UNO to hold Katrina recovery meeting

The University of New Orleans will present a symposium March 27 focusing on the recovery and remaking of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“A Safe and Just Region? Assessing New Orleans 10 Years After Katrina” will examine issues including disaster preparedness, cultural shifts, historic preservation, housing, transportation and economic development.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place in the second-floor ballroom of the University Center. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

“As August approaches, the New Orleans area will once again be the subject of worldwide attention,” said Renia Ehrenfeucht, associate professor of planning and urban studies. “We hope we can shape discussions about both opportunities and challenges to building and rebuilding a just and safe region for all.”

Featured panelists will include faculty from UNO and other universities, plus nonprofit, government, law and hazard-mitigation professionals.

For a complete list of the panelists, visit www.uno.edu/cola/planning-and-urban-studies/katrina-at-10.aspx. For more information, call (504) 280-6519.

HIV co-discoverer to speak at Tulane

Dr. Robert Gallo, a co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday at Tulane University. His talk, “Journey with Blood Cells and Viruses,” will be presented at the Freeman Auditorium in Woldenberg Art Center.

Gallo’s free talk is the public keynote for a three-day symposium titled “Translational Research in Infectious Diseases: From Microbes to Man,” to be held at Tulane from Wednesday through Friday.

The symposium celebrates contributions to infectious disease research by faculty in the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

“The presentations will cover the entire spectrum of biomedical research,” said Andrew Lackner, professor of microbiology, immunology and pathology and director of the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

Gallo is director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and scientific director of the Global Virus Network. He worked for 30 years at the National Cancer Institute.

Tulane awarded Dept. of Energy grant

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Tulane University physics professor Wayne Reed a $1.5 million grant to help find the most efficient way to produce polymers, the chemical compounds that are used to make everything from building materials in spacecraft to laptops and medicines.

“This grant focuses on developing the necessary hardware and software tools needed for fully automated polymer manufacturing,” said Reed, the founding director of the Tulane Center for Polymer Reaction Monitoring and Characterization.

The long-term goal is to commercialize the technology, Reed said. Automated polymer manufacturing will allow for efficient production of polymers.

The grant forms the Louisiana Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing Consortium, with Tulane as the lead. The consortium also includes Nalco Co., LSU professor Jose Romagnoli’s process modeling and control team, the Louisiana Chemical Association and Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies, a Tulane spinoff company that provides monitoring solutions for polymer producers.

LSU Heath student wins competition

Cristina Terhoeve, a second-year student at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, won first place in the poster competition at the 2015 Southern Regional Meeting of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. The competition was held recently in New Orleans.

The goal of her study was to determine how alcohol decreases bone density, resulting in osteoporosis. Fat cells and bone-forming cells originate from a common precursor.

Terhoeve found that increasing amounts of alcohol in the diet over long periods of time resulted in more precursors becoming fat cells rather than bone cells. The stem cells extracted from these fat cells had reduced plasticity.

“I hope that my work will one day have a positive impact on individuals worldwide suffering from alcoholism,” Terhoeve said.