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

Released: Friday, October 02, 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.

National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)

Dr Miele      Dr Horswell
    Lucio Miele, MD, PhD              Ronald Horswell, PhD

The LA CaTS Center IDeA-CTR was recently awarded $176K to team up with the West Virginia IDeA-CTR Program as part of the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), to help build a centralized national data resource to study COVID-19 and identify potential treatments. The N3C is a partnership among the NCATS-supported Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program hubs, the National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) and more recently the NIGMS-supported Institutional Development Award Programs Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR), with overall stewardship by NCATS. Collaborators will contribute and use COVID-19 clinical data to answer critical research questions to address the pandemic. The LA CaTS Center, in particular will leverage its biomedical informatics infrastructure to support investigators with COVID-19 research questions.

Congratulations to the LA CaTS Biomedical Informatics Core Leaders, Dr. Lucio Miele, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans and Dr. Ronald Horswell, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and the other investigators and study team for leading this initiative. The LA CaTS Center Member Institutions and collaborators that will contribute expertise, resources and/or data from across Louisiana include Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, Tulane University, Ochsner Health System, University Medical Center (UMC), and Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet).

More information on the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) can be found here

Supplement to Study Effects of Vaping in the HIV Population

Dr Welsh      Dr Apolzan
       David Welsh, MD                     John Apolzan, PhD

Congratulations to Dr. David Welsh, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, and Dr. John Apolzan, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and their study teams for receiving a recent $159K Administrative Supplement from NIGMS to study the effects of vaping on lung and gut health. The study is titled: “Effects of E-Cigarettes on the Lung Metabolome in People Living with HIV”. E-cigarette use is dramatically increasing particularly underserved populations including people living with HIV (PLWH). E-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) highlights the hazards of the uptake of new substance use behaviors without adequate understanding of the medical consequences. The overall objective of the study is to determine changes in lung metabolites associated with e-cigarettes, or vaping, and to examine how gut microbiota moderate vaping associated lung injury markers in PLWH to help discover therapeutic targets.

Questions concerning this award can be sent to


About the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center
The LA CaTS Center is comprised of three primary collaborating institutions in the state, including LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans – and also includes six research partners: LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and in New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana, Children’s Hospital, Ochsner Health System, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, and University Medical Center.  The LA CaTS Center’s vision for Louisiana encompasses the strengths and capacities unique to each member institution and represents a unified, comprehensive approach for targeting prevention, care and research of chronic diseases in the underserved population.  The scholar program is supported in part by U54 GM104940 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health which funds the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center.  For more information, please visit