Ussery Invested as Inaugural Recipient of Chair

Mar 17, 2017 at 01:46 pm by admin

David W. Ussery, Ph.D.

LITTLE ROCK -- David W. Ussery, Ph.D., director of the Arkansas Center for Genomic and Ecological Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), was invested in February as the inaugural recipient of the Helen Adams & Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) Endowed Chair in Biomedical Informatics.

Ussery, who has worked with bacterial genomics since 1995, joined UAMS in May.

Ussery's genome sequencing work, using low-cost, high-output technology has some exciting potential applications for a range of emerging infections. Ussery and his team are collaborating with the Arkansas Department of Health to sequence outbreaks for mumps, the Zika virus, and the flu; his group is also collaborating with many clinicians to analyze genome and microbiome data from patients at UAMS.

This is the first endowed chair for the College of Medicine's Department of Biomedical Informatics, which was elevated in 2015 from a free-standing division with only a few people, to a full department that now has 24 faculty and 20 staff members.

UAMS provided $500,000 toward the chair, using a bequest from Helen Adams, and the ARA provided the other $500,000 as part of its ARA Scholars program to attract highly respected researchers to Arkansas to stimulate innovation and economic opportunity.

Helen Adams was a 1929 graduate of the University of Arkansas and co-owner with her husband, Roy Adams, of a Fayetteville flower shop. On her death in 2004, Helen Adams left a generous bequest to UAMS to support medical research.

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