Loyola among top Fulbright producers

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has named Loyola University among the top U.S. Fulbright producers for the 2015-16 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Four of the 15 undergraduate students at Loyola who applied for a Fulbright grant received one. The awards provide grants to study abroad and are conferred by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. State Department.

Molly Alper, Joseph Patrick Dougherty and Mara Steven are among the more than 1,900 students offered an opportunity to travel and study abroad on traditional Fulbright grants. Dmitri Staszewski is one of five students in the nation to receive an elite Fulbright-mtvU award.

Alper, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Spanish, has used her Fulbright to travel to South America to do research on human trafficking, an issue she has been studying since her freshman year.

Dougherty, a 2014 graduate with a degree in history, has traveled to Indonesia to teach English, with plans to return to New Orleans to teach.

Steven, who graduated from Loyola with degrees in history and psychology, was awarded the Fulbright to travel to Tajikistan to teach English. She opted to defer the award in order to participate this year in teachNOLA.

Staszewski, a graduate of Loyola’s Film and Music Industries Studies program, is using his mtvU Award to return to Mongolia and continue to document its changing nomadic culture.

Tulanian to study safer chemotherapy drugs

A Tulane University researcher is heading up a study that could lead to safer chemotherapy drugs.

Michael J. Moore, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, is studying improved ways of screening chemotherapy drugs for neurotoxicity, the prime reason that patients reduce their doses or cease treatment altogether.

Moore is working in collaboration with AxoSim Technologies LLC, a start-up company spun out of Moore’s lab in 2014 to improve pharmaceutical drug development. He’s conducting the first phase as part of the Small Business Technology Transfer, a federal program that funds commercialization of university technology.

Moore received a one-year, $225,000 grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

He is examining “nerve on a chip” technology to predict neurological safety and efficacy early in the drug development pipeline.

Lowry Curley, co-founder and chief executive officer of AxoSim, developed the practice under Moore’s guidance while working on his doctoral degree.

The technology uses a 3-D-based model of living cells, which mimics living tissue in form and function and is considered an alternative to animal testing.

Entergy donating $100,000 to UNO

Entergy’s transmission business unit has donated $100,000 to the University of New Orleans to enhance the curriculum for what electrical engineering students learn in the classroom.

The gift, which will fund the new Entergy Energy Conversion Lab, was presented by Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans Inc., and Jim Schott, vice president of transmission for Entergy Services Inc.

In the lab, students will receive hands-on experience with power equipment such as transformers and rotating electrical machinery. They will use detailed wiring diagrams to connect machines to power sources, loads and meters, performing experiments that demonstrate operational and loading characteristics.

“It’s an exciting time to be an engineer,” said Paul Olivier, Entergy’s manager of configuration and controls. Olivier, a UNO alumnus, serves on the school’s Engineering Advisory Council.

“The energy industry is going through a transformation, and we’re seeing big investments in the electric grid nationwide,” he said. “Engineers are at the heart of how we’ll build the grid of the future, and our collaboration with UNO is part of that effort.”