White Coat Ceremony

 The LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine held its annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the Jung Hotel Grand Hall.  This year, 202 members of the LSU Health New Orleans Medical School Class of 2022 received white coats, a visible symbol of patient care. During the ceremony, students were “coated” in order of their mentoring house by faculty members chosen by each individual house.  The coaters for this year’s ceremony were:

  • Audubon House: Ted Weyand, Ph.D. and Grace Athas, Ph.D.
  • Carrollton House: Robin English, M.D. and Taniya De Silva, M.D.
  • Decatur House: Ann Tilton, M.D. and Lauren Nunez, M.D.
  • Esplanade House: Julio Figueroa, M.D. and Victoria Burke, M.D.
  • Magazine House: Robert Maupin, M.D. and Joy Sturtevant, Ph.D.
  • Napoleon House: Xiaolin Tian, Ph.D. and Kyle Fulton, M.D.
  • Rampart House: Andrew Hollenbach, Ph.D. and David Borne, M.D.
  • Tchoupitoulas: Jennifer Hart, M.D. and Lee Engel, M.D., Ph.D.

According to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the cloaking with the white coat—the mantle of the medical profession—is a hands-on experience that underscores the bonding process. The coat is placed on each student’s shoulders by individuals who believe in the students’ ability to carry on the noble tradition of doctoring. It is a personally delivered gift of faith, confidence and compassion.

Following the coating, the class recited its Oath of Ideals. Each class develops its own Oath of Ideals.  The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition begun at LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Medicine in 1997.



Words from the Library December

Kathy Kerdolff, Librarian

 We are happy to announce that the Libraries now offer OpenAthens as an alternate way to get to resources when off-campus. With OpenAthens you can use your LSUHSC-NO e-mail address and current password to log in.

This new way to log in works with all Library resources. You will probably first see the option when going through a link from the Library’s web page or the Library catalog. The EZproxy log in page has changed to provide the ability to use OpenAthens:

From there you will see the LSU Health New Orleans log in page that you may be familiar with from webmail or Office 365:

 Be sure to enter your complete LSUHSC-NO e-mail address (including the @lsuhsc.edu). Once you’ve done this, you will be logged into both the OpenAthens and EZproxy systems, so any Library link you follow that requires off-campus authentication should work with no trouble.

Another feature of OpenAthens is the ability to log in directly at a number of database, ebook, and journal sites. We’ve noticed that many of you have already discovered this option, but one thing to keep in mind is that not all publishers or sites support logging in through OpenAthens. We have a list of sites that support OpenAthens here.

If you have trouble using Library resources with OpenAthens, you may be having issues with your LSUHSC-NO password and/or account. You can use the LSUHSC-NO password change page or you may need to contact the Help Desk or your local computer supporter if you need more assistance with your account.

EZproxy is still available as a way to use Library resources. If you are affiliated with LSU Health New Orleans but are not assigned an LSUHSC-NO e-mail address, you may still be eligible for Library privileges. In those cases, you will need to use a Library-issued barcode and your PIN to use our resources.

More information about logging in off-campus is available via our new Off-Campus page:https://www.lsuhsc.edu/library/offcampus.aspx. There is also a new OpenAthens LibGuide that provides more information about this service: https://libguides.lsuhsc.edu/openathens.

For those who are in the hospitals and clinics, we understand that you deal with more hurdles than anyone, and OpenAthens may make your search for and use of resources a little easier. One example of this may be if you are having troubles accessing an article, it might be easier to log in at the journal’s site (if it supports OpenAthens) and get the article in a more direct way.

If you need any help with this new service or any other Library resources, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Russell Klein, M.D. – In Memorium

R. KleinOur LSU Health family has lost a valued colleague and friend with the passing of Dr. Russell Klein on September 2, 2018 as a result of complications of meningitis. Funeral services were held on Saturday, September 8, at Schoen’s Funeral Home on Canal Street in New Orleans.

Russell Charles Klein, MD was born on May 30, 1935 and was a native New Orleanian. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donna Guinn Klein, his brother Edward J. Klein, Jr., and his children Steven David Klein, Robin Irene Klein, and his beloved rescue dog, Jessie. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Margaret Scott (Greg), loving nieces and nephews, and a multitude of friends and colleagues.

He was a graduate of Jesuit High School, Loyola University and received his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1959. He did his residency training at Charity Hospital and completed a pulmonary fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He served our country as a medical officer in the United States Army (Honorable Discharge) in Germany from 1961-63.

Dr. Klein joined the LSU School of Medicine faculty in 1967 and served in many roles, including Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs and Development, and retiring as Emeritus Professor in 2010. His distinguished career included many professional positions including Director of Respiratory Therapy at the Medical Intensive Care unit at Charity Hospital. He was active in organized medicine, serving in leadership roles in the Orleans Parish Medical Society and as President of the Louisiana State Medical Society. In 2009 the LSU Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of the Chancellor, named the Center for Advanced Practice Simulation Center at the School of Medicine the Russell C. Klein MD (’59) Center for Advanced Practice. Dr. Klein authored and co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, and in 2010 published “A History of the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans.” He was actively involved in the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, the American College of Chest Physician and the Association of American Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement. Over his more than a half-century of service to his alma mater, Russell’s contributions to the School of Medicine were truly incalculable.





