School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Everyone deserves equal health outcomes


New synthetic skin may unlock blood-sucking secrets of mosquitoes

One by one, mosquitoes are captured by a handheld vacuum and released into a clear plastic box. After taking a moment to adjust to their new surroundings, the mosquitoes smell blood and swarm to the source.But instead of finding a creature to feast on, they buzz toward a vessel of scarlet blood flowing under a small square of clear synthetic skin and begin to feed.

This is not the stuff of science fiction, but a research partnership between Tulane and Rice universities to see if gelatin-like patches of fake skin – called hydrogels – are the future of studying how mosquitoes transmit deadly diseases and which repellents are most effective. Hydrogels eliminate the need for human and animal testing to answer such questions.

Mosquito over New Orleans

SPHTM by the Numbers


We were the first school of public health in the country (est. 1912)


In the top 10% of Public Health Schools & Programs in the US


of graduates working or continuing education within a year of graduating


Students currently come from 47 states


Our students are from 21 different countries


Average age of our students