Why Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine?
Tulane faculty are leaders in their field, at the forefront of new, cutting-edge methods and findings. Jiang He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology, is one example of a powerhouse member of our faculty. He is an international expert in cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology and leads a number of major research projects, including the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, the GenSalt Study, and the China National Hypertension Survey Follow-up Study, high-profile research studies that are changing what we know about cardiovascular health.
Nirbhay Kumar is chair of the Department of Tropical Medicine, and like He, he remains very busy outside of his administrative responsibilities. Kumar is leading the charge to develop a transmission-blocking malaria vaccine. A vaccine such as this would be designed to stop the spread of malaria by rendering the parasite inactive when picked up by a mosquito during a blood meal. The result of such a vaccine could be dramatic. Other faculty in the department, including Donald Krogstad, Ahmed Aly, and Juan Pizarro are three tropical medicine faculty who are also working on malaria research. Also in the department,Dawn Wesson looks beyond malaria into other vector-borne diseases, particularly dengue, Chagas, and West Nile virus.
Another of our chairs, Hong-Wen Deng in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, is building the largest sample collection for the study of osteoporosis in the world. The Louisiana Osteoporosis Study builds on previous studies in Kansas City and Omaha, and will ultimately enroll more than 20,000 subjects of different ethnicities in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Each subject is phenotyped for body composition including bone mineral density), muscle function, and blood pressure, with samples collected for extraction of DNA, RNA, and more. The breadth and depth of this project is promising for the future potential of research on this large cohort database. Numerous department faculty are working with him in these endeavors.
It is not only our chairs who gain attention for research that expands understanding of public health concerns. Diego Rose, professor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, focuses on the social and economic sides of nutrition problems. His work shows the links between food access and consumption, both domestically and internationally. Locally, he was involved in the Food Policy Advisory Committee, a state-based group of commercial, political, and nonprofit members that developed and promoted adoption of Fresh Food Financing Initiative, designed to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in “food deserts.” On the global front, he recently returned from a sabbatical at the World Food Program where he facilitated a global food security assessment project.
Erik Svendsen, associate professor of global environmental health sciences, is a rising star in the field of environmentally induced pulmonary illnesses. In particular, he leads the Graniteville Recovery and Chlorine Epidemiology Study, a lung health study into the effects of a 2005 chlorine gas spill. In particular, the study is focused on residents who worked for a local denim factory at the time of the spill. Because the mill had a worker health standard to perform annual lung function testing, Svendsen and his team can compare pre-spill lung health to later periods of time to determine the evolution of local resident health.
Mollye Demosthenidy, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development, combines a background in health administration and law, and has become a go-to source on healthcare reform and health care policy in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Also in GHSD, Associate Professor Thomas Eisele develops community intervention strategies for controlling malaria and has published papers based on his research into the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and other malaria-prevention tools.
Jane Bertrand, Neal A. and Mary Vanselow Chair in GHSD, is another internationally recognized expert on our faculty team. She has done extensive work in health communication and family planning in developing countries, including the development of an innovative and interactive website showcasing family-planning resources in Francophone African countries.
Our faculty combine original research that advances science and critical thinking together with skills-based teaching that uses the experience and examples learned in the lab and in the field to benefit the classroom experience.
Reputation || Skills-based || Local • International • Global || From Bench to Community