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Research & Centers

Alessandra Bazzano, pictured, social entrepreneurship professor at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and faculty member at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, co-authored a report in the PLOS journal with Taylor Center colleagues Laura Murphy and Maille Faughnan. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Research is an integral part of who we are at SPHTM. Our faculty conduct timely, important research to address global health concerns and to discover the why behind many of the health issues that plague populations. Each department has a number of strengths, research niches, where they stand out among their peers. Research also goes hand in hand with what happens in the classroom. Students learn directly from faculty who are actively conducting research, and students are encouraged to get involved in research opportunities. Indeed, it is a critical part of our goals as a school to advance public health knowledge through rigorous evidence-based scientific investigation.

Research Highlights

Benefits of a healthy diet greater in people at high genetic risk for obesity

People whose genes put them at greater risks for obesity may reap bigger benefits from sticking to a healthy diet than those at lower genetic risk, according to a new study in the journal The BMJ led by a team of Tulane researchers. The study suggests that improving diet quality over time can attenuate a genetic predisposition to obesity, said corresponding author Dr. Lu Qi, director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center and epidemiology faculty at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Learn more>>

Tulane researchers analyze design thinking in global health

When a GE designer learned pediatric patients were often frightened by MRI scans, he transformed the experience into an adventure. With a touch of imagination, paint and special effects, the machines morphed into submarines or spaceships ready to transport patients to an alternate world. This story is one of many involving the growing trend of using design thinking, a human-centered approach, to develop innovations in health. A Tulane University study, published in the Public Library of Science journal, is the first comprehensive review of this movement, analyzing human-centered design outcomes in the field. Read more>>

Tulane gets $4.8 million Gates Foundation grant to help new parents in Africa

A new Tulane University initiative called MOMENTUM aims to help new mothers and their babies in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The project is funded by a $4.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MOMENTUM will provide nursing students training in counseling first-time mothers aged 15-24 and the fathers of their babies on family planning, birth preparedness, newborn care, and gender-equitable attitudes. Anastasia Gage, professor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is program director for MOMENTUM. Read more>>