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News For 2020

Pennington Biomedical and the LA CaTS Center Awarded NIH COVID-19 Grant on Testing in Hardest Hit Communities

Dec 21, 2020

Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center were recently awarded a major grant focused on COVID-19 testing in Louisiana’s hardest hit populations, the black communities. The $1.8 million grant is funded under the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative in Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program. Support from Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation Members, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy and U.S. Representative Garrett Graves, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Health Secretary Courtney Phillips was instrumental in the success of this securing this award.

LSU Health New Orleans Participating in NIH COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Trial at UMC

Dec 21, 2020

LA CaTS Member Institutions, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans and University Medical Center, are participating in one of four clinical trials from NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) Program. This particular trial will test the safety and effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies as a potential coronavirus treatment.

Join us December 10th for the Next COVID-19 Seminar Featuring a Community Panel

Dec 8, 2020

Please join us for Part 6 of the Louisiana COVID-19 Seminar Series hosted by the LA CaTS Community Engagement & Outreach Core (CEO Core) on Thursday, December 10th (via Zoom) at 4:00pm. See the flyer below for more information.

November-December 2020 Louisiana COVID-19 Seminar Series Schedule

Nov 4, 2020

The LA CaTS Center is pleased to announce the planned seminar series dates and speakers for the remaining of the year. It is expected that the seminars will continue in January 2021, so stay tuned for further updates!

LA CaTS Center Member Institutions Awarded NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities

Nov 3, 2020

Congratulations to Marie “Tonette” Krousel-Wood, MD (Tulane University) and Daniel Sarpong, PhD (Xavier University) on their award from the National Institutes of Health, part of the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities. LA CaTS Partner Institution LSU Health Sciences Center- Shreveport will also be providing support for this project. Dr. Krousel-Wood is a Co-Director of the LA CaTS Pilot Grants Program and Dr. Sarpong is the Director of the LA CaTS Community Engagement and Outreach Core.

LA CaTS Announces New NIH Awards: National COVID Collaborative & Vaping Supplement

Oct 2, 2020

The LA CaTS Center proudly announces two new NIH awards received focused on a national COVID-19 collaborative partnership and an administrative supplement to look closer at the effects of vaping supplements. Both awards are supported by a multi-institutional effort spanning the LA CaTS Center member network. Congratulations to the researchers that will lead and support these two very important initiatives affecting the health of the population in our state and across the country.

PCORI, LA CaTS Weight Loss Trial in Underserved Population Highlighted Nationally

Oct 2, 2020

LA CaTS Center’s own Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, is nationally highlighted for his weight loss trial in low income, underserved Americans. Dr. Katzmarzyk’s study “Promoting Successful Weight Loss in Primary Care in Louisiana (PROPEL)” was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in early September. Other LA CaTS Center contributors on the trial include health literacy experts Drs. Terry Davis and Connie Arnold from LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Pennington Biomedical biostatistician Dr. William Johnson, community engagement researchers Drs. Daniel Sarpong and Kathleen Kennedy from Xavier University, Dr. Vivian Fonseca from Tulane University, and Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood from Ochsner Healthcare. PROPEL is a trial supported by the Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the LA CaTS Center IDeA-CTR and the NIDDK sponsored Pennington/Louisiana NORC. Click on the links below to view some of the media highlights. Congratulations to Dr. Katzmarzyk, the co-investigators and study team on their success and for tackling this important health issue affecting the underserved population in our state. 

Publication Highlight: COVID-19 Research from Tulane University

Aug 21, 2020

The LA CaTS Center is proud to highlight a new publication by Tulane researchers and LA CaTS Center investigators on COVID-19. Click the links below to access the articles. A special shout out to the LA CaTS authors on this publication: Joshua Densen, Christine Bojanowski, Vivian Fonseca and John Lefante.

LA CaTS Institutions Ochsner Health & Pennington Biomedical Team up on COVID-19 Prevalence Study

Aug 20, 2020

In July, LA CaTS Center Research Partner Ochsner Health teamed up with LA CaTS Center lead institution Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, to study the spread of the coronavirus in the Baton Rouge area. Ochsner also conducted a similar study in Orleans and Jefferson parishes areas in May. The study is funded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF), who also funds the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Several LA CaTS Center leaders serve on this important task force appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards.

Pennington gets $11 million NIH grant to fund new center to study diabetes, preeclampsia and anxiety disorders

Aug 20, 2020

Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Dr. Jacqueline Stephens, was recently awarded $11 million, 5 year grant from NIH to establish a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). The COBRE awards are funded under the NIGMS IDeA (Institutional Development Award) Program, similar to the LA CaTS Center IDeA-CTR award. This award also includes collaboration with LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Congratulations to Dr. Stephens and all the researchers on this grant. We look forward to your future engagement with the LA CaTS Center.

