L3 and L4 Students “Adopt a Family”

Antonia Traina (Medical student)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” The classic song begins to play, and with the smell of pine and mistletoe in the air, we can be certain the holiday season is upon us. Our hearts are overjoyed, as we fill those “wish” lists with gifts for family and friends and await the long-anticipated Christmas morning.

But what if this wasn’t the case? What if the holiday season was not a time of joy and blessings, but instead a time of hopelessness and despair? Imagine a single mother whose only wish is to give to her young children, but she is burdened with three jobs that still don’t pay the bills. Picture a pair of siblings separated from their mother by immigration and forced to live with their single uncle this holiday season.

Once again, Catholic Charities of New Orleans and LSU School ofMedicine Classes of 2019 and 2020 have partnered to bring joy to this familieswho would otherwise go without. Through the Adopt a Family program, the two classes pulled together to raise money and fulfill the wish lists of eight New Orleans families in need.  It is a tradition that was started four years ago and has been successful ever since.

Last year Catholic Charities, with the help of many local organizations, was able to give food and gift baskets to over 1,300 New Orleans individuals in need. For most who participate in this service project, it is hard to imagine a holiday season without the love and warmth of family and friends. We travel far and wide, enjoying the gifts that we have been given, cherishing the moments we have together, and making sure our holidays are everything we wished for. 

As medical students, we serve as a unique part of the patientcare team within the hospital. Most of the time, we get to know our patients in ways that other members of the team do not. We develop a personal connection and discover aspects of their personal lives that may have otherwise gone unknown. It is because of this personal relationship with our patients that helping others remains of utmost importance. With the season of giving approaching, the class of 2019 and 2020 has made every effort to give back to the community that we serve. Through the fulfillment of wish lists and desire to support the NewOrleans community, it is our hope that we can make each of these families’ holidays merry and bright.


Espiritu Poem Published in The Pharos

Congratulations go out to Gabrielle V. Espiritu, a third-year medical student, was honored to have her poem published in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society’s quarterly journal The Pharos.  The poem titled “Her Mother’s Hands”, Ms. Espiritu’s entry in The Pharos Poetry Award competition, won Third Place. 

Please find the link to this poem here

Graduate Research Day

Graduate Research Day was held on Friday, November 2nd.  It provided a forum for the graduate students working in the labs of School of Medicine faculty to present their research in a variety of forums, including poster session, three minute talks (3MT), and ten minute talks.  Thank you to all the participants, judges, and research committee for their hard work.Congratulations to the winners! 

Poster presentations:  

First place – Laura Erwin (Pharmacology) 

Second place – Katelyn Robillard (Neuroscience/Cell Biology & Anatomy) 

Third place – Jessica Cucinello (Physiology) 

10 Minute presentation:  

Van Ninh (Physiology)  

3 MT presentations:  

First place – Dr. Rebecca Buckley (Biochemistry) 

Second place – Whitney Walkowski (Neuroscience/Cell Biology & Anatomy)  

Third place – Diana Battaglia (Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology)  

Chancellor’s Award  

Dr. Allyson Schreiber (Physiology) 

Jack D. Hines Memorial Award:  

Dr. Hamilton Farris 

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.


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.

Congratulations to the new members of AOA from the class of 2019. 

Please welcome our new AOA members!  The following 23 seniors from the LSU SOM Class of 2019 have been selected for membership into the Louisiana Beta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society:  

  • Michael Artigue 
  • Lynn Bourn 
  • Alexander Daigle 
  • Amy DeKerlegand 
  • Kristen Garvie 
  • Channing Hood 
  • Rachel Kopkin 
  • Ellen Landry 
  • Emma Levenson 
  • Hannah Lomzenski 
  • Katherine Moody 
  • Amelia Muhs 
  • Anthony Naquin 
  • Abbie Naus 
  • Alexandra Navard 
  • Jenny Nguyen 
  • Hayes Patrick 
  • Myles Prados 
  • Camille Robinson 
  • Tyler Scott 
  • Hunter Starring 
  • William Steward 
  • Heather Valdin 

The following 9 members of the LSU SOM Class of 2019 were inducted as juniors into the Louisiana Beta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in April: 

  • Ethan “Hunter” Arnaud 
  • Ryan Bolotte 
  • Elizabeth Cooper 
  • Allison Falcon 
  • Brian “Jake” Johnson 
  • Caroline Lieux 
  • John Miller 
  • Louis Monnig 
  • William “Hunter” Waddell 

Please join me in congratulating these students for achieving this most prestigious honor!  


