Research News: Health

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Math Professor Awarded for Impact on the Field October 31, 2016

Mac Hyman

The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) annually recognizes scientists and professionals for their contributions to research in biosurveillance, and this year Mac Hyman, a mathematics professor in the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, is being honored twice.

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Tulane Launches New Brain Institute
October 7, 2016

Brain Institute

Tulane University formally launched its new Brain Institute, a university-wide initiative created to coordinate and support brain-related research and neuroscience endeavors at Tulane. The Institute combines expertise and research from faculty, postdocs and students (from undergraduates to Ph.Ds) at the Schools of Medicine, Science and Engineering, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Liberal Arts, and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

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Tulane Receives $1.1 Million to Study How Age Affects Blood Vessels
October 6, 2016

Bunnell and Murfee

Tulane University researchers have been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of aging on the growth of new blood vessels in the human body. It is hoped that learning more about how age affects the growth of new blood vessels, also known as angiogenesis, will help guide the future treatment of diseases.

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Tulane Researcher to use Grant to Study Children Exposed to Violence
September 6, 2016

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray, an assistant professor of psychology at Tulane University, has been awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant through the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. A NARSAD grant is one of the highest distinctions in the field of mental health research. Less than 200 researchers receive the prestigious grant each year, and Gray will use the money – up to $70,000 over two years – to study the development of children who have been exposed to violence or other traumatic events.

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Drug Pioneer Shares His Career with Students April 15, 2016

Drug Pioneer Shares His Career with Students

Dr. Steven Paul got his start in medical research in Dinwiddie Hall on the Tulane University uptown campus. In the laboratory of professor Merle Mizell, Paul was an undergraduate student worker feeding frogs for developmental biology and cancer research.

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Tulane Researcher Using “Nerve-On-A-Chip” To Study Safer Chemo Drugs March 4, 2016

Tulane Researcher Using “Nerve-On-A-Chip” To Study Safer Chemo Drugs

A Tulane University researcher is leading a study that could lead to improved ways of screening chemotherapy drugs for neurotoxicity, the prime reason that patients reduce their doses or cease treatment altogether. The study is being led by Michael J. Moore, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Tulane, in collaboration with AxoSim Technologies, LLC, a start-up company spun out of Moore’s lab in 2014 to improve pharmaceutical drug development.

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Tulane Professor Gets $2.6 Million to Study Trauma in NOLA Students October 28, 2015

Tulane Professor Gets $2.6 Million to Study Trauma in NOLA Students

A Tulane University psychology professor and a team of community partners will spend the next four years in New Orleans public schools as part of a first-of-its-kind study to determine the best ways to meet the needs of trauma-exposed students.

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Tulane Researcher Gets Millions to Study Adolescent Brains and More October 7, 2015

Yu-Ping Wang

A Tulane University researcher is studying adolescent brain development as part of a $5.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

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Biomedical Team Creates "Nerve on a Chip" December 23, 2014

Curly and Moore

Michael J. Moore and J. Lowry Curley first met in the laboratory as professor and student. Now the two Tulane University researchers have started a new biomedical company that’s winning praise and awards.

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Tulane Awarded $3.7 Million to Study Osteoporosis, Mental Disease October 7, 2014

Yu-Ping Wang

Yu-Ping Wang, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and biostatistics and bioinformatics at Tulane University, has been awarded two grants totaling nearly $3.7 million from the National Institutes of Health.

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Roadmap Scholar to Help Cancer Patients July 15, 2014

Roadmap Scholar to help cancer patients

Tulane clinical psychologist Michael Hoerger understands all too well the agonizing treatment choices families face when a loved one is diagnosed with advanced cancer. How do some patients remain hopeful and resilient even under the darkest of circumstances while others disengage?

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Collaborative Team Science Gets Results April 21, 2014

Gone are the days when a lonely scientist would work very much on his or her own in a lab or office, spending long solitary hours trying to solve complex issues. Today’s approach to the compelling research problems of our time, such as climate change, chronic disease and obesity, involves many scientists, often from diverse disciplines, who come together to develop robust solutions that have been addressed from multiple perspectives.

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Capstone Projects Solve Real-World Problems April 9, 2014

Capstone Projects Solve Real-World Problems

The members of Team Inventilator, seniors majoring in biomedical engineering at Tulane University, were more than happy to explain their invention — an automated airway-suctioning device for patients on ventilators.

