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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Researchers at the University of Arkansas have received $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop new molecules and biopharmaceuticals to improve a patient's immune response against tumors.

The goal of the five-year grant is to attack hidden metastatic tumors and prevent cancer recurrence.

David Zaharoff, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and the principal investigator for the project, says metastasis, not the primary tumor, kills about 90 percent of cancer patients.

UCA gets a new chief of staff

There is a new chief of staff at the University of Central Arkansas.

Kelley Erstine, a Sheridan native, will take over the job on Sept. 1. His salary will be $165,000 a year.

Erstine graduated from UCA in 1979. He has served on the university's board of trustees and was vice president for institutional advancement while Lu Hardin was university president.

The university's former chief of staff, Jack Gillean, resigned in 2012 and was later found guilty on six counts of commercial burglary.

JR. League of LR working w/nonprofit center

The Junior League of Little Rock has started work on a nonprofit center at its Scott Street location.

$350,000 in renovations to the third floor of the building began last week. By next year, the Junior League expects to open a 3100-square-foot space to various nonprofits that are just getting off the ground.

The space will include seven offices, a conference room, resource center and restrooms.

Lindsey Gray, president of the Junior League, said the space will offer lower rent, shared equipment and other amenities a new organization might not be able to have on its own.

The center is expected to open in February.

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