New Team Based Learning Classroom – Open for Business!

Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D., Co-Director Basic Science Curriculum
Robin English, M.D., Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education

You’ve seen the construction, you’ve heard the noise, and your classes have probably been disrupted in the last year because of the construction.  However, all of the inconvenience from the construction was well worth it: the new School of Medicine Team Based Learning (TBL) classroom is open for business and being used to great success.

To better address the learning needs of our students, the Office of Medical Education along with course directors and other faculty are working hard to develop new active learning classroom sessions to facilitate delivery, retention, and synthesis of material.  These educational delivery modalities include team based learning, peer based learning, clinical case studies with discussion, and clicker question sessions, to name a few.

This classroom, which was specially designed to facilitate the implementation of these active learning sessions, is capable of accommodating all 200 students within a medical school class, enabling them to work simultaneously on problems in groups of 6 or 7.  Audiovisual equipment is state of the art; six large monitors allow the display of information to the entire classroom and each small group has a computer screen at their table with HDMI hook-ups allowing them to display information to their individual small group.  Faculty are capable of selecting a display from the small group to display to the entire class to allowing students to lead others through their thinking, among many other exceptional capabilities in the room.  This technology and environment allows our faculty to guide students through the cases, stopping to emphasize key concepts as needed.

We’re only beginning to make use of this room, but despite working through small bugs and glitches, faculty and students alike are embracing this room and excited about using it to its full capability.



Ochnser Hosts LGBT Healthcare Summit

Our colleagues at Ochsner Hospital will be hosting an LGBTQ Healthcare Summit on Saturday, October 6 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM.  Hosted by The Ochsner LGBTQ Resource Group and Ochsner PRIDE, the summit entitled “Living Well Together”, aims to provide LGBTQ people living in Southeast Louisiana comprehensive information about health and wellness through lively panel discussions and engaging audience Q&A sessions.  The event is meant to go beyond the routinely discussed health struggles of the LGBTQ community in the South and to encourage participants to connect with local organizations that promote LGBTQ health and wellness.

LGBT Health SymposiumThe summit is free and open to the public with a light dinner buffet provided.  There is limited seating for the panel discussions, so free registration is required in order to reserve a seat.  More information and registration can be found at the following link:


The International Students Association

Aratrika Saha
ISA President

Starting a new phase of life can be a very daunting experience whether it’s graduate school, a new job, or moving to a new city, let alone moving to a new country. Nonetheless, when the final confirmation comes in, we brace ourselves and dive headfirst into unknown waters. The journey we undertake is quite harrowing, both physically and mentally. We are forced to deal with legalities and formalities that seem never-ending. By the time we land on foreign soil, we feel that we’ve become quite adept at handling the unknown and are ready for all the curveballs life throws at us. Unfortunately, that is not true.

Habituating oneself to a new culture is exceedingly demanding, and often in this process of adaptation, we misplace our own identity. We strive to build a home for ourselves while navigating unfamiliar territories and soon find ourselves unable to lift the weight of our responsibilities. Even though eventually we do establish ourselves, it takes time and a lot of effort.

The International Students Association (ISA) is a newly formed association whose goal is to help international personnel establish themselves and solidify their identity in this kaleidoscope of cultures.  The foundation for the ISA was laid 2 years ago when our founding president decided to form this association and began the official paperwork to bring ISA into existence under the guidance of our faculty advisors.

Our mission is the Empowerment, Development, and Exchange of International personnel along with the Integration of knowledge and information about international culture and travel into LSUHSC.  Our vision encompasses the comfortable transition of all international personnel from their respective home countries to New Orleans, coordinate pre-arrival and post-arrival milestones, improve the participation of international personnel in schoolwide and citywide events, and coordinate meets with international Alumni.

We will be having several events and fundraisers throughout the year. We hope to establish a speaker series with speakers addressing different topics like policies and laws concerning international personnel, international travel, culture, and working abroad, to name a few. Fundraisers are going to celebrate a variety of international festivals. It is our objective to host 3 to 4 fundraisers each year, each celebrating a different festival. Our upcoming fundraiser in November is going to celebrate the Festival of Lights, which is celebrated across different cultures and is known by many names like Deepavali in India, Fête des lumières in France, and Spring Lantern Festival in China.

Establishing ties with the international community in other universities and creating an international alumni database is high among our list of priorities. We aspire to establish a network for international personnel that will amount to a substantial resource.

We invite everyone to join us in our endeavor to make LSUHSC a better place not just for the international community but for everyone, to help us bridge the cultural gap and to truly appreciate this fusion of cultures.