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'Your Sensational Brain' Program Teaches Children the Power of the Brain
March 24, 2014

'Your Sensational Brain' Program Teaches Children the Power of the Brain
Elizabeth Heideman

Article By Elizabeth Heideman

Wearing blue, plastic gloves like budding brain surgeons, a group of New Orleans area children cautiously peered at the cool, grey brains they were holding before them. At first, they examined tentatively, occasionally wrinkling their noses, but the children’s squeamishness was quickly replaced with wonder as they witnessed for the first time what powered their bodies and their imaginations.

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Doctoral Student Named A University Innovation Fellow November 26, 2013

Doctoral Student Named A University Innovation Fellow

Derek Dashti, a doctoral student studying bioinnovation at Tulane University, has been named a University Innovation Fellow, a prestigious national honor that will enable him to bolster entrepreneurial activity on campus.

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Dean and CEO Talks Medical School Success with Students November 22, 2013

Dean and CEO Talks Medical School Success with Students

Students interested in a career in medicine learned about applying to medical school, getting through the interview process and success as a medical student from Tulane University alumnus Dr. Robert I. Grossman, CEO and dean of New York University Langone Medical Center.

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Banging an Important Development Milestone, Tulane Study Says November 6, 2013

Babies have a natural proclivity for banging, but what may seem like haphazard movements (and a lot of noise) are actually providing researchers at Tulane University with important data on how humans learn to use tools.

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Tulane Researcher to Study Impact of Changes to the Environment on Infectious Diseases September 19, 2013

Carrie A. Manore

Carrie A. Manore, a postdoctoral researcher at the Tulane University Center for Computational Science, has been awarded a $480,700 fellowship to study the impact of environmental changes on emerging and potentially emerging infectious diseases.

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When Babies Bang August, 19, 2013

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Sometimes Second-Best Makes a Better Role Model August 9, 2013

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Grad Gets Research Fellowship in Switzerland

Grad Gets Research Fellowship in Switzerland
June 12, 2013

Recent Tulane University graduate Gisele Calderon of Baton Rouge, La., has won a Whitaker International Fellowship, becoming the first Tulane student to be awarded the prestigious postgraduate research grant. She will spend the 2013–14 academic year at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Tulane Professor Wins NIH Award to Study How Salt Helps Molecules Mix December 3, 2012

Bruce Gibb, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Tulane University, hopes to solve a 120-year-old mystery with the help of a more than $1.1 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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Tulane University Researcher Receives NIH Transformative Research Award October 31, 2012

Tulane University researcher receives NIH Transformative Research Award

Sergey Shevkoplyas, the Ken and Ruth Arnold Early Career Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University, has received a $2 million National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award to make red blood cell transfusions safer.

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NIH Funds Tulane Scientist to Study Effects of Estrogen on the Aging Female Brain October 10, 2012

NIH funds Tulane scientist to study effects of estrogen on the aging female brain

NIH funds Tulane scientist to show how estrogen therapy for middle-aged women can stave off cognitive decline and dementia.

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Seeking Scientists With Business Sense September 18, 2012

Dr. Gaver

Donald P. Gaver is looking for serious science students who possess a penchant for taking entrepreneurial risks. Gaver, the Alden J. “Doc” Laborde professor and chair of biomedical engineering, is directing a new interdisciplinary PhD program in bioinnovation at Tulane University.

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Researchers Test Treatment For Late-Stage Cancer June 13, 2012

Researchers Test Treatment For Late-Stage Cancer

At Tulane University this summer, researchers led by Damir Khismatullin begin the second phase of studies geared at developing a minimally invasive technique for treatment of large primary tumors and metastases to the liver and kidneys.

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Biomed Engineer Invents Easier IUD Insertion Device June 12, 2012

Biomed Engineer Invents Easier IUD Insertion Device

As a foolproof method of birth control, intrauterine devices are unsurpassed. In fact, IUDs are 20 times more effective than oral contraceptive pills, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, there’s a catch: IUDs are difficult to put in and the procedure can lead to complications. But Tulane University alumnus Ben Cappiello has invented a solution to the problem.

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Goldwater Scholar Making the Most of Summer Break May 22, 2012

Goldwater Scholar Making the Most of Summer Break

Volunteering in East Africa, writing a cookbook, designing medical equipment — these all add up to making a difference for Angela Czesak, a biomedical engineering undergraduate student at Tulane University who received a 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

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Tulane Student-scientists Lead Breakthrough Discoveries May 2, 2012

Tulane student-scientists lead breakthrough discoveries

From environmental protection to health and well-being, projects presented at the recent Tulane University School of Science and Engineering poster session tackled a wide range of issues. The annual event, held at the Lavin-Bernick Center on April 12, allows students to illustrate their latest research outcomes on paper posters affixed to portable walls.

