AR-BIC 2020: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Arkansas (AR)
6th Annual Conference

Monday, February 10 – Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Conference Center, Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock
North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC) is comprised of major research universities in Arkansas (including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) plus the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). AR-BIC 2020 will be the 6th annual conference, and it will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) research and applications in Arkansas. The one-and-a-half-day event will be held at Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock, February 10-11, 2020.

AI is a broad concept of training machines to think and behave like humans. It consists of a wide range of statistical and machinal learning approaches with a specific emphasis on learning from existing data and information to predict future outcomes. The concept of AI was introduced in the 1950s, and its critical role in a broad range of applications has yet to be fully realized. As new AI methodologies — such as deep learning that extract complex patterns from new data streams and formats — are increasingly adopted, they generate information beyond conventional, tabular data, such as imaging.

AR-BIC 2020 will present the basic concepts and methodologies of AI, along with their advanced applications in biomedical research, food safety, drug discovery and development, and clinical settings. In addition, the consortium will provide a platform for networking and collaboration in the area of AI.


Day 1, Monday, February 10th

1:00 pm – 1:20 pm

Welcome Remarks

  • Jerry Adams, President & CEO, Arkansas Research Alliance
  • RADM Denise Hinton, Chief Scientist, U.S. FDA (invited)

1:20 pm – 4:00 pm

Special Lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • An Introduction to AI, Weida Tong, NCTR
  • AI for Natural Language Processing and Text Mining, Xiaowei Xu, UA Little Rock
  • Deep Learning Computer Vision Models and Applications in Biomedical Research, Mariofanna Milanova, UA Little Rock

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Keynote Speaker

5:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Poster Presentations and Reception

Day 2, Tuesday, February 11th

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Keynote Speaker

9:30 am – 12:00 pm

ARA Academy on AI Chaired by Bryan Barnhouse, Chief Operating Officer, ARA

  • AI for the Brain, Clint Kilts, UAMS
  • FDA Efforts on Machine Learning for Genomic Biomarkers, Weida Tong, NCTR
  • AI Campus in AR, Xiuzhen Huang, A-State
  • AI in Crop Studies, Argelia Lorence, A-State
  • Deep Learning with Integrating Heterogeneous Data Types, Justin Zhan, UA

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lunch Break

1:00 pm – 2:20 pm

Imaging and Radiomics

  • FIDE - An AI-based Recognition System to Advance ORA Regulatory Operations at Importing Mail Facilities, Leihong Wu, NCTR
  • Advanced Approaches in Deep Learning and Computer Vision to 3D Face Emotion Recognition in Food Eating, Khoa Luu, UA
  • Deep-learning for Automated Segmentation of Skin Wound Features Kyle Quinn, UA

2:20 pm – 2:50 pm


2:50 pm – 4:10 pm

AI/Machine Learning in Biomedical Research

  • AI for Drug Design and Drug Discovery, Jerry Darsey, UA Little Rock
  • AI for Drug Safety, Shraddha Thakkar, NCTR
  • Deep Learning Inferential Methods for Protein Structure Predictions, Mahmoud Moradi, UA

4:10 pm – 4:30 pm

Poster Awards Presentation and Concluding Remarks

Registrant Information

Are you a:


AR-BIC 2020 will feature a poster competition. Prizes will be awarded $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place in two categories: undergraduate/graduate and post-doctoral. Students may present a poster without participating in the competition. Deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, January 24, 2020.

Click the button below to submit an abstract. English language and in Word format only. Full submission guidelines can be downloaded here.

Do you wish to participate in the competition?

If yes, which category?


A limited number of complimentary hotel rooms are available only on February 10, 2020, at the conference hotel: the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock (in North Little Rock). They are intended for students, although others may be eligible, and are available on a first-come/first-serve basis for those traveling beyond a 50-mile radius of the conference site. Any additional nights will be at your own expense at the normal rate. All lodging will be confirmed through Julie LaRue (

Do you request complimentary lodging on February 10, 2020?*

The following information is required to comply with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration grant that supports, in part, this conference.*