 The Gold Humanism Honor Society 

Maximilian Musharoff,(SOM Class of 2019 and current GHHS President) 

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) was founded in 2002 to bestow “a designation of compassion” on medical students to cultivate the ideal patient-physician dynamic. In 2014 Alexis Morvant created the LSUHSC-New Orleans chapter to join the national society, which now has over 30,000 members, with the following mission statement:  

GHHS provides recognition for one’s values in action that cannot be objectively calculated (e.g. grades), but are subjectively observed by those with whom our students work most closely—colleagues. GHHS presents national recognition for our future physicians who portray integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy, service, which all coalesce to recognize humanism in their practice of medicine as observed by their peers. Ultimately, our organization recognizes those student-doctors who are viewed by their peers as being the type of doctor one would send one’s own parent or child to for care—a ‘Doctor’s Doctor’. 

The honor society nomination allows fellow classmates to anonymously assess how closely a student’s actions reflect the characteristics at the heart of GHHS. Over the course of the year, GHHS conducts activities designed to spread patient-centered care to all of LSU, students and practitioners alike. Some of these activities include:  

 Student of the Month: A highly valued and selective award given to students who have gone above and beyond to help their patients or their colleagues. Fellow students submit anonymous nominations. Submissions are voted on by GHHS and junior RISE representatives with identifying information removed.  

Visiting Student Tours: Students from outside programs who are rotating at LSU are given a guided tour with the opportunity for questions prior to the start of their rotation. 

 Humanism in Medicine Lecture for incoming first year students: During orientation week for incoming first year students, GHHS members present a full lecture on the pillars of Humanism. Emphasis is placed on altruism, empathy, respect, service, compassion, excellence, and integrity for students to include these ideals during a formative time in their overall approach to medicine. 

L1 White Coat ceremony: GHHS welcomes the students, leads the reading of the Oath of Ideals, and provides volunteers for the ceremony. 

New Orleans Women’s Shelter Winter Clothing Drive: Last year, GHHS ran a clothing drive and donated over 1900 articles of clothing to men, women, and children staying in the shelters at Chateau D’Orleans and S. Liberty St. over the holidays. 

Patient Solidarity day: Members make and distribute hand-made cards expressing sympathy and encouraging optimism on Valentine’s Day to patients at University Medical Center. A booth is set up at the hospital so other care providers can take cards to give to their patients.  

Humanism in Medicine Essay Contest: To encourage viewing medicine from the perspective of Humanism, all medical students are invited to submit a short essay describing an experience embodying the values of GHHS. The winner is invited to speak at the first year students’ Whitecoat Ceremony and GHHS induction and is awarded a cash prize.   

Leonard Tow Award: Awarded to 1 faculty, 2 residents, and 1 student who demonstrates “both clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues.” 

We are extremely excited for the upcoming year! We are actively working with the National Chapter in an effort to further spread Humanism throughout the LSU system and expand our online presence through social media. We are working with the Student Affairs office to increase the amount of time spent communicating the idealistic traits valued by GHHS with the first year medical students. Our member involvement has increased with a new structure of subcommittees for our events.  

Thank you for reading, and join us in trying to be the best version of ourselves for our patients and for each other! 


Aesculapian Society

Lucie Calderon (Class of 2019)  

Since 1963, the Aesculapian Society has served students by opening a line of communication between students and faculty in the spirit of bettering LSU’s medical school education. The exact functions of the organization have evolved with each generation of scholars, but it remains, first and foremost, a student-run society that assimilates feedback from the students and works with faculty to better cater to the needs of each class.  

Our most recent adaptation took place with the Class of 2019 who sat through the product of LSU’s recent curriculum change. In tandem with the direction of medical schools across the country, LSU worked intensively to incorporate a more systems-based schedule in the second year curriculum. Courses were moved around, broken down and reassembled, and taught for the first time by a team of faculty members from several disciplines to provide a holistic overview of each organ system. 

