Pulmonary News Archives


Deming Departmental Awards for Excellence 2020-2021 Winner!

Clinical Service Award:
Dr. Nereida A. Parada has spent the past two decades building premier asthma patient care services for Tulane and greater Louisiana. She has improved asthma care at the state level for the past decade as Statewide Asthma Clinical Lead for LSU Health Sciences Services and as the Medical Director for Asthma and COPD Disease Management for the University Medical Center New Orleans. Dr. Parada has worked with medical students and residents to publish the work she has been leading to improve regional and state-wide asthma care. She has been the primary person responsible for teaching state-of-the-art comprehensive asthma care to medical students, residents, and fellows, which undoubtedly contributes to improved asthma management by these physicians who settle in our region and state. Her leadership at Tulane HCA hospital, as Director of the PFT lab and pulmonary rehabilitation program has led to improvements in the supportive care that these high functioning programs provide to our patients. Nereida has been tireless in adding to services that we can provide, including home ventilator management for patients with severe obstructive lung disease. Most recently she has added a refinement to the PFT lab service by introducing high altitude stimulation testing (HAST) to the wealth of high-quality pulmonary diagnostic and treatment options for patients with asthma and COPD. Her dedication to first-rate asthma patient care has now extended to a clinical trial program to seek better ways to care for asthma patients going forward. In summary, Dr. Parada is a national asthma program expert, and her dedication and passion has led to excellence in asthma patient care for Tulane, New Orleans, and Louisiana.

Congratulations to Dr. Shigeki Saito, on his research accomplishment.

Dr. Saito’s proposal entitled “Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) as a Therapy for Pulmonary Fibrosis” has been selected for a Research Scholar Award from the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation (SSCI). Dr. Saito’s research is focused on making inroads into our understanding of the pathobiology and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. This is a wonderful accomplishment Shigeki!

Tulane Scientists Unravel 50-year-old Medical Mystery Behind Toddlers’ Deaths from RSV Vaccine

Researchers Dr. Jay Kolls and Derek Pociask have explained why two toddlers died in 1967 after participating in an infamous clinical trial for an experimental vaccine against RSV, the most common cause of pneumonia in children. The children’s deaths, which were one reason scientists pursued the novel MRNA vaccine design against COVID-19 instead of using an inactivated form of the respiratory virus, were a medical mystery for decades — until now.  Learn more about this mystery.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has appointed Dr. Joseph Lasky as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Lasky brings more than 30 years of experience caring for patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Read the announcement about Dr. Lasky's appointment.

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Galeas-Pena! Michelle successfully defended her dissertation and became the newest PhD from the Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine section. She has worked in Dr. Derek Pociask’s lab since 2018. Michelle’s dissertation was the culmination of hard work on multiple projects focusing on ways to improve both innate and adaptive immune responses during influenza infection. Most notably, Michelle’s work has identified a novel reason children are resistant to severe inflammation during viral pneumonia. While Michelle will be greatly missed in the lab, she isn’t going far.  She has taken a post-doc position in the lab of  Tulane's Dr. Lisa Morici where she will be working on vaccine adjuvant therapies.

Dr. Anil Mishra renewed NIH RO1 is focused on the role of IL-18 in eosinophils associated allergic diseases. His laboratory has first time reported IL-18 active new subset of pathogenic eosinophils that are different from naïve eosinophils that reside in healthy individuals. Most recently, his laboratory has successfully generated IL-18-induced eosinophilic inflammation mediated murine models of pancreatic ductal carcinoma (PDAC) that has a potential to establish diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for PDAC.

Dr. Christine Bojanowski is the recipient of a 2-year NIH-sponsored LACaTS Roadmap Scholar Award. Her research focuses on lung immunology and host response to chronic sinopulmonary infections with important pathogens such as Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Dr. Bojanowski recently received the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Program for Adult Care Excellence (PACE) Award.

Dr. Shigeki Saito has recently received an NIH K08-award entitled “Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) as a Therapy for Pulmonary Fibrosis”.

Dr. Joshua Denson will be receiving a 2-year NIH-sponsored LACaTS Roadmap Scholar Award. His research will focus on ICU health care delivery and transitions of care. In addition, he was recently awarded grant support from the ADA for his proposal entitled Prognostic biomarkers for severity of disease in SARS CoV-2 and metabolic syndrome.

Congratulations to Dr. Denson on his recognition in New Orleans City Business as a 2021 Health Care Hero.

Dr. Jerry Zifodya has been selected as an NIH-sponsored BIRCWH Scholar. As a Tulane BIRCWH Scholar, he will be part of a comprehensive research training program that will assist him in becoming a highly trained, culturally competent, independent, interdisciplinary investigator. His research involves sex differences in lung and cardiovascular disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Ross Klingsberg has been offered the position of Director of the Mechanisms of Disease Course. This is the “anchor” course for Phase 2 of the Medical School Curriculum for second year students, teaching pathophysiology and pathology.

Dr. Jay Kolls Receives Awards for Proposals on Pulmonary Infection

Jay Kolls, PhDDr. Jay Kolls has recently received awards for two proposals targeting pulmonary infection. One of the proposals, Immunology of COVID-19 is assessing the role of gene modifiers signaling an immune response to  SARS-CoV2. The second proposal studies "Immunotherapy against multi-drug resistant K. pneumoniae infections." Read more about the proposals here.


New Cystic Fibrosis medicine changing lives after testing in New Orleans

Tulane Critical Care Project

We are honored to join the pioneering work launched by the Maryland Critical Care Project, and to become a member of the Critical Care Project family of websites. It is our hope that the content that we provide on this site will be educational, thought provoking and innovative – critical care education with a New Orleans flavor! To learn more, please visit the Tulane Critical Care Project website »



60th Annual Tri-State Thoracic Society Case Conference  


Congratulations to Dr. Jay Shames for receiving the Outstanding Clinician of the Year Award from the Louisiana Thoracic Society. The Tri-State Thoracic Society Case Conference is an annual medical conference for Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana Pulmonology physicians that is devoted to renewing pleural disease cases.


Grand Opening of the Grace Anne Dorney
Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center

Watch WWL-TV's Report:  Lung and Heart Rehab Center Opens in New Orleans or read the transcript