News Archive: 2010 - 2011

Fall 2010 | Spring 2011 | Summer 2011

Fall 2010

Tracking Down the Swallows December 16, 2010


Every fall, millions of tree swallows arrive in Louisiana to begin their winter roosting period. The pint-sized creatures roost in the protective shelter of the sugarcane fields until they are forced to relocate at harvest time. What researcher Caz Taylor wants to know is, where do they go?

Read the Full Story »

Trip to Kenya Nets New Species of Fish December 13, 2010


In the rivers of Kenya, new species of fish are waiting to be discovered — or at least, to be properly named. Hank Bart, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a taxonomist, traveled to Kenya with four students from Tulane and Xavier University last summer...

Read the Full Story »

Students’ Vision Aids Malaria Detection December 9, 2010


Undergraduates in the Tulane University biomedical engineering program have won a prize for a technology design that could detect malaria in the millions of people worldwide who are at risk for the disease.

Read the Full Story »

Music Soothes Mental Disorders of Aging December 8, 2010


Tulane junior Judy Fustok is discovering the power of music to reach seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and other disorders. Fustok meets one-on-one with residents at St. Margaret’s Daughters Home and notes changes in their levels of communication as she plays music on an iPod for them.

Read the Full Story »

Oliver Fund Scholar Probes Ancient Sea-Level Rise December 8, 2010


Did the melting of ancient ice sheets after the last Ice Age cause sudden sea-level rises? What can be learned from this distant history that could send cautionary messages to modern populations living at the ocean’s edge? Tulane researcher Torbjörn Törnqvist is drilling into coastal soils in search of answers.

Read the Full Story »

Art, Science and Math Converge in Show December 2, 2010


The waning light of November is slanting through the windows of Stanley Thomas Hall. Upstairs, on the fourth floor, amid the civilized sounds of quiet chitchat and the clinking of glassware, a genial convergence of science and art is getting under way.

Read the Full Story »

Scientists Study Impact of Invasive Fish in Alaska November 30, 2010


The benefits of long-term research, mixed with a little serendipity. That’s how David Heins, professor and chair of the Tulane Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, sees a fish mystery in the wild waters of Alaska that led to a new area of research.

Read the Full Story »

Physics Professor Is One of World’s Most Cited November 29, 2010


With nearly 70,000 citations referring to his work on density functional theory, Tulane physics professor John Perdew is among the world’s most-cited physicists — if not the most cited in the last 30 years.

Read the Full Story »

Trailblazing Faculty Promote Service-Learning Courses November 24, 2010


Service learning is a natural extension from the classroom into the community, and psychology faculty members at Tulane University have led the way. Research has shown that service-learning courses engage students, encourage creative thinking and increase the student retention rate.

Read the Full Story »

Tricking Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct November 22, 2010


Tulane University researcher W T. Godbey has developed a treatment for cancer using a method that causes cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing surrounding healthy cells. While clinical trials with human patients are two to three years in the future, the treatment has been successful in animal models.

Read the Full Story »

Kids Get 'Behind the Scenes' Glimpse of Science November 11, 2010


Engaging in interactive demonstrations varying from regenerative medicine to assistive technology that helps disabled persons, 86 students from 16 New Orleans-area middle schools discovered the world of biomedical engineering with a visit to Tulane University.

Read the Full Story »

Barbara E. Moely Service Learning Teaching Award November 10, 2010

2010 Dr. Michael Cunningham, Associate Professor, Psychology


Michael Cunningham holds a joint faculty appointment in Department of Psychology and the undergraduate program in African & African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Cunningham completed his doctoral work at Emory University after completing an undergraduate degree at Morehouse College.

Read the Full Story »

Engineering Health in Africa November 9, 2010


When Bob Lathrop came from Canton, Ohio, to Tulane University he had in mind a career in biomedical engineering with a corporation. But after two months volunteering in eastern Africa this summer with Engineering World Health, Lathrop’s interest is leaning toward more social ventures.

Read the Full Story »

Fish Model Unlocks Keys to Movement November 9, 2010


Lisa Fauci and other scientists at Tulane University and the University of Maryland have developed a computational model of a swimming fish that is the first to address the interaction of both internal and external forces on locomotion.

Read the Full Story »

The Beat Goes On November 2, 2010


When teams of volunteers from Tulane step off for the American Heart Association’s Start! New Orleans Heart Walk on Nov. 20, they will be supporting a cause that hits close to home. In Louisiana, one in four deaths is due to heart disease, records show.

