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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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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 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.

Robert Garry, PhD


 
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's Jay Rappaport to serve on National Institutes of Health's coronavirus working group
Dr. Jay Rappaport, director of the Tulane National Primate Research Center and an infectious disease researcher, has accepted an invitation from the National Institute of Health to serve on the preclinical therapeutics working group to accelerate the development of safe and effective COVID-19 treatments.  Read More.

Jay Rappaport, PhD


 
Tulane University awarded $10.3 million to test therapeutics, vaccines for novel coronavirus.
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) 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.

Chad Roy (pictured), director of infectious disease aerobiology at Tulane National Primate Research Center, will lead the project to evaluate the nation's most promising vaccines and treatments against COVID-19. Photo by Sally Asher.


 
School of Medicine launches COVID-19 testing lab to improve capacity

Photo by James Zanewicz

The new COVID-19 testing being done at the medical school will save time from having to ship samples to the state lab in Baton Rouge. The goal is to do about 100 tests a day, with results available within 24 hours. This almost doubles the total testing capacity at Tulane Medical Center.   TMC has also implemented COVID-19 testing on the Roche platform which allows test results within 24 hours or sooner.  This testing at TMC is being done in collaboration with LSU and LCMC/University Medical Center (UMC) so that during each run of 94 tests, one-half is for each hospital.  Depending on availability of kits, TMC may do 2 runs daily, allowing testing of 184 samples. Read More.
 

 
Director, Tulane Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine provided 2020 Outlook for Stem Cell Research in "Cell & Gene"
Bruce Bunnell, PhD Bruce Bunnell, Ph.D. shares valuable data on three intense areas of stem cell research in 2020 and beyond. Read more as Dr. Bunnell explains what's to come for extracellular vesicles, tissue-on-a-chip and microphysiological systems, and stem cell clinical trials.   Read More.

Bruce Bunnell, Ph.D.


 
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, 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.

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


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