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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.

View All of our Research Faculty

Study Reveals Dim Light at Night May Promote Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone
Muralidharan Anbalagan, PhD, in his lab

While insufficient sleep has been shown to have a litany of adverse endocrine effects, a new study presented at the Endocrine Society's recent 2019 Annual Meeting here in New Orleans revealed the possible dangers of dim light exposure at night that could cause breast cancer to metastasize to the bones. Read More.

A study by Muralidharan Anbalagan, PhD, Tulane assistant professor of Structural and Cellular Biology, showed that exposure to artificial dim light at night may contribute to the spread of breast cancer to the bones.

Cancer Cells Turn to Cannibalism to Survive Chemotherapy.
James Jackson, MD & lab assistants
Dr. James Jackson in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology discovered that some cancer cells survive chemotherapy by eating their neighboring tumor cells. These results, published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggest that this act of cannibalism provides cancer cells with the energy they need to stay alive and initiate tumor relapse post-chemotherapy. Read More.

(left to right:) PhD student Joie Olayiwola, Dr. Jim Jackson, PhD student Sonia Rao, Postdoc Crystal Tonnessen-Murray

Keck Foundation Awards Tulane University $1 Million to Study Why Women Have Stronger Immune Systems Than Men
James McLachlan, PhD & Dr. Franck Mauvais-Jarvis

Do women have an extra line of defense in their immune systems that gives them an advantage over men in fighting infections? That’s one of the questions Tulane University researchers hope to answer using a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation. Read More.

James McLachlan, PhD, (center) will lead the project with researchers John McLachlan, PhD, (left) and Dr. Franck Mauvais-Jarvis (right). Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.

Tulane Researcher Awarded $2.4 Million to Study Stem Cell Treatment for Stroke
Jean-Pyo Lee, PhD
Jean-Pyo Lee, PhD, assistant professor of physiology in the Tulane School of Medicine, was recently awarded a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study the use of neural stem cells in treating stroke. Lee says that stem cell therapy potentially offers great promise in treating stroke, which is a leading cause of death in the United States. Read More.

Jean-Pyo Lee, PhD, assistant professor of physiology in the Tulane School of Medicine (Photo from School of Medicine)

Tulane Study Shows Vaccine Protects Against Equine Viruses That Threaten Humans
Vicki Traina-Dorge & Chad J. Roy
For the first time, a new vaccine provided complete protection against three types of equine encephalitic viruses in nonhuman primates, according to a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research was a joint collaborative effort involving Tulane University, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army. 
Read More.

Vicki Traina-Dorge and Chad J. Roy, Tulane National Primate Research Center faculty researchers

Researcher Awarded $1.8 Million Grant to Study New Targets for Rare Pediatric Cancer
Sean Lee, PhD
Sean Lee, PhD, associate professor of pathology in the Tulane School of Medicine, was recently awarded a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate possible new targets for treating desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT), a rare pediatric cancer.  Read More.

Sean Lee, PhD, associate professor of pathology, Tulane School of Medicine

Tulane Research Receives Grant to Study Dark Matter of Genomes
Victoria Belancio, PhD
The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation recently awarded Tulane Cancer Center researcher Victoria Belancio, PhD, associate professor of structural and cellular biology, a three-year, $150,000 grant to support her investigations into rarely studied genetic elements that contribute to cancer. Read More.

Victoria Belancio, PhD (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Olan Jackson-Weaver, PhD Awarded $220,000 American Heart Association Grant
Olan Jackson-Weaver, PhD

This project will investigate the role of endothelial cell calcium signaling and the subsequent activation of the transcription factor NFAT, and will investigate how this pathway is activated during shock and trauma to contribute to the dysfunction of the endothelium seen in these conditions. This information will deepen our understanding of the vascular complications of shock and trauma at the molecular level, and will hopefully lead to novel therapies and resuscitation strategies to improve patient outcomes. Read More.

Olan Jackson-Weaver, PhD

Pregnancy Disorder Subject of New Tulane Study
Dylan Lawrence & Carolyn Bayer
An imaging technique used to detect some forms of cancer can also help detect preeclampsia in pregnancy before it becomes a life-threatening condition, a new Tulane study says. Read More.

Dylan Lawrence, grad student and assistant professor Carolyn Bayer (Photo by Sally Asher)

Tulane Awarded $8.5 Million Contract to Develop Next Generation Whooping Cough Vaccine

Tulane Researchers James McLachlan & Lisa Morici (Video by Carolyn Scofield & Keith Brannon)

Tulane researchers James McLachlan and Lisa Morici explain how nanoparticles shed from bacteria can be used in future vaccines to illicit a more potent immune response than existing technologies. Microbiologist Lisa Morici, PhD, and immunologist James McLachlan, PhD, will lead the project to use outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are nanoparticles shed by bacteria as they grow, to stimulate a more potent immune response than current vaccines against the disease. Read More.