Pulmonary News & Events


Dr. Shigeki Saito's grant application entitled “Defining the Roles of Fibulin-5 in Pulmonary Fibrosis”, submitted for pilot funding to the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center, was recently selected for funding by the LA CaTS Center Executive Council.



We are pleased to announce that Dr. Yasin Khan has been named the Medical Director of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program at University Medical Center New Orleans. He will be working alongside the other members of the program committee to provide this highly specialized form of life support to our patients with advanced respiratory and cardiac failure. Dr. Khan is a recent addition to our section, having joined us from Toronto General Hospital and University of Toronto where he gained expert training and experience in several modes of extracorporeal life support and advanced mechanical ventilation. Congratulations, Dr. Khan!

Derek Pociask, PhD

We are pleased to announce that Derek Pociask, PhD, has accepted the position of Director of Graduate Education for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Dr. Pociask will undertake efforts to advance the quality and diversity of the school of medicine graduate programs and will develop and expand programs to involve undergraduate and medical students with research opportunities. Dr. Pociask will also work collaboratively with the Assistant Dean of the BMS program to develop programs that enhance opportunities for PhD students, as well as other aspects of the PhD and MD/PhD programs. Congratulations Derek for being selected for this key role!

Dr. Pociask is an Assistant Professor in the John W. Deming Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care, And Environmental Medicine. After earning his Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center in 2000, he undertook his post-doctoral training here at the Tulane University school of Medicine. In 2006 he moved to the University of Pittsburgh where he established his research program centered around pulmonary mucosal immunology and infectious models of lung injury and repair. Since moving back to Tulane in 2016, he has been actively engaged in the BMS PHD program as well as undergraduate, Masters and Medical Students.

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Denson, on being selected as new Associate Program Director for our Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP). He will work with Program Director, Dr. Deepa Bhatnagar, and Associate Program Directors, Drs. Kristin Bateman, Adrian Baudy, Anthony Marsh, Robert Miller, and Erica Tate, MD, to advance the education and training we provide to our residents in internal medicine.



Dr. Himmat Grewal

Congratulations to Dr. Himmat Grewal for receiving the Rising Star Award at University Medical Center. The honor recognizes Himmat for moving the needle by doing great work to better the health of everyone in our region. This is such a remarkable contribution during his first year as a faculty member in our section. Thanks for your dedication and clinical prowess, Himmat!!!



Chad Roy, PhDWe are pleased to announce an addition to the Pulmonary Research Faculty, Dr. Chad J. Roy. Dr. Roy is a career aerobiologist focused on respiratory health and the aerobiology of airborne infectious diseases; specifically, on gaining a better understanding of aerosol infection in the context of the development and application of preclinical disease models; the majority of efforts are directed in the use of the nonhuman primate for this purpose.


Joseph Lasky, MD

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Lasky on his new grant!

Dr. Josephy Lasky has received a two-year $500,000 grant to explore serum peptide splice variants as a biomarker predictor for the progression of pulmonary fibrosis. This research is an extension of our preliminary data showing that specific splicing events are induced during active fibrogenesis. This is a collaborative effort involving the mass spectroscopy capabilities of Dr. Tony Hu's laboratory and the development of novel beacon aptamers in the laboratory of Dr. Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah (Tulane Department of Chemistry).

Jerry Zifodya, MDCongratulations to Dr. Jerry Zifodya on his NIH K-award!

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Zifodya! He has received notification of an NIH K-award that will begin in July 2022. Post-tuberculosis lung disease (PTLD), which is defined by chronic respiratory abnormality after pulmonary tuberculosis, develops in up to half of people with pulmonary tuberculosis. PTLD is an increasingly recognized cause of lung disease with up to 4.3 million new cases worldwide every year. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms that lead to PTLD are still poorly understood. In his proposed study, Dr. Zifodya aims to evaluate the underlying clinical host factors and host inflammatory and immunological factors that lead to PTLD. He will measure lung function over two-years after diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis in a cohort of Kenyan adults in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ross Klingsberg, MDCongratulations to Dr. Ross Klingsberg, on his 2022 Teaching Scholar Award!

The Teaching Scholar Award recognizes a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated a significant record of scholarship and exceptional teaching, along with an ongoing commitment to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning at Tulane University School of Medicine. The recipient of the Teaching Scholar Award becomes a member of the Society of Teaching Scholars, one of the most prestigious distinctions that can be acquired by faculty members in the School of Medicine.

Dr. Nereida ParadaDeming Departmental Awards for Excellence 2020-2021 Winner!

Clinical Service Award:
Dr. Nereida 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.

Shigeki Saito, PhDCongratulations 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!

Dr. Jay Kolls & Dr. Derek Pociask discuss the medical mystery they have solvedTulane 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.

Joseph Lasky, MD

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.




Dr. Christine Bojanski in her lab

Dr. Christine Bojanowski was recently named a Scholar from the Department of Medicine in the Dean's Physician-Scientist Pipeline Program (2021-2023). In addition, Dr. Bojanowski is one of two researchers selected from an international pool of applicants to be named a Gilead Sciences Research Scholar in Cystic Fibrosis. The program recognizes and supports emerging early career investigators in several medical fields including hematological malignancies, solid tumors, HIV, liver disease, and anti-fungal research in addition to Cystic Fibrosis. Click here to read about Dr. Bojanowski and the Gilead Sciences Research Scholar designation.