Bioinformatics and Genomics Program: Putting LSUHSC on the World Map

Chindo Hicks, Ph.D.
Director, LSUHSC Bioinformatics and Genomics Program

LSUHSC’s Bioinformatics and Genomics (BIG) Program in partnership with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) organized the International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) held at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans on November 18, 2017 – November 21, 2017 Dr. Chindo Hicks, Professor of Genetics and Director of LSUHSC’s BIG Program served as the organizing Chair. The ICDM is the world’s premier research conference on data mining. It provided an international forum for presentation of original research results, as well as exchange and dissemination of innovative and practical development experiences. The conference attracted over 800 international experts and graduate students involved in data mining, data analytics, data sciences and BIG data. The ICDM brought together researchers, application developers, and practitioners from a wide range of data mining-related areas such as statistics, machine learning, pattern recognition, bioinformatics, computational genomics, BIG data, data analytics, databases, data warehousing, data visualization, knowledge-based systems, and high-performance computing including cloud computing. Next year the conference will be held in Singapore. “We plan to represent LSUHSC in Singapore if the economic conditions allow,” said Dr. Hicks, one of the organizing committee members for next year’s conference.


Faculty Assembly

John Hunt, M.D.
Faculty Assembly President

The SOM Faculty Assembly met on November 1 and December 7, 2017.

At both meetings, we reviewed standing reports from The Executive committee, The School of Medicine Administrative Council, and the Faculty Senate.  Business items discussed at both meetings included:

Housekeeping issues on campus, specifically the restrooms in MEB – With the help of Dean Nelson we involved the Facilities Department with some positive results.  The overall cleanliness of the restrooms are improved.  The Facilities Department replaced or repaired a number of the lavatory facilities.  There are still some that will require extensive plumbing repairs and will be repaired later.  We will monitor progress.

Safety on campus – This was discussed in the Assembly and in executive session with the Dean.  There was a stakeholders meeting demonstrating some coordination between the schools and the hospital, an improvement over the past.  We discussed more effective ways to distribute safety information and crime alerts.  The Faculty Senate will handle this issue since it involves all of the schools, not just the Medical School.

LCME visit – Dr Richard DiCarlo, as the outgoing Dean of Students, was an invited guest and reviewed the LCME visit.  The exit visit synopsis, by the site visitors, was very favorable.  They noted only five minor, and easily correctable, deficiencies out of 93 categories.  The final adjudication is with the LCME, but looks very favorable at this point.  Good job, to all the people in the Offices of Student Affairs and Medical Education.

Part-time Faculty – Dr. Richard DiCarlo, as the new incoming Dean of Faculty, also discussed the role and representation of part-time faculty at the institution.  There are over 100 part-time faculty at the medical school.  We will survey these part-time faculty and the chairs of departments with a substantial number of part-time faculty to make sure they are represented appropriately on the Faculty Assembly and other aspects of institutional life, such as committee representation.

If you would like to add to the above mentioned issues or there are important issues that you think the Faculty Assembly needs to address, please contact us via the website suggestion box at or one of your faculty assembly representatives:



Email Department Telephone Executive Committee
Clinical Science 2015-2018
Guillory, Shane Med 568-5722
Gottlieb-Sen, Danielle Surgery 568-4750
Happel, Kyle Med-Pulm/CC 568-4634 Admin. Council Rep
Hetzler, Laura (BR) ENT 225-765-1765
Hunt, John Surgery 568-4750 President
Lee, Olivia Orthopedics 568-4680
McGoey, Robin Pathology 568-6031
Oge, Linda (LAF) Family Med 337-278-4121
Clinical Science 2016-2019
Ali, Murtuza Med (Cardio) 617-997-9160
Callahan, Kristin Psychiatry 568-6004
Delacroix, Scott Urology 412-1600
Holman, Stacey OB/Gyn 568-4850
Houser, Marcella Pediatrics 896-2777
Mooney, Jennifer Surgery 568-4750
Prasad, Pinki Pediatrics 896-9740 Secretary/Treasurer
Spieler, Brad Radiology 568-5523
Surcouf, Jeffrey Pediatrics 896-9418
Clinical Science 2017-2020
DeSilva, Taniya Med (Endo) 617-997-9160
Hart, Jennifer Med 568-5722
Kamboj, Sanjay Med 568-5722
Lilje, Christian Pediatrics 896-9751
Orangio, Guy Surgery 568-4750
Polite, Florencia OB/Gyn 568-4850
Rivera, Dana Pediatrics 896-9418
Roth, Christopher Urology 568-2207
Basic Science 2015-2018
Campeau, Lisa Anatomy 568-2792
Lentz, Jennifer NC/ENT 599-0400
Levitzky, Mike Physiology 568-6184
Winsauer, Peter Pharmacology 568-2063
Basic Science 2016-2019
Gardner, Jason Physiology 568-7252
Kapusta, Daniel Pharmacology 568-4740
Kelly, Ben MIP 568-6115
Sturtevant, Joy MIP 568-6116
Basic Science 2017-2020
Crabtree, Judy Genetics 568-2963 Admin. Council Rep
Goodchild, Traci Pharmacology 568-3116
Kozlowski, Pamela MIP 568-6956
Taylor, Christopher MIP 568-4065 President Elect

Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Seminar Schedule for 2018 

The LSUHSC Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research hosts an exciting Cardiovascular Biology Seminar Series! Renowned scientists from prestigious and innovative institutions visit our Center regularly, sharing ideas and inspiring us to become the best. Please take a moment to view the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Seminar schedule. These seminars are golden opportunities to learn and visit with other scientists with similar interests.

