Tulane professor named state poet laureate, and other news of higher education _lowres

Peter Cooley

Tulane professor named state poet laureate

Dr. Peter Cooley, a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Tulane University, has been named the state’s poet laureate.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office made the announcement.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will designate a place where Cooley will deliver an annual reading.

The governor appoints the poet laureate from nominations submitted by a selection committee. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities appoints the committee.

Cooley’s work includes 10 full-length collections of poetry. His poems have appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Nation, The New Republic and The Southern Review.

Cooley has received the Inspirational Professor Award and the Newcomb Professor of the Year Award at Tulane.

Tulane gets grant for attention study

Tulane University researchers have received a $1.4 million grant to pay attention.

The study will focus on how auditory spatial attention, which scientists believe is vital to the survival of both humans and animals, operates in the brain.

Edward Golob, an associate professor of psychology, is the principal investigator on the five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Brent Venable, an associate professor of computer science, and Jeff Mock, a research professor in psychology, will work with Golob on the study.

“Spatial attention can operate much like how touching your phone automatically starts an app, in the sense that sounds can automatically grab attention and put it to work,” Golob said. “We are trying to understand Mother Nature’s engineering — cognition is the software of the app and the brain is the circuit board.”

Delgado extends fall registration deadline

Delgado Community College has extended its fall semester registration period until Friday. Registration was supposed to end Tuesday

“We want to make certain that everyone who makes the decision to be with us as a student this fall has enough time to complete the registration process,” Chancellor Joan Davis said.

Admission to Delgado is not competitive; it is open to anyone with a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Working students can earn an associate’s degree in two years by taking only weekend classes at the City Park Campus in New Orleans. Those students may also transfer to a four-year college.

Delgado had more than 17,000 students last fall.

For information call (504) 671-5012 or visit www.dcc.edu.

Tulane study looks at side effects of statins

A new Tulane University study explains how the process that helps cholesterol-lowering drugs fight heart disease can be a double-edged sword.

The drugs, statins, can have adverse side effects by prematurely aging stem cells. This can result in memory loss, muscle problems and increased risk for diabetes.

The research was published online in the American Journal of Physiology — Cell Physiology. The senior author was Dr. Eckhard Alt, director of cardiovascular research for the Tulane Heart and Vascular Institute.

The study examined the impact of clinical doses of two popular statins on blood and tissue. Samples were taken from adult donors in different age groups.

Researchers extracted stem cells within the samples to see how the drugs affected their development into macrophages, immune cells that help form and break down artery-clogging plaque.

Statins did help break down plaque, but they also prevented the stem cells from becoming beneficial bone and cartilage cells, the study found.

The effect was more pronounced in the samples from older donors, the age group most likely to use statins.