Read the Full Story »

Computational model of swimming fish could inspire design of robots or medical prosthetics October 18, 2010


Scientists at the University of Maryland and Tulane University have developed a computational model of a swimming fish that is the first to address the interaction of both internal and external forces on locomotion. The interdisciplinary research team simulated how the fish's flexible body bends, depending on both the forces from the fluid moving around it as well as the muscles inside.

Read the Full Story »

Barataria Bay Beckons Coastal Scientists October 15, 2010


Beyond the immediate BP oil disaster, the long-term history of impacts to Louisiana’s coastal zone is “turning out to be the more important story,” says Alex Kolker, an adjunct professor and research scientist in the Tulane Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Read the Full Story »

Biotech on the Bayou September 30, 2010


Running from patient to patient while fielding calls from reporters, investors, biotech CEOs, and medical engineers, William Kethman isn’t your typical medical student. The calls are coming because of his second job: moonlighting as a medical device and biotech inventor in the thick of New Orleans’s burgeoning biotechnology economy.

Read the Full Story »

New Role for the Hunger Hormone September 28, 2010


Over the past decade, researchers have studied the hunger hormone ghrelin and discovered many of its functions, but Tulane graduate student Juhee Haam recently found another role of this attention-grabbing hormone.

Read the Full Story »

Getting the rabbit in the hat September 28, 2010


THE HUMAN GENOME’S three billion base pairs, if stretched into a straight chain, would be about one meter long. Yet, by folding itself up, it fits in only a fraction of the volume of a cell’s nucleus. Some very clever origami is required to keep the genome functional in this state instead of just becoming a tangled mess.

Read the Full Story »

Expanding 'Fishnet' Helps Oil Spill Studies September 15, 2010


The National Science Foundation has awarded Tulane University a grant of nearly $200,000 to enhance an important online resource marine scientists use to study the impact of the BP oil spill.

Read the Full Story »

Oil Spill Research Hits Tulane Labs September 10, 2010


Tulane University scientists are among more than 150 recipients of National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research grants to study the impact of oil that spewed from the Macondo oil field into the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Read the Full Story »

‘Good Science’ Takes on Oil Crisis September 8, 2010


A group of academics, government scientists and industry representatives met in Rogers Memorial Chapel on the Tulane uptown campus on Thursday (Sept. 2) for the third in a series of “listening sessions” organized by the Unified Command of the Deepwater BP Oil Spill. The session focused on strategies for measuring oil and dispersant still in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read the Full Story »

SACNAS Honors the Contribution of Five Leaders in Science Research, Mentoring and Teaching  September 6, 2010

The 2010 SACNAS Distinguished Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award was awarded to Ricardo Cortez, PhD.  Ricardo Cortez, PhD, is currently the Pendergraft William Larkin Duren Professor in the Mathematics Department and Director of the Center for Computational Science at Tulane University in New Orleans.  Dr. Cortez has been involved in summer research programs for minority undergraduates since he was a graduate student.  In the summer of 2002, he led a research seminar at the Summer Institute in Mathematics for Undergraduates (SIMU).  Since then, he has run his own summer research program at Tulane University.  In 2007, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program (MSRI-UP) was founded under his leadership.

Strategies for Measuring Oil and Dispersant in Gulf of Mexico Discussed September 3, 2010


Louisiana and Texas scientists gathered on the Tulane University campus Thursday to comment on a proposed sampling plan aimed at answering lingering questions about how much oil and dispersant remains in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent shoreline from the BP Macondo blowout.

Read the Full Story »

Shifting Sands August 25, 2010


During the months following Hurricane Katrina, Tulane geologist Stephen Nelson extensively researched the New Orleans-area levee failures. In November 2005, Nelson began offering field trips to the breach sites, calling the trips, “Hurricane Katrina — What Happened?”

Read the Full Story »

Spring 2011

First-class Teachers May 13, 2011


“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. This year’s four outstanding Tulane teachers have proven that art in the classroom. At the annual Unified Commencement Ceremony on Thursday (May 12), these faculty members were singled out as Tulane’s best teachers after nominations by colleagues and students universitywide.

Read the Full Story »

Staff Support Robotics Competitions March 18, 2011


When she is not coordinating graduate programs at the School of Science and Engineering, you might find Elizabeth Keith volunteering as supervisor for “The Pit,” the area where teams of high school students line up to compete at the annual FIRST™ Robotics Competition “Bayou Regional.”

