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Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care & Environmental Medicine

x-ray illustration of lungs

Welcome to the Tulane University Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine. Everything we do is centered on our belief that the people of the gulf south merit local access to the best possible health care.  We teach foundations and innovations in medicine to the doctors of the future.  And because we hold dear our obligation to educate bright inquiring minds, we are dedicated to deliver evidence based and cutting-edge medicine.  What is more, we are devoted to research that will improve upon health care in the coming years.  We feel privileged to have made research contributions along the way, and look forward to shaping future advancements in health care.Read More

In step with Tulane Medical School's mission, our section is dedicated to provide:

  • State-of-the-art patient care
  • Outstanding educational opportunities to students, residents and fellows
  • Innovative and relevant clinical and basic research

Please don't hesitate to contact us by mail, phone or e-mail.

Joseph A. Lasky, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care & Environmental Medicine
John W. Deming, MD Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine

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Best Doctors - Congratulations to

Best Doctors

Dr. Joseph Lasky
Dr. Nereida Parada


These physicians were recognized as the best doctors of Pulmonary Medicine in the state of Louisiana by Best Doctors, Inc., a company that has built a database of professionals that are highly regarded by their peers. For a complete list, visit the New Orleans Magazine website.

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.

Recent Noteworthy Events

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. Han ChungCongrats to our 3rd year fellow, Dr. Han Chung, on his excellent invited oral presentation at Tulane Internal Medicine Scholarship Day. His research project, mentored by Dr. Shigeki Saito and Dr. Joe Lasky, on “Identifying Biomarkers to Predict Mortality in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis” was selected as a top abstract submission this year. Well done, Han!

Overall, the section of Pulmonary and Critical Care had great representation at Scholarship Day. Fellows, Dr. Jackie Choa and Dr. Norman Lee, and mentoring faculty, Dr. Palomino, Dr. Abdelghani, and Dr. Thammasitboon, all contributed to outstanding poster presentations as well!

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, MDThe 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.

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. Jaime Palomino with portable ultrasound

Dr. Jaime Palomino has received a Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant award for 2020-2021. The purpose of this project is to provide the Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellows with an ultra-portable ultrasound (US) probe that can be connected to a smart phone or a tablet, in order to enhance the ultrasound curriculum training during the three years of fellowship.


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.