Allen’s Lab-Current

Allen's Current LabChemotherapy and Radiation treatment are an integral part of the treatment of patients inflicted with cancer. As cancer patients live longer, delayed treatment effects on normal tissue have become a concern. Damage to postnatal neurogenesis and mature neuronal morphology are now believed to be the cellular basis for much of the cognitive dysfunction that follows cancer treatment with cranial radiation and chemotherapy. Led by Antiño Allen, PhD, the laboratory utilizes pharmacologic approaches and genetic models to examine how the changes in the neuronal microenvironment (e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress) affects cognitive function.

For more information regarding our PhD programs, contact the UAMS Graduate School.


Taylor McElroy graduated from Hendrix College in 2016 with a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Taylor is a Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience Track at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Her research examines the negative effects of Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Paclitaxel (AC-T) treatment on cognition. In addition, she is investigating whether manganese porphyrins can ameliorate the effects of AC-T on cognition and hippocampal physiology following treatment. She employs proteomics as a tool to understand the molecular effects of this treatment.





Madison Trujillo graduated from Western State Colorado University in 2018, magna cum laude, with a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

As an undergraduate researcher, Madison spearheaded a self-funded project examining the effects of BPA on primary Xenopus laevis neurons. Presently, Madison is a PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program. She examines the efficacy of Tocotrienols to alleviate oxidative stress and cognitive decline during chemotherapy treatment. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this work will help guide clinical research to protect the central nervous system from injury and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Madison intends to pursue a research career in the Pharmaceutical Science industry after Graduation.





Fabio Ntagwabira graduated from Millsaps College 2018 with a BS (Hons) in Biochemistry

During his undergrad tenure, he worked in the W.M. Keck Center for Instrumental and Biochemical Comparative Archaeology Lab to analyze several pottery samples and Albanian artifacts in an attempt to establish ancient trade routes using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Fabio is a PhD student in the biomedical sciences program at the UAMS in the Neuroscience Track. His current research examines the effectiveness of Senolytics to mitigate chemotherapy-induced normal tissue damage.






Taurean Brown graduated from Pomona College in 2018 with a BA in Biology

During his undergrad Taurean researched at City of Hope Cancer Treatment Center. The goal of his project was to identify variations in transcription factor binding sites of commonly mutated genes in ovarian cancer patients. Taurean is a PhD student in the biomedical sciences program at the UAMS in the Neuroscience Track. His current research is focused on how Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Docetaxel (TAC) treatment affects hippocampal circuitry and long-term memory. This information will help us identify the mechanisms that underlie neuronal damage and cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapeutic treatment. His future plans are to pursue an academic position at an undergraduate institution where he can focus on science education research.




Pilar Simmons graduated from University of Central Arkansas in 2016 with a BA in biology.

Pilar is currently a MS student in the biomedical science program.  Her project utilizes artificial extracellular matrices (aECM) to mimic the natural central nervous system ECM’s ability to promote stem cell differentiation into neurons and glial cells to facilitate the neuron-neuron interactions that produce synapses.  The aECMs from this project will potentially provide scaffolds that can help overcome the cognitive and physical impairments resulting from CNS trauma.