Read the Full Story »

Seniors’ Project Rocks! May 6, 2011


For four Tulane seniors who took the yearlong biomedical engineering design project course, developing an assistive device for elderly residents at St. Margaret’s Daughters Home in New Orleans became a labor of love. The residents of the home enthusiastically received their “Rockaway” rocking platform for wheelchair users.

Read the Full Story »

Have Bike, Will Ride … and Ride May 2, 2011

One 2011 Tulane graduate will ride off into the sunset after graduation — literally. Maria Araneta will join others who will bike across the country, stopping intermittently to build homes for low-income families.

Read the Full Story »

Of Mice and Mentoring April 27, 2011


In her Tulane laboratory, Nandini Vasudevan is busy studying how hormones such as estrogen influence the social behaviors of mice. It’s a $1 million project funded by the National Science Foundation, but this summer she also will step into the classroom to encourage high school students toward careers in science.

Read the Full Story »

Getting a Grip on Groundwater Pollution April 18, 2011


A team of Tulane engineers is addressing the problem of groundwater pollution through the formation of NanoFex — a company with an innovative method to curb contaminants in groundwater.

Read the Full Story »

Med Student Wins Start-up Pitch Contest April 15, 2011


Third-year Tulane medical student William Kethman has to make room in his studies for a trip to San Francisco. His fledgling company, NOvate Medical Technologies, won the 2011 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week IDEApitch, so he is getting a free trip to California to meet top investors.

Read the Full Story »

Interior Secretary Visits April 15, 2011


Top energy officials in the Obama administration visited the Tulane uptown campus on Wednesday (April 13) as part of a recruiting tour.

On a tour of the fish ecology lab in the Science and Engineering Complex, Salazar talks with Jessica Ward, a Tulane postdoctoral fellow in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Read the Full Story »

Tulane Engineering Forum to Take Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill as Its Theme April 11, 2011

Read the Full Story »

National Geographic: Oil-Eating Bacteria Engineered (video) April 5, 2011

Tulane University Professor Kyriakos Papadopoulos and his students are studying how oil, dispersants and bacteria move through porous material like the sand and mud that makes up coastlines.

Read the Full Story »

Fortune Smiles on Professor Caught in Quake March 21, 2011


At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, Tulane molecular biologist Ken Muneoka was on a train near Tokyo, heading north to Tohoku University to check on the progress of a research project. He never arrived, and for that bit of providence, he is a very lucky man. Tohoku is in Sendai, Japan, just 80 miles from ground zero of the most devastating earthquake in Japan’s history.

Read the Full Story »

Staff Excellence Award for Humanitarianism March 14, 2011


His friends and co-workers in the School of Science and Engineering might say Brett Tribou is a guy who knows how to make things happen. According to Tribou, Tulane University is a place where things are happening and he's thrilled to be a part of it.

Read the Full Story »

Memory of Classmate Felled in Vietnam Inspires Scholarship
40 Years Later March 1, 2011

Throughout his career, Mike Goodrich carried with him the memory of Tulane classmate Tim White, a brilliant young civil engineer tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Now, more than 40 years later, Goodrich has given White’s memory and legacy a permanent place at Tulane in the form of a new scholarship in his name.

Read the Full Story »

Engineering to Navigate Next Disaster February 23, 2011


Engineers from Tulane and Louisiana State universities teamed up to draft an article that explores key issues related to last year’s Gulf of Mexico Macondo well oil spill and proposes the need for predictive modeling tools to forecast and manage the next spill.

Read the Full Story »

Is Tungsten Toxic? February 17, 2011


Tungsten is all around us. Widely used in manufacturing and industry, tungsten wire has glowed in countless light bulbs, and tungsten carbide hardens the steel used for drill bits and cutting tools. Until recently this heavy, dense metal was considered non-toxic and environmentally friendly. But is it? That’s what Tulane biogeochemist Karen Johannesson wants to know.

Read the Full Story »

Census Finally Answers City’s Question February 8, 2011


If there has been one overarching and unanswered question hanging over New Orleans and southeast Louisiana since their populations were dispersed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it is this: How many people are now living here? Data from the 2010 census finally answers that question with only a few surprises, says Tulane geographer and author Richard Campanella.