The Aesculapian Society, which formerly met with faculty members at the conclusion of each course, saw a need for a quicker turnaround of communication to address the issues that we saw day-to-day in the classroom as lecturers presented their foundational material in a new way for the first time. A herculean task, perhaps, but it was one that was approached strategically by motivated students and by faculty members who were extremely receptive to their feedback. What was once a singular meeting at the end of the semester became weekly meetings with course directors, where selected Aesculapian representatives collected suggestions from their peers and presented actionable proposals to the faculty. While a curriculum change will always require a great deal of work well beyond what the outside observer might notice, it’s fair to say that with the strong efforts of both faculty and students, the transition occurred successfully and was well received by Class of 2019 and the subsequent classes of students. 

Given the great feedback the students and faculty gave about the Aesculapians’ work during the second year curriculum, we tweaked the way we approached both the first and the third year data collection processes to also include methods of more real-time feedback. First-year representatives began meeting regularly with their course directors to address immediate needs of their peers, similar to the structure of the second-year meetings. Third years are also exploring a new system of communication in which members are selected to represent a certain service throughout the year, and they serve as the sounding board for concerns of any students rotating through that particular clerkship. Rather than simply waiting until the conclusion of the year to address issues that arose each block, Aesculapians are now able to communicate their feedback so as to effect change for the students beginning the clerkship in the next rotation.  

The Society continues to harvest data on a course-by-course basis to provide faculty members with written reports at the end of each semester, but the Society has and will continue to adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of the student body.  


Congratulations to our Graduating Graduate Students 

Congratulations are in order for the following students who received their degrees from the School of Graduate Studies at the 144th Annual LSUHSC Graduation:

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Master of Science

Bryant Nicholas Autin
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Jennifer Cameron (Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology)

Darryl Anthony Gaudet, Jr.
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Stefany Primeaux (Department of Physiology)

Charles Seth Lott
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Wayne Backes (Department of Pharmacology)

Shawn Jacob Marcell
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Ludmila Belayev (Neuroscience Center of Excellence)

Nouriath Gnon Ningbinnin*
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Ben Kelly (Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology)

Rod Ingraham Paulsen*
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Scott Edwards (Department of Physiology)

Jonquil Marie Poret
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Stefany Primeaux (Department of Physiology)

Alicia Nicole Ray-Botello*
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Nicholas Gilpin (Department of Physiology)

Domonique Patrice Smith
Department: Biomedical Sciences
Major Professor: Dr. Robert Siggins (Department of Physiology)

Doctor of Philosophy

Hannah Leslie Albritton
Department: Microbiology, Immunology, & Parasitology
Major Professor: Dr. Alison Quayle
Dissertation: The Importance of Local Mucosal Antibodies in Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections in Women

Sami Mohammed Alshehry
Department: Cell Biology & Anatomy
Major Professor: Dr. John Cork
Dissertation: The Effectiveness of Different Educational Resources for Teaching Neck Anatomy to First-Year Dental Students

Kayla Tye Beale Fuselier
Department: Human Genetics
Major Professor: Dr. Ed Grabczyk
Dissertation: MLH3 Isoforms: The Difference 72 Nucleotides Makes in GAA•TTC Repeat Expansion

Minmin Luo
Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Major Professor: Dr. Sunyoung Kim
Dissertation: A Study of Kinesin-5 Mechanotransduction in Multi-Motor Systems

Mazvita Maziveyi
Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Major Professor: Dr. Suresh Alahari
Dissertation: The Role of Nischarin in the Breast Tumor Microenvironment

Allyson Lea Schreiber
Department: Physiology
Major Professor: Dr. Nicholas Gilpin
Dissertation: Brain Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (CRF) Signaling Mediates Traumatic Stress-Induced Behaviors

Dustin Roderick Todaro
Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Major Professor: Dr. Arthur Haas
Dissertation: Mechanistic Conservation in Nedd4-2/NEDD4L-Catalyzed Polyubiquitin Chain Assembly

Rishi Kiran Trivedi*
Department: Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Major Professor: Dr. David Lefer
Dissertation: Effects of LCZ696 on Myocardial and Vascular Function in the Setting of Heart Failure

Shannan Darice Washington
Department: Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Major Professor: Dr. Donna Neumann
Dissertation: To Loop or to Insulate? How CCCTC-Binding Factor (CTCF) Regulates the Transcriptional Program of Herpes Simplex Virus Type I (HSV-1) Latency and the Transition to Reactivation

*In Absentia