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Exploring the Cellular Mechanisms of Autism March 19, 2012

Exploring the Cellular Mechanisms of Autism

Causes of neuro-developmental disorders such as mental retardation, schizophrenia and autism continue to challenge the medical community, but researchers at Tulane University potentially have found a key. They demonstrated how a particular gene is essential to the healthy development of infant brains, and if it’s missing, may lead to disorders.

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Tulane Engineering Students Invent Special Devices to Help Disabled March 4, 2012

Tulane Engineering Students Invent Special Devices to Help Disabled
Photo By: Chris Granger,
The Times-Picayune

Article By Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune

Because of a neurological condition called ataxia, Bennett Curran, 8, likes to hold the back of a kitchen chair and rock back and forth. But if the chair rocks too far, it tips over and Bennett tumbles to the floor.

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Lab Probes Stem Cell Potential February 3, 2012

Michael Moore

Tulane researchers are developing new nanomaterials to study how adult stem cells grow and might be used to treat central nervous system disorders. Leading this research is Michael Moore, the Paul H. and Donna D. Flower Early Career Professor in Engineering, director of the Neural Micro-Engineering Laboratory, and the most recent winner of the Oliver Fund Scholar Award at Tulane University.

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A Quest to Improve Treatment of Lung Disease January 23, 2012

Gaver and Glindmeyer

For 250,000 patients in the U.S. suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), mechanical ventilation is a necessary part of treatment. But the life-saving treatment also can cause great damage to the lungs. Tulane researchers Donald Gaver and Will Glindmeyer are investigating a new strategy that could improve the outcomes for ARDS patients.

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Students Give Year of Service Before Med School January 12, 2012

Adil Yousuf

Most third-year students heading to medical school can’t volunteer on a full-time basis, but Adil Yousuf, Adrienne Roth and Brian Templet can because they are part of the Tulane Accelerated Physician Training Program. The program allows these students to participate in a year of service that is aiding the New Orleans community.

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Spiders: What’s the fear factor? October 31, 2011


Each Halloween, huge “spider webs” with hairy spider figures appear on houses, fences and trees. In the popular imagination, spiders are partners in evil with the vampires and zombies that come alive on All Hallow’s Eve. “I remember spider movies from the ’50s. In film, being attacked by a giant spider with dripping jaws is not a good thing!” says Terry Christenson, a Tulane expert on evolution of behavior in spiders.

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Links Between Sexual Signaling, Immune-Endocrine Functions Focus of NSF Grant to IU Anthropologist September 8, 2011

Michael Muehlenbein, Assistant Professor at Indiana Bloomington Department of Anthropology, has been granted $304,000 to study rhesus macaques' health and behavior at Tulane National Primate Research Center. The study conducted will help researchers better understand the links between immune-endocrine interaction and sexual signaling in primate behavioral ecology.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Learning What Makes Brains Tick July 28, 2010


In laboratories on the uptown and downtown campuses, Tulane undergraduates are learning the value of basic research, sharpening their presentation skills and gaining insight into the big career picture through the neuroscience summer research program.

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Program Offers Lab Experience to Minority Students July 8, 2010


Undergraduates from New York, Tennessee and Louisiana are getting hands-on research experience in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering laboratories through the Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation. The 10-week summer program is funded by the National Science Foundation and Louisiana Board of Regents.

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Tulane researchers find evidence of possible oil in Gulf food chain July 1, 2010


Since the oil crisis began, concerns have mounted about the toxic crude's possible impact on marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as coastal estuaries and marshes. While studying spawning habits of blue crabs recently, researchers from Tulane University and the University of Southern Mississippi stumbled upon something very troubling.

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Students Introduced to ‘Brain and Behavior’ June 28, 2010


Examining the physiology of a hiccup is one simple way to introduce students to the collaboration between the brain and nervous system. Beth Wee, a neuroscience professor of practice at Tulane, says that by using such accessible examples, she is able to engage a broad range of students in science and research.

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Top Award for Young Scientist June 7, 2010


Tulane neurobiologist Benjamin Hall has received a National Science Foundation Career Award. Over the next five years, the grant will provide $920,000 in funding for Hall's laboratory research and his work with undergraduate students in the sciences.