Read the Full Story »

Lisa Jackson's Story: Protecting the Health and the Environment of the American People February 3, 2011


Read the Full Story »

Where Has All The Gulf Spill Oil Gone? New Predictive Tool Described In Environmental Engineering Science February 2, 2011

Read the Full Story »

Tulane Researcher Awarded 5-year NIH Grant to Study Infant Motor Coordination January 28, 2011

Tulane Researcher Awarded 5-year NIH Grant to Study Infant Motor Coordination

Using the digital motion-capture technology that made the fabulous worlds of Avatar and Tron Legacy possible, Tulane psychologists are analyzing the early development of coordination skills in infants…The five-year study is funded by a new $1.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

Read the Full Story »

Clean Soil Alleviates Lead Risk for Kids January 13, 2011


“Within hours, at a cost of about $100 per child, exterior play areas at childcare centers can be transformed from lead-contaminated to lead-safe with a margin of safety,” says Tulane professor Howard Mielke, who has led a study in alleviating lead issues for young children.

Read the Full Story »

Scientists Explore Blood Vessel Growth January 6, 2011


Three new faculty members in the Tulane Department of Biomedical Engineering are leading the way in understanding how circulating cells are involved in the function and growth of microvascular networks. Each is studying blood vessels from a different angle, resulting in an interdisciplinary approach to the research.

Read the Full Story »

Short-term Estrogen Treatments Improve Memory January 6, 2011


Speaking about mood swings, hot flashes and memory loss in a room full of women likely will lead to a discussion about menopause and the effects of estrogen replacement therapy to curb these conditions. If Jill Daniel happens to be in that room, she’ll probably share the details of her recent research that shows estrogen...

Read the Full Story »

Summer 2011

Fuel Found in Old Newspapers August 25, 2011

Fuel Found in Old Newspapers

Here's one way that old-fashioned newsprint beat the Internet: Tulane University scientists have discovered a novel bacterial strain, dubbed "TU-103," that uses paper to produce butanol, a biofuel that serves as a substitute for gasoline. The researchers are currently experimenting with old editions of The Times-Picayune newspaper with great success.

Read the Full Story »

Faculty Hope to Inspire Future Scientists August 12, 2011

Faculty Hope to Inspire Future Scientists

As the fall semester approaches, three professors in the Tulane Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology are synthesizing lessons learned from a prestigious summer institute that teaches faculty how to interest undergraduate students in science.

Read the Full Story »

Excel-lent Skills Lead Student to Competition July 29, 2011

Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Competition

Green Wave fans, get ready to cheer on Tulane student Brian Broom-Peltz, who’s competing for a world title Aug. 1–3 in San Diego. Broom-Peltz has been selected to represent the United States in the Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Competition in the 2010 Excel category.

Read the Full Story »

'Green Lantern' Film Taps Tulane Expert July 28, 2011

Green Lantern (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics)

What does a dead space alien really look like? When the Green Lantern movie crew, filming in New Orleans, needed to know if their special-effects creations were believable, they turned to Tulane biologist and longtime science fiction fan Bruce Fleury for advice.

Read the Full Story »

Flower Hall to Blossom on Campus July 26, 2011

Flower Hall (Image from Woodward Design+Build)

Construction on Flower Hall will begin in August to replace Taylor Laboratory on the uptown campus. The outdated facility, built in 1949, has become unsuitable for contemporary research.

Read the Full Story »

Anne Skaja Robinson To Chair Tulane University Department July 18, 2011

Anne Skaja Robinson

Anne Skaja Robinson, a leading researcher in the field of biochemical engineering, has been named chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University.

Read the Full Story »

Final space shuttle crew will include Tulane graduate Doug Hurley July 6, 2011

Read the Full Story »

Visiting Mrs. Obama July 5, 2011

Visiting Mrs. Obama

While he was in Kenya doing fish biology research, professor Hank Bart visited the Kogelo village of Sarah Obama, grandmother of President Barack Obama, with a group of students and colleagues from Tulane and the University of Nairobi.

Read the Full Story »

The Facts about Tulane Computer Science June 23, 2011

An Interview with Dean Nicholas Altiero by Chris Schultz

Read the Full Story »

Giving Math a Boost June 22, 2011

Giving Math a Boost

Tulane students will receive a boost in training in the mathematical sciences thanks to a new $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation led by mathematician Lisa Fauci.

Read the Full Story »

Paul Flower Establishes Flower Hall June 17, 2011

Paul Flower Establishes Flower Hall

Seven years ago, Paul Flower established his first faculty chair at the university he loves. This summer, he will begin building a brand-new facility to hold it.

Read the Full Story »

Perdew Chosen for Top Scientific Honor May 25, 2011

John Perdew

John Perdew, professor of physics in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, is a newly elected member in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Members of the academy, composed of about 2,000 distinguished scientists from all fields, advise the U.S. government on science policy.

Read the Full Story »

Tulane's Bowen Woodson Makes Conference USA Academic All-Conference Team May 23, 2011

Read the Full Story »

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764