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Biology professors awarded more than $1 million in research grants

Three professors in the Department of Biological Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans were recently awarded more than $1 million in research funding.

Professor Patricia Dorn, Ph.D., was awarded a five-year $568,343 National Science Foundation/National Institute of Health grant to research ecology and evolution of infectious disease. Dorn is working in collaboration with investigators in Guatemala, El Salvador and Vermont on interrupting transmission of Chagas disease, the most serious parasitic disease in Central America. This funding allows her to continue to offer opportunities for Loyola undergraduates to participate in international scientific research on this important public health issue.

Aimée K. Thomas, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor at Loyola, and Kristy L. Halverson, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi, were awarded a two-year $250,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop the innovative environmental-science training program “Over, Under and Through: Students Informally Discover the Environment.” Funded through the Informal Science Education initiative, OUTSIDE will enable naturalists to study patterns in learning through informal environmental education programs, which will integrate tablet technology while addressing science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts through integrative themes in nature.

Associate professor Rosalie Anderson, Ph.D., received a $430,229 competitive renewal of her grant from the National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to continue funding the project “Regeneration of the Developing Chick Elbow Joint” for another three years. An objective of the award is to engage undergraduates in developmental biology research. The Anderson laboratory developed the first model for joint regeneration to begin to uncover the cues that are necessary for the tissues of the limb to initiate regeneration of a joint. This work has significant human applications to the fields of limb regeneration and regenerative medicine.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at or 504-861-5882.