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Cutting Edge Research

Tulane School of Medicine’s diverse mission including education, research and patient care provides ample opportunities for translational cutting edge research. Biomedical Sciences students have an opportunity to select research mentors from over 100 faculty members funded by nearly 2,000 active grants. Faculty are also members of numerous Tulane centers including the Tulane Cancer Center, Hayward Genetics Center, Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence, Tulane Brain Institute, Tulane Center for Aging, Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

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Innovative Education

The Louisiana Board of Regents has awarded a five-year Comprehensive Enhancement Grant for career development in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Dr. Diane Blake, BMS program Co-Director is the PI of the project, which includes employment-guided curriculum development, aptitude testing, skills assessment, skills enhancement and networking. The goal is to offer support, structure and community as students take the leap into career exploration. Successful program elements will be transferred to other STEM graduate programs at Tulane.

Study: Coronavirus Pandemic Sparked by Nature, not Bioengineering

Robert Garry, PhD

Tulane virologist Robert Garry, PhD, and a team of researchers analyzed the genome sequence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and found no evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory or otherwise engineered. The coronavirus behind the global COVID-19 pandemic likely evolved from nature and not a lab, according to a new genetic study in Nature Medicine co-authored by a Tulane University virologist Read More.

Primate Center on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Research
Dr. Rappaport Researchers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) are working to discover safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Earlier this year, TNPRC had the distinction of becoming one of the first research facilities in the country to obtain approval from the Centers for Disease Control to receive live samples of the novel coronavirus. Read More.

Center Director Jay Rappaport, PhD, said Tulane National Primate Research Center is the only National Primate Research Center with a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory that is capable of the biocontainment required to study an emerging infectious disease like COVID-19. --Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano

Tulane Researcher Awarded $3 Million to Address Aging and Disease Impacts on the Brain

New research projects underway at Tulane University School of Medicine aim to understand why aging and conditions such as type 2 diabetes impact the brain, and how to slow that process. Dr. David Busija, Regents Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, has been awarded more than $3 million to lead the research team in these areas. 

Dr. Busija is Regents Professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Tulane Researchers Awarded Fast Grant for Second-Generation COVID-19 Vaccine (Aug 27, 2020)

Immunologist James McLachlan, PhD and microbiologist Lisa Morici, PhD, were awarded a Fast Grant to test whether adjuvants can make vaccines more effective and longer lasting

As pharmaceutical firms race to bring the first COVID-19 vaccines to market, scientists are already working on version 2.0. Two Tulane University researchers were awarded a $150,000 Fast Grant for a project to make next-generation COVID-19 vaccines more effective. Microbiologist Lisa Morici, PhD and immunologist James McLachlan, PhD, will test whether they can elicit a better immune response in tissues most vulnerable to SARS-COV-2 infection - the lungs and gut - by adding two bacteria-based adjuvants to COVID-19 vaccines in development. Adjuvants are ingredients used in vaccines to trigger an immune response.   Read More.


Tulane University Awarded $10.3 Million to Test Therapeutics, Vaccines for Novel Coronavirus.

Chad Roy (pictured), director of infectious disease aerobiology at Tulane National Primate Research Center. --Photo by Sally Asher.

The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) has awarded Tulane National Primate Research Center a contract of up to $10.3 million to evaluate the nation's most promising vaccines and treatments to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Dr. Roy will lead the project to evaluate the nation's most promising vaccines and treatments against COVID-19. COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is an emerging infectious disease that has infected over 1.17 million people and claimed more than 64,000 lives in a global pandemic. No vaccines or treatments currently exist to treat the highly-contagious disease. Read More.


From Proposals to Funded Research in 48 hours: Tulane Scientists Receive Fast Grants, May 8, 2020

Mairi Noverr of Tulane University School of Medicine along with Monica Vaccari and Tracy fisher of Tulane National Primate Research Center --Photos by Sally Asher

Three Tulane University researchers are the recipients of new Fast Grants, awards designed to quickly fund COVID-19 related projects. Mairi Noverr, Monica Vaccari and Tracy Fisher received a total of $350,000 for their proposals, all of which progressed from mere proposals to fully-funded projects in just 48 hours.  Read More.

CDC awards grant to Tulane researchers studying COVID-19

Dr. Dahlene Fusco is an assistant professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine
--Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano

SARS-CoV-2 can affect people in a number of different ways, from an absence of symptoms to major complications, even death. The Centers for Disease Control recently awarded $700,000 to a Tulane University team of researchers who are studying how the virus works and where and when it is shed.  What they find could help explain why COVID-19 is causing higher death rates among Black and Hispanic residents of New Orleans.   Read More.

Tulane Researchers Discover Possible Pathways to Treating Drug-Resistant Infections

Drug-resistant bacterial infections are on the rise, while the development of new antibiotics to fight these infections has slowed in recent decades. Mathematical models predict more than 10 million people will die annually from drug-resistant bacterial infections by 2050 if the current rates of increase continue  Read More.

William Wimley holds the George A. Adrouny, Ph.D. Professorship in Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Tulane Scientist Named Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Chad Steele, PhD --Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano

Chad Steele, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM). Steele's current research focuses on better understanding lung immune responses during acute versus chronic exposure to the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Read More.

Tulane Researchers Develop Synthetic Antibody Against COVID-19
Jay Kolls, MD, the John W. Deming Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine at Tulane, along with other researchers at the School of Medicine, designed a synthetic protein that acts as a decoy to intercept and neutralize COVID-19 before it can latch onto an enzyme, ACE2, and infect healthy cells. Read More

Jay Kolls, MD