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$13.5 Million Spurs Lab Upgrades April 23, 2010


Tulane University has received a $13.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to redesign and upgrade laboratory spaces in the J. Bennett Johnston Health and Environmental Research Building, located at 1324 Tulane Ave. on the downtown health sciences campus.

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Students’ Designs Solve Real-world Challenges March 3, 2010


David Rice watched carefully on Saturday (Feb. 27) as teams of his biomedical engineering students proudly debuted the devices they have built to assist New Orleanians with disabilities. "The big deal is working not so much for a class grade, but for real people who need help," he says.

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Show-and-Tell for Scientists February 26, 2010


Students, faculty and postdoctoral trainees from many departments across the university will showcase their research projects at the Tulane Health Sciences Research Days on Wednesday and Thursday (March 3–4).

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Making Safe Playgrounds a Priority February 2, 2010


When children are playing at childcare centers, it's expected that minor injuries such as a skinned knee or a bump on the head will occur. What is not expected are the kinds of long-term disabilities that can occur from environmental poisons. Tulane researcher Howard Mielke is not only shining light on the problem of toxins in play yards, but also is trying to mitigate their effect on children.

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PHD Program in Aging Studies Recruits Students January 20, 2010

aging studies

Like a spry 70-year-old chasing balls on a tennis court, the study of the aging phenomenon knows no bounds. Interdisciplinary aging studies is a wide-open, novel field, says Michal Jazwinski, professor of medicine and director of the Tulane Center for Aging.

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Newcomb Scholars Debut  DeCEMBER 8, 2009


The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute has introduced its first class of Newcomb Scholars. These 20 first-year women have already made big plans for the rest of their college careers at Tulane, including committing to fulfilling a junior-year service internship and presenting their own research at a campus conference during their senior year.

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Controlling Body Temperature May Fight Fatigue November 16, 2009


Students at the Center for Anatomical and Movement Sciences at Tulane, led by center director Mic Dancisak, are dressing athletes, surgeons and others in "cooling sleeves" to control body temperature during physical exertion, in a series of experiments to try to delay fatigue.

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Student Entrepreneurs Take Spotlight November 16, 2009


The national spotlight is on Tulane University once again. Just hours after TIME magazine cited Tulane President Scott Cowen as one of the top U.S. college presidents, two teams of Tulane students will appear on MTV and head to New York as finalists in a national "Movers & Changers" competition for social entrepreneurs.

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Students' Invention Aids Safe Childbirth August 18, 2009


A group of Tulane bioengineering graduates and a professor have applied for a patent for an inexpensive device that could prevent millions of infection-related neonatal deaths in developing countries.

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Muneoka Leads Limb Regeneration Research JUNE 3, 2009


As biology professor Ken Muneoka and his research team try to understand the genetics behind limb regeneration in salamanders, they hope to make progress for tissue regeneration in humans.
(Photo by Rick Olivier)

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Tulane Scientist to Study Limb Regeneration JUNE 14, 2009

Ken Muneoka, a professor of cell and molecular biology at Tulane, is leading a team that will study limb regeneration in the axolotl, or Mexican salamander.

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Professors Win Early Career Awards APRIL 2, 2009


National Science Foundation grants will allow assistant professors James Donahue, left, and W T. Godbey to establish their own laboratories at Tulane. Donahue is in chemistry and Godbey is in chemical and biomolecular engineering. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

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Collaboration Key to Research Project OCTOBER 24, 2008


Tulane University graduate students Kate Hamlington, left, and Jerina Pillert experiment with the computational model of a micro-fluidic chamber that they've designed. Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation's EPSCoR program. (Photo by Alicia Duplessis)

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Scientist Explores How Genes Guide Organ Formation OCTOBER 13, 2008


YiPing Chen is back in the laboratory on the Tulane uptown campus after a two-year absence. He is chair and professor of cell and molecular biology. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

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Professor Guides Child Psychology Journal FEBRUARY 15, 2008


Jeffrey J. Lockman conducts a study of motor skill development with 17-month-old Rhiannon Leed and Jackie Leed, her mother and a psychology graduate student. (Photo by Mark Hogan)

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$5.5 Million Grant Funds New Vaccine Center JUNE 18, 2007


Louisiana's new center will coordinate vaccine development and capitalize upon infectious disease and vaccine research achievements.

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Neuroscientists Work on Brain Puzzles MAY 31, 2007


Two Tulane researchers' work could one day help the treatment of epilepsy, stroke, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

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