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Latest News

Congratulations to our 2021 Pilot Grant Awardees

Jul 16, 2021

The LA CaTS Pilot Grants Program is pleased to announce the awardees of the Round 10 Pilot Grants Funding Opportunities. Abstracts for each project can be found on our Pilot Projects page: /research-funding/pilot-projects/. Congratulations to the following awardees:

Xavier University Awarded Funds from CDC Foundation to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities in African Americans

Jun 28, 2021

LA CaTS Center Research Partner, Xavier University of Louisiana, was recently awarded $420,000 from the CDC Foundation to help address health disparities and to raise awareness of COVID-19 infections in the African American population in New Orleans. Congratulations to Dr. Faye Grimsley, principal investigator, on the award addressing this very important public health topic and we wish her much success on this effort.

LA CaTS Announces 2021 Community Scholars Program Teams

Jun 15, 2021

The Community Engagement and Outreach Core (CEO Core) is pleased to announce the Cohort 4 awardees of the Louisiana Community Scholars Program: 

LSU Health Shreveport Awarded NIH COBRE Research Grant

May 27, 2021

LSU Health Shreveport, a LA CaTS Center Research Partner, was recently awarded a NIH Center of Excellence Research Grant for over $10.5M for five years. This will be used to establish the Center for Applied Immunology and Pathological Processes (CAIPP). Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Yurochko, Professor and Carroll Feist Endowed Chair of Viral Oncology, Vice-Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats, who is the principal investigator and director of the new center.

Pennington Biomedical Launches "Obecity, USA" National Public Service Campaign

May 27, 2021

In early May, Pennington Biomedical Research Center launched a national public service campaign Obecity, USA, that marks a milestone for Pennington Biomedical.

NIH Announces Webinar: Studying COVID-19 Using Real-World Data (N3C) May 13th

May 3, 2021

NIH and N3C announced an upcoming Zoom presentation from Dr. Kenneth Gersing (NCATS) on "Studying COVID-19 Real World Data: Lessons Learned and Steps Forward After One Year of the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)", on Thursday, May 13th at 12:00pm. This event is co-sponsored by the LA CaTS Center. 

LA CaTS Announces Research Coordinator's Training on May 21, 2021

May 3, 2021

The LA CaTS Clinical Research Resources Team announced the next Level 2 Research Coordinator Training, planned for Friday, May 21, 2021 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. This event will be fully virtual this year. All LA CaTS institutions are invited to attend. There will be no cost to attend the training and all attendees will receive a certificate of completion.

LSU Health New Orleans Launches New MS Bioinformatics Degree Program

Mar 23, 2021

Louisiana State University Health Sciences School of Graduate Studies (LSUHSC-SOGS) in New Orleans has launched a two (2) year 35-40 credit hour MS Biomedical Sciences-Bioinformatics Track degree program starting fall semester 2021. The goal of the MS Biomedical Sciences - Bioinformatics Track Program is to train and equip the next generation of scientists and biomedical professionals for career pathways in bioinformatics, computational genomics and precision medicine. Students enrolled in this program will learn how to apply cutting edge technologies such as genetic algorithms, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies to analysis and integration of complex omics and other biological data to address biomedical and life sciences questions. 

Dr. Griffin Rodgers to Present to LA CaTS on the Future of NIDDK Clinical Research.

Mar 23, 2021

Save the Date for a plenary talk on “The Future of NIDDK Clinical Research” by Dr. Griffin Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P., Director of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a branch of the NIH, as our guest speaker. The event is sponsored by the LA CaTS Professional Development Core and will be held Friday, March 26th, 2021 from 12pm – 1pm. 

Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy Research on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Presented to President

Feb 22, 2021

Sara Al-Dahir, PharmD, and her team in the College of Pharmacy were selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to present their research on vaccine hesitancy to the Biden administration. The research project was developed in response to the NIH sending a Notice of Special Interest (NSI) offering funding for research done on COVID-19 testing in the summer of 2020. Dr. Al-Dahir’s team went the extra step to focus solely on vaccine hesitancy in the African American community. Read the full article on Xavier University’s website.

LA CaTS Announces Investigator Access to NIH COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)

Feb 22, 2021

N3C is building a centralized national data resource — the NCATS N3C Data Enclave — that the research community can use to study COVID-19 and identify potential treatments as the pandemic continues to evolve. Specifically, the N3C will enable the rapid collection and analysis of clinical, laboratory and diagnostic data from hospitals and health care plans. If successful, this approach will be applicable to other research questions and may serve as a model for addressing future public health emergencies.

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.