Success Stories

Original COBRE Mentees: Where Are They Now?

Seven of the eight original COBRE mentees have gone on to become independently funded investigators.

Charles Hemenway, MD, PhD: Ronald McDonald House Charities Endowed Professor in Pediatric Hematology oncology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine (2 RO1s)

Jeremy Stark, PhD: assistant professor of radiation biology, City of Hope (1 RO1)

Andrew Hollenbach, PhD, assistant professor of genetics, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (1 RO1)

Bo Xu, MD, PhD, head of the Molecular Radiation Biology Laboratory, Southern Research Institute, Birmingham (2 RO1s, 1 R21)

Carl Gregory, PhD, assistant professor of molecular and cellular medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center (1 DOD)

Astrid Engel, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health (1 RO1; currently oversees Pilot Project)

Tomoo Iwakuma, MD, PhD, assistant professor of genetics, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (currently oversees Pilot Project)

Aline Betancourt, PhD, research assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine



Dr. Xiao-Fan Wang
Xiao-Fan-WangDr. Wang is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University. He is an extremely successful scientist in the field of signaling associated with genetic instability. He has an outstanding record of peer reviewed funding and currently has multiple NIH grants. He has a prolific record of postdoctoral training and has served on several different study sections and editorial boards. Dr. Wang’s expertise is invaluable to the junior investigators.



Dr. Bronya Keats
Bronya KeatsDr. Keats received her PhD from the Australian National University in 1976 and spent five years in the Population Genetics Laboratory at the University of Hawaii as an assistant researcher. In 1982 she accepted an assistant professor position at LSU Health Sciences Center, was promoted to associate professor in 1986, full professor in 1991 and was appointed Director of the Molecular and Human Genetics Center of Excellence in 1998 and Chair of the Department of Genetics in 2000. Dr. Keats was co-Director of the COBRE until her retirement in 2008. She has returned to her native Australia.

Much of Dr. Keats’ research has revolved around genetic mapping and gene identification studies in humans and mouse, in particular disorders in the Acadian population, focusing on hearing loss and hereditary ataxias. She has been awarded substantial funding from the NIH as well as other entities, including the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the National Ataxia Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.








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