Join Up and Walk! AHA Heart Walk

This year, in contrast to years past, LSU Health Sciences Center aims to have a single team for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, which is a 1.8 mile walk scheduled for 8 am on November 17th at LaSalle Park in Metairie.  Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in America and has a higher-than-average incidence in south Louisiana; each year, ~600,000 Americans die of heart disease, with an average of one death every 38 seconds.  LSUHSC’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence is at the forefront of research and discovery of treatments for cardiac disease and is supported through grants from the American Heart Association, amongst others.

Our aim is to highlight the good work we do at LSUHSC for cardiovascular care.  Knowing that heart disease is something with which many of our colleagues will have personal or family experience, we are confident that a strong LSUHSC presence will underscore our passion and commitment to the care of patients with these diseases. Moreover, we believe that excellence in cardiac care is best achieved through a collaborative effort, requiring the dedication of members from all of our schools. We seek to mirror this interprofessional approach to patient care through a solitary, united team at this year’s event.

Please use the link below to sign up, and feel free to share this link with others in your professional and personal network to solicit team members.  No donation is necessary (or expected) but we are hoping to have a strong LSUHSC presence.

http://www2.heart.org/site/TR?fr_id=3688&pg=team&team_id=404496 . Once you are on the page, click Join this Team on the left.

Questions about the event can be directed to Drs. Bradley Spieler, Suresh Alahari, Dan Kapusta, or Zee Ali.

LSUHSC Bioinformatics and Genomics Program in the Cloud – No More Genomics Snail Mail 

Chindo Hicks, Ph.D. (Department of Genetics)

LSUHSC-SOM’s Bioinformatics and Genomics (BIG) Program, in partnership with University of Chicago’s Computational Institute and through a National Cancer Institute grant, have deployed the Globus platform. This new and advanced cloud-based computing platform supports the transfer, management and sharing of big and multi-omics data among investigators. LSUHSC investigators can now use this cloud-based platform to transfer and share big data and large-scale multi-platform and multi-omics data with their collaborating partners around the country and around the world.  The project is led jointly by Dr. Ian T. Foster (PI), Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Data Science and Learning division at Argonne National Laboratory, the creator of the Globus platform; and Dr. Chindo Hicks, Professor of Genetics and Director of LSUHSC-SOM’s BIG Program (PI for the LSUHSC site).

The platform includes Globus Genomics, a cloud-based, elastic system for genomics analysis in the cloud. The platform addresses the needs of researchers, allows management of big data, and provides additional computation resources by providing frictionless access to advanced scientific computing capabilities and an easy way to deliver these capabilities to a broad user base through data sharing.

Whether the genotyping or sequencing is done at campus core facilities or off-site at an external vendor, for example at the Broad Institute in Boston or the HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology in Alabama, moving hundreds of Terabytes of data over an FTP connection or by sending hard drives through the mail by FedEx can be a slow, error-prone process and can compromise data security. The Globus platform allows for the rapid transfer of dozens of exome sequences to BIG’s Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics laboratory. Instead of sending hard drives, it’s now easier for researchers at LSUHSC to just get data transferred electronically. Therefore, “no more genomics snail mail for LSUHSC investigators and cooperating partners.

The BIG and Globus teams are currently working on linking LSUHSC high-performance computing platforms with the Amazon, Google, IBM and the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platforms using the Globus platform.  This will allow us to leverage LSUHSC-SOM resources and to be more competitive as we develop the LSUHSC genomics research enterprise and reposition our cancer center to achieve comprehensive designation from the NCI. In addition to deploying the Globus platform and the data delivery, sharing and analysis pipeline, the BIG and Globus teams are conducting training workshop seminars for LSUHSC investigators.

Investigators who are interesting in learning more about the platform should contact Dr. Chindo Hicks, Globus PI for the LSUHSC Site at chick3@lsuhsc.edu or the LSUHSC Bioinformatics team at https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/bioinformatics/

Student-Run Biotech Incubator

Zachary Richard (SOM Class of 2021)

The New Orleans Medical Innovators (NOMI) is a student-run biotech incubator partnered with Sling Health that mentors students on designing their own healthcare-related projects or expanding on already-developed ideas that solve real-world clinical problems. The clinical problems our teams use are generally pulled from a national database but we want to tackle problems that are specific to New Orleans. Examples of past projects from the National organization are a portable ventilator to use in developing countries, laparoscopic knot tying easier through preformed nitinol loops on the tail of sutures, developing software to improve communication between everyone caring for a patient on their day of surgery, and developing an early melanoma detection and screening app.

If there is a clinical problem that you would like to see resolved, please contact Zachary Richard, the co-director of NOMI (zricha@lsuhsc.edu) or fill out this spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/123wyRjai77jJZyClxleAVMAf9HnvntLPYqr3-jYGf9k/edit?usp=sharing). Submitting a problem does not mean you have to be involved with the project.