The health of our state is in many ways linked directly to the health of LSU. Our university family – including Health Sciences Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport, the flagship in Baton Rouge, LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the AgCenter, and LSUA, LSUE and LSUS – all contribute to research and medical education, as well as outreach, nutritional guidance, and clinical trials, that lead to a healthier and happier Louisiana.
Here’s just a sampling of some of our health-related accomplishments for the year:
We’re Innovative. Status quo is not something our faculty and students will stand for – if they are presented with a challenge, they will find a way to solve it. This year alone, they have patented 31 new discoveries, are engineering a beach-accessible wheelchair to help people with mobility challenges enjoy vacations, discovered lizards in the jungles of New Guinea with green blood that might lead to advancements in malaria treatment, and, in a first-ever breakthrough, kept white fat tissue alive outside of the body for up to eight weeks, paving the way for research advances improving treatment or prevention of such diseases as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and others.
We’re Committed to our State. Our researchers don’t just make discoveries – they connect the dots to ensure that their research benefits real people. All told, LSU holds a total of $326 million in federal health research grants, most of which focus on areas of critical importance to Louisiana citizens – including higher-than-average rates of obesity, stroke, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others.
We’re Award-winning. We don’t just think we have exceptional biomedical research faculty…we know it, because national associations are always recognizing their excellence. Just to give you an idea:
We’re Service-oriented. In 2017-18, LSU physicians, faculty and students provided free and reduced cost treatment to thousands in low-income and rural communities across the state. These services range from science camps for special needs children in New Orleans to health fairs for veterans in Shreveport, nutrition-focused educational outreach by the LSU AgCenter, and clinical trials at Pennington Biomedical Research Center – and everything in between.
You can see that LSU and Louisiana health are intricately connected, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the success of our faculty, staff and students.
F. King Alexander