LITTLE ROCK — A professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock has been awarded an $11 million grant to support microbiology and immunology research, UAMS said Tuesday.

Mark Smeltzer has been awarded the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grant for Phase II of a research program that was initially funded with a $10 million grant in 2012, the research hospital said.

The first grant allowed Smeltzer to establish the UAMS Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Responses. Its focus is pathogens — bacteria, viruses and microorganisms — and the disease responses they cause in humans.

The new grant continues funding for the center and supports individual projects on cancer, Lyme disease, pneumonic plague and chlamydial infection.

Smeltzer is co-director of the center with Richard Morrison, chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UAMS College of Medicine.