Astrid Engel    

Astrid Engel, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
1440 Canal Street, Suite 405A
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 988-6160

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests:



Professional Achievements:

  • Recipient of a Superior Graduate Student Fellowship (Sept. 1990 - Aug. 1994)
  • Ninth Annual LSUMC Graduate School Research Day, Sigma Xi Society Award 1st place advanced student presentation (1994)
  • Recipient of a Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans (CAGNO) research Grant (1994-1995)
  • Eleventh Annual Tulane Health Research  Day, Sigma Xi Society Award 1st place (1999)
  • Recipient of a Brown Foundation Superior Fellowship from the Tulane Cancer Center (1999-2000)
  • Recipient of a Phase I, Tulane Research Enhancement Fund Award (2006)
  • Recipient of a Phase II, Tulane Research Enhancement Fund Award (2006)
  • Recipient of LCRC Competitive Advantage Award (2006-2007)

Educational Background:

  • PhD, Louisiana State University Medical Health Sciences Center, 1995
  • Licenciate, Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry, University of Costa Rica, San José, 1987

Selected Publications:

View Dr. Engel's publications at her NCBI profile page.


Personal Statement:

My main interest involves the study of retroelements and understanding their amplification mechanism and how they affect the human genome. Throughout evolution, the activity of mobile elements has had a major influence in the shaping of genomes. Currently, only the retroelements LINE-1 and the Alu SINE are active. These insertions in the genome have significantly contributed to genetic disease. The genetic instability caused by the insertional mutagenesis of mobile elements can be a contributing factor in carcinogenesis. Despite the mutagenic potential of mobile elements, studies concerning the mechanistic aspects of SINEs and retropseudogene amplification are in their initial stages. To be able to understand what modulates the activity of retroelements, our efforts concentrate in defining the factors involved in the retroposition mechanism of these elements. The long-term goal is to gain a fundamental understanding of how these components (both cellular and intrinsic to mobile elements) modulate the retroposition mechanism of retroelements and their contribution to human disease and genetic instability.


Level of Instruction:



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Department of Epidemiology, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2000, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-6809