The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is governed by various councils and boards that share a base of interest and support of the TRI mission. Collectively, the governance structure is composed of diverse representatives from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and external entities that provide institutional oversight, inform and guide TRI’s strategic vision and ensure efficient resource allocation.

Governance Council | Leadership Council | Community Advisory Board | Professional Advisory Board
External Advisory Council

TRI Governance

Governance Council

The Governance Council ensures that translational research operates efficiently across all four TRI sites:

1. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) main campus in Little Rock
2. UAMS Northwest campus located in Fayetteville
3. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI)
4. Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Administration (CAVHS).


Barry Brady, M.S.Vice President, ACHRI
Marcy Doderer, M.A.President and Chief Executive Officer, ACH
Jeanne Heard, M.D., Ph.D.Provost and Chief Academic Officer, UAMS
Richard Jacobs, M.D.President, ACHRI
Peter Kohler, M.D.Vice Chancellor, UAMS Northwest
Pearl McElfish, M.B.A.Director of Research, UAMS Northwest
Mark Mengel, M.D., M.P.H.Vice Chancellor, Regional Programs, UAMS
Richard Owen, M.D.Associate Chief of Staff for Research, CAVHS
Daniel Rahn, M.D. (Chair)Chancellor, UAMS
Dennis Sullivan, M.D.Director, Geriatric Research,Education and Clinical Center, CAVHS
Roxanne Townsend, M.D.Chief Executive Officer, UAMS Medical CenterVice Chancellor, UAMS Clinical Programs

Leadership Council

The Leadership Council consists of team leaders from TRI’s six operational units: Research Processes and Methodology, Workforce Development, Stakeholder Engagement, Capacity Building, Informatics, and Evaluation and Continuous Improvement. The Leadership Council convenes regularly to provide strategic guidance to TRI’s executive leadership and assist in charting and prioritizing programmatic, organizational and financial issues.

Community Advisory Board

The Community Advisory Board is a diverse group of community members who are familiar with social, mental and physical health issues for children and adults in Arkansas and have a history of working collaboratively. For the most part they are drawn from local community organizations, predominantly nonprofit, with advocacy or service missions. The Community Advisory Board members represent the racial, cultural and geographical diversity of Arkansas, serving as a voice of the communities they represent. Members of the board advise TRI on issues important to various constituencies in the state, assist the TRI in prioritizing research initiatives, and increase TRI’s visibility at the community level.


Pam ChristieHealth ConsultantLittle Rock
Naomi CottomsExecutive Director, Tri-County Rural Health NetworkHelena
Sarah FacenMember, Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association
Member, UAMS Division of Internal Medicine Community Advisory Board
Little Rock
Nicole HartChief Executive Officer, ARVetsNorth Little Rock
Anna Huff DavisProgram Director, Mid Delta Community ConsortiumWest Helena
Charles MooreFounder, Planting a Seed FoundationCamden
Darrell NelsonOwner, Heavenly Landscape
Member, Texarkana Community Advisory Board
Wake Village, Texas
Margarita SolórzanoExecutive Director, Hispanic Women’s Organization of ArkansasSpringdale
Steve SullivanVA Chaplain; Clergy Coordinator, Rural Clergy Partnership ProgramNorth Little Rock
Jerome TurnerDirector of Special Projects, Boys, Girls, Adults Development Center, Pastor Mt. Everettt and New Hope Baptist ChurchesMarvell

Professional Advisory Board

TRI’s Professional Advisory Board includes leaders in the health care system, training, and policy programs as well as business and industry stakeholders. They help with recruitment, understanding needs and challenges of local health care providers, providing forums to deliver training initiatives, supporting research training opportunities, and identifying ways to commercialize research findings.

External Advisory Council

TRI’s External Advisory Council includes nationally and internationally respected scientists and thought leaders whose expertise spans the research continuum. External Advisory Council members also hold leadership positions at other Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions. The council conducts an annual site visit to evaluate TRI’s overall function and progress in achieving goals.