr. Amrita (Mita) Puri,
Secretary: Dr. Mahmoud Kiaei,
Treasurer: Dr. Qiang Gu,
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 2019: 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 (pdf) (doc)

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

Dr. Fang Liu

Dr. Amrita (Mita) Puri
President Elect

Dr. Mahmoud Kiaei

Dr. Qiang Gu

Dr. Abdallah Hayar

Central Arkansas Brain Bee Announcement

2019 Central Arkansas Brain Bee (Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 4:30-6:30 PM) Download flyer

(for previous announcements, click here)

Date: December 3, 2018
Subject: 2019 Central Arkansas Brain Bee (Wednesday, February 20, 2019)
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 a Brain Bee as part of 2019 Brain Awareness Week. The Brain Bee is a live question and answer competition testing the neuroscience knowledge of high school students, ages 13-19 and grades 9-12. Up to three students 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 contestants will answer questions (either written or oral answers) about how the brain relates to intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, stress, aging, anatomy, sleep, addictions, Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, etc., and will also be asked to identify specific brain regions using a model of the human brain.

The student winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to compete in the 2019 U.S. National Brain Bee Championship as the Arkansas representative. The 2019 U.S. National Brain Bee will be held at Penn State University Medical School in Hershey, Pennsylvania on April 12-14, 2019.

The Brain Bee competition will be held at the Little Rock Main Library.
2019 Central Arkansas Brain Bee
Wednesday, February 20, 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 15, 2019 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)

Thursday, October 18th, 2018, 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 Thursday October 18th, 2018. Poster set-up will begin at 1:00 pm, with the conference running from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM in the Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium, Room 1207 Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University for Medical Science.

Events will include a keynote research seminar from 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM by neurosurgeon Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., who has recently joined UAMS and is a participant in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Clinician Scientist Program in the Department of Neurosurgery in Little Rock. The keynote research seminar is entitled “The Blood Brain Barrier in health and disease: A neurosurgeon's perspective.”

In addition, a poster session from 3:00 – 4:00 PM will highlight research by undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral scholars, will be held from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. Two oral presentations will be held immediately following the poster session. The Chapter business meeting will be held from 4:30 – 4:50 PM.

Please submit a copy of each abstract you want to present at the poster or oral session no later than Friday, October 12. 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), and whether you prefer poster or oral presentation. A panel of judges will select two abstracts for oral presentations, the best undergraduate, pre-doctoral, and postdoctoral posters, and prizes will be bestowed for each category.

Please send an electronic version of the abstract of your poster(s) to Dr. Amrita Puri via email ( by Friday, October 12, 2018. 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 or at (870) 5437920 .

Lunch will be provided. Please respond so we can get a head count for lunch if you plan to attend but not submitting an abstract.

Attached is the meeting program 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 October 18th. Booklets of the abstract will be printed and made available to all participants at the meeting. Please remember that the poster session is an opportunity to inform other members of the Chapter about your latest research and to acquaint yourself with the work of our membership. We look forward to seeing you there!

Elvis Cuevas, Ph.D.
ACSfN President
ACSfN 2018 invitation flyer.ppt
ACSfN 2018 Speaker flyer.ppt

ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM: Thursday, October 18, 2018 (document)

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Business Meeting and Presentations: Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium, Room 1207, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging
and Poster Session: Foyer outside the Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging
1:00 – 1:15 p.m. Setup Posters
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch Available
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks, Elvis Cuevas, Ph.D.
1:45 – 2:45: p.m. Keynote Seminar: “Photobiomodulation of the brain”, by Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Neurosurgeon and Professor, UAMS, College of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Little  Rock, Arkansas
2:45-3:00 pm Coffee break/Networking
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Poster Session and Awards Committee meets with Undergraduate/Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Fellow Presenters to Evaluate Posters
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Oral presentations
4:30 – 4:50 p.m. Business Meeting: 1) Officers' Reports - Treasurer and Secretary, 2) Election of Officers, 3) Awards for Best Posters and Oral presentations, 4) Old Business, 5) New Business
4:50 – 5:00 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 12/4/2018