Our Scientific and Clinical Leaders


Arny A Ferrando, PhD

Dr. Ferrando is Professor in the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His research focuses on the prevention of muscle mass and functional losses after injury, trauma, major surgery, or other stress states. His body of work includes investigations during space flight, including experiments aboard the Space Shuttle, after burn injury and trauma, hip replacement surgery, renal failure, heart failure and the aging process. Arny has experience in canine search and rescue operations, and it was there that he realized the amazing capability of the canine olfactory system. After regaling Dr. Bodenner on canine exploits, they decided to undertake this leading-edge research effort.  Arny has two rescue dogs that were involved in canine cancer detection; Frankie (the ground-breaking mix breed, for whom this organization is named) and Sophie (a border collie mix). 

AA Ferrando Publications

Donald L Bodenner, MD, PhD

Dr. Bodenner is the Director of the UAMS Thyroid Center, Chief of Endocrine Oncology and Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Don is an endocrinologist who has received multiple awards for outstanding performance in the area of clinical teaching and research, including the American Federation of Clinical Research Early Career Development Award and the Red Sash Award at UAMS. He has authored over 50 research publications in the field of endocrinology and is currently conducting thyroid cancer clinical research studies. Don experiences the difficulty in accurate cancer diagnosis on a daily basis, providing the impetus for investigation of this adjunct diagnostic method.


Brendan C Stack, Jr, MD, FACS, FACE

Dr. Stack is a high-volume thyroid and parathyroid surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His research interests include minimally invasive endocrine surgery, radioguided endocrine surgery, early detection of head and neck cancer, novel therapies for head and neck cancer, and medical device development for head and neck cancer. Brendan has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, chapters, and internet articles as well as has presented at more than 300 regional, national and international meetings. Brendan functions as our primary surgeon obtaining patient tissue samples necessary for the canine imprinting/discrimination training.

BC Stack Jr Publications

Aime Franco.JPG

Aime Franco, PhD 

Dr. Franco's research is focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of advanced thyroid disease. Aime research focuses on the different types of thyroid cancer and their related tumor progression.  Aime was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the summer of 1999, and has experienced firsthand the limitations of our current diagnostic strategies. Aime serves on the American Association of Cancer Research's Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee. She also speaks to legislators in Congress about the importance of funding cancer research. Aime has been instrumental in growing thyroid cancer cells, obtained from patients during surgery, in the laboratory. Her work serves as the foundation for characterizing the actual volatiles the dogs are detecting.


Eden Bull

 Eden Bull, RN, BSN

Eden graduated from UAMS with a bachelor's of science in nursing. She has experience as a medical/neuro ICU nurse. Eden is one of our dog parent's, and it was through this experience that she realized her passion for helping others in a different and innovative way. She is now our study nurse who interacts with patients and maintains the study database.  

Stefani Waggoner

Stefani is a Marine Corps veteran with over 9 years experience in training Explosive/Patrol Detection canines and Police Department Narcotic/Patrol canines. She has extensive field experience, to include tours in Iraq, and service with the Presidential Helicopter Squadron throughout the Far East. She serves as both a study coordinator and lead trainer for our research.