Click on the following link to see the entire schedule for 2018:  

Medical Student Research Day 

Paula Gregory, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research 

On Friday, November 17th, forty-two medical students presented their research results at Medical Student Research Day.  The winners from the 2017 Medical Student Research Day poster session are: 

Hunter Hidalgo1st Place – Hunter Hildago (Mentor: David Lefer) “Novel Rodent Model of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HF-pEF)” 

Karen Nelson2nd Place – Karen Nelson (Mentors: Christopher Parsons & Yussef Bennani) “HIV Outcomes in HIV+ Cancer Patients after Referral to Multidisciplinary Patient Navigation Program”  

Patrick Johnson3rd Place – Patrick Johnson (Mentor: Jennifer Mooney) “Helmet Use and Outcomes in Louisiana”  

Brett Salomon4th Place – Brett Salomon (Mentors: Vinod Dasa & Daniel Plessi) “Using a modern day rapid recovery protocol, when does pre-op range of motion return following total knee arthroplasty?” 


Medical Student Selected to Serve on National Board 

Cathy Lazarus, M.D.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs

image002year medical student Patrick Johnson has been selected to serve as a student representative to the newly formed National Board of Examiners Resident/Student Advisory panel.

The USMLE Medical Student and Resident Advisory Panel is composed of medical students and residents from across the U.S. and internationally and is charged to: 1) assist USMLE staff in working through operational issues directly impacting the examinee experience of the exam and 2) serve as a voice and resource to inform substantive policy questions from or before official USMLE committees. Topics the panel may be asked to address or weigh in on include strategic enhancements to the USMLE, communication strategies to examinees, performance feedback to examinees, the testing day experience of examinees, and changes in USMLE policy.

I know that he will do a great job representing himself, LSU and the medical student perspective. Congratulations!



Gold Humanism Award 

The Gold Humanism Society extended its congratulations to the following students & residents who were nominated and elected by their peers for Students of the Month for September, October, and November 2017!


  • L1s- Ashley Van & Mary Gabriel
  • L2s- Kaylin Beiter & Brett Salomon
  • L3s- Elaine Meyers & Margaret Johnson
  • L4- Megan Rabalais
  • Residents- Dr. Alex Cruz-Saldana, Neurology & Dr. Christopher Johnson, General Surgery


  • L1s- Catherine Fontenot
  • L2s- Ryan Chan & Sarah Lungaro
  • L3s- Allison Falcon & Andy Van Hook
  • L4- Oanh Trong & Louis Anzalone
  • Residents- Dr. Elyze Bevier-Rawls, General Surgery & Dr. Lindsay Lasseinge, Neurosurgery


  • L1s- Abigail Olinde
  • L2s-Aubrey Schachter
  • L3s- Paige Davis
  • L4- Tuan Tran
  • Residents- Dr. Henry Huson, General Surgery & Dr. Jacob Leonard, General Surgery

Their interactions with their peers, patients, and community have been noted, and they are to be commended on being such great members of the LSUHSC community.  These students embody the GHHS pillars of Respect, Integrity, Service, and Empathy.

Congratulations again and keep on being golden!


Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Student Work 


David Polhemus, Ph.D. received the School of Graduate Studies Chancellor’s Award at Graduate Student Research Day held on November 3, 2017.  David was a student in the lab of Dr. David Lefer in the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.   

The award is given each year to “a high ranking graduating student who has done the most to promote the health sciences and the School before the public. Selection is made by a committee of the faculty appointed by Dr. Joseph Moerschbaecher, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, with consultation by members of the graduating class.” 


School of Graduate Studies Jack Hines Award 

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The School of Graduate Studies announced the winner of this year’s Jack Hines Memorial Award during the Graduate Research Day Awards ceremony on November 3, 2017.  The Jack Hines Award is given to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the School of Graduate Studies in honor of the beloved Jack D. Hines, III, former Director of the School of Graduate Studies. This year’s recipient of the Jack Hines Award is Dr. Diptasri Mandal, Department of Genetics.  Congratulations Dr. Mandal! 

Graduate Research Day 

The School of Graduate Studies held their annual Graduate Student Research Day on November 3, 2017.  During this day-long event, graduate students from a variety of labs and departments presented their research either through posters, three minute talks (also known as an “elevator talk”) and ten minute talks.  Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s event!

Poster Winners:

  • First place – Ayesha Umrigar, Department of Genetics (Mentor: Dr. Fern Tsien)
  • Second place – Kirsten Termine, Department of Genetics (Mentor: Dr. Diptasri Mandal)
  • Third place – Paul Stoulig, Department of Physiology (Mentor: Dr. Patricia Molina)

Three Minute Talk Winners:

  • First Place – Zachary Stielper, Department of Physiology (Mentors: Dr. Patricia Molina and Dr. Nicholas Gilpin)
  • Second place – Katelyn Robillard, Neuroscience Center of Excellence (Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Lentz)
  • Third place – Thomas Flanagan, Department of Pharmacology (Mentor: Dr. Charles Nichols)

Ten Minute Talk Winner:

  • Robert Fuchs, Department of Pharmacology (Mentor: Dr. Eric Lazartigues)