LA CaTS Pilot Investigator, Hoerger (Tulane), Awarded American Cancer Society Grant

Jul 23, 2020

Michael Hoerger, PhD, MSCR, Assistant Professor at Tulane University, was recently awarded a four year grant from the American Cancer Society to help metastatic cancer patients better understand and access palliative care. Dr. Hoerger acknowledged the sucess of the grant was supported in part by his LA CaTS Center pilot award, and will expand upon those findings. Dr. Hoerger was also a past LA CaTS Roadmap Scholar from 2014-2016. We congratulate Dr. Hoerger on his new grant and important area of research.

Dr. Lucio Miele (LSU Health New Orleans) appointed to Assistant Dean for Translational Research

Jun 11, 2020

Congratulations to LA CaTS Center Biomedical Informatics Core Director, Lucio Miele, MD, PhD, on being named the new Assistant Dean of Translational Research at LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Join us in commending Dr. Miele on this well-deserved, new leadership role.

LA CaTS Leaders to Serve on Gov. Edwards’ COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

Apr 26, 2020

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the members of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and subcommittees. We are proud to highlight several LA CaTS Center leaders and Community Advisory Board Members that were appointed to the task force which will result in improved health outcomes and equity in Louisiana.

LA CaTS Investigator, Dr. Ursula White, Receives Grant to Study How Weight Changes Affect Long-Term Health

Apr 26, 2020

Ursula White, PhD, Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, was recently awarded a federally funded NIH R01 grant to study how short term fluctuations in weight impacts long-term health. Dr. White is also a past recipient of a LA CaTS Center Pilot Grant and a Visiting Scholar Award in 2018. We congratulate Dr. White on her success and look forward to the results of this very important study.

LSU Health Shreveport Promising COVID-19 Clinical Trial

Apr 14, 2020

LA CaTS Center Research Parter, LSU Health Shreveport, is one of the first centers in the country to enroll patients into an international study testing whether inhaled nitric oxide improves outcomes in COVID-19 patients with lung damage. See links to various news articles below for more information.

LA CaTS Institutions Appointed To Governor's COVID-19 and Health Disparities Task Force

Apr 14, 2020

Publication Spotlight - Anne Gilmore, PhD, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Apr 8, 2020

LA CaTS Center Roadmap Scholar & Pilot Grant Awardee

LA CaTS Center Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update on Events, Opportunities & Services

Mar 26, 2020

The LA CaTS Center (IDeA-CTR) will continue to connect with our research community during this time by providing online access to meetings and educational opportunities as much as possible. However, as we plan for our CTR center operations within and between our institutional partners to be virtual for the time being, below is an update on our center events, service requests and deadlines as of March 18, 2020. We will be sure to update you on changes as they occur. Our top priority is the safety of all of our members across the state. Any questions or concerns can be sent to

March LA CaTS Webcast: SPARC 101: LA CaTS Services & How to Request Them

Mar 24, 2020

Please join us for the next LA CaTS Webcast on Thursday, March 26th at 2:30pm. Brian Melancon, SPARC Project Lead will present "SPARC 101: LA CaTS Services & How to Request Them". This is an interactive presentation and attendees will be able to engage and ask questions during the webcast. This webcast is especially important for those investigators that will be submitting applications for funding opportunities.

Tulane's Drury Receives NIH Award to Standardize Research in Genetic Aging

Feb 4, 2020

Congratulations to Tulane University neuroscientist, Dr. Stacy Drury, on receiving a $2.9 million grant from NIH to lead a research network to standardize part of a chromosome related to genetic aging.

LA CaTS Welcomes Dr. Leanne Redman as Professional Development Co-Director

Feb 4, 2020

The LA CaTS Center welcomes Leanne M. Redman, MD, PhD as the new Professional Development Core Co-Director and lead for Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Redman is replacing Dr. Phil Brantley, who has been the professional development lead for Pennington Biomedical since 2012. She will co-direct the Professional Development Core along with Vivian Fonseca, MD (Tulane University, lead) and Paula Gregory, PhD (LSUHSC-New Orleans). The overall goal of the Professional Development Core is to educate and train academic faculty and trainees to pursue clinical/translational research to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities of Louisiana residents.Click HERE (/cores/professional-development/) for more details on the LA CaTS Professional Development Core.

LA CaTS Announces 2020 Professional Development Speaker on "Using Social Media for Science"

Feb 4, 2020

LA CaTS Professional Development Core Announces 2020 Plenary Talk Speaker

LA CaTS Announces 2020 Community Scholars Program Teams

Jan 9, 2020

The Community Engagement and Outreach Core (CEO Core) is pleased to announce the Cohort 3 awardees of the Louisiana Community Scholars Program: