Topic: research



Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who had a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome were at much higher risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and death, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. Dr. Joshua Denson, assistant professor of medicine, was the study’s lead author.



The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $1.24 million grant to a research team to come up with standards for measuring viruses and other pathogens in treated wastewater for water re-use projects. Samendra Sherchan, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and director of the Water Quality Lab at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is part of the team.



Chad Roy, professor of microbiology and immunology and director of infectious disease aerobiology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, and Dr. Gregory Bix, professor and vice chair of neurosurgery and neurology, director of COBALT (COVID-19 Biobank and Library at Tulane), and director of the clinical neuroscience research center, were among a team of scientists who co-authored a review of 115 peer-reviewed studies in Clinical Infectious Diseases.



A study led by Stacy Overstreet, professor of psychology, shows that when the COVID-19 pandemic forced New Orleans public school teachers to switch from in-person instruction to a virtual or hybrid setting, the transition left many feeling anxious over their ability to impact student learning. The study also reveals that many teachers suffered from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. It recommends expansion of access to mental health care, improvement in sick leave and bereavement policies and offering hazard pay.



Tracy Fischer, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, led a study published in Nature Communications, investigating how COVID-19 affects the central nervous system. The research team found severe brain inflammation and injury consistent with reduced blood flow or oxygen to the brain, including neuron damage and death. Microhemorrhages, or small bleeds in the brain, were also present. Surprisingly, these findings were seen in subjects that did not experience severe respiratory disease from the virus.



Hannah Frank, an assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology and bat expert, is sharing in a $1.25 million award with scientists from other universities to study how to mitigate zoonotic threats. Zoonotic disease — diseases from non-humans that can infect humans — are an increasing problem and threat to human health and well-being. Bats are a particularly important group to understand because they can spread and shed infections including SARS-CoV-2, which do not cause disease in bats but are highly lethal to humans and other animals.



More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral health concerns continue to disrupt the lives of Americans, and addressing those concerns should be a priority, according to a study by the School of Social Work. Published in the journal Scientific Reports, research from Patrick Bordnick, dean of the school, and Tonya Hansel, a disaster mental health expert who oversees the school’s doctorate program, says that despite vaccinations and lifted restrictions, mental health issues continue to be a crucial concern as the pandemic enters a recovery phase.

Young Black adults with skate boards at the opening of Parasite Park in Gentilly

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion recognizes research that addresses societal inequities and promotes social change.

Graphic logotype: "2021 Research, Scholarship & Artistic Achievement Awards"

Research, Scholarship & Artistic Achievement

The Tulane University Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Awards were presented for the first time in November at a gala at the Higgins Hotel near The World War II Museum in New Orleans.

collage of ships, virus, human anatomy, Latin American art

Hall of Fame

For the first time, Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Awards were bestowed on Tulane’s stellar researchers and scholars. We devote several stories to them in this issue of the Tulanian.