Arthur Thompson named BRF Board Chairman
BRF is pleased to announce that Arthur G. Thompson, Clerk of Council for the City of Shreveport, is the new BRF Board of Directors Chairman.
Thompson has served on the BRF Board of Directors since 2005, serving as an officer for the past eight consecutive years, as Treasurer and Vice Chairman.
Thompson has held his elected position as the City of Shreveport’s Clerk of Council since 1985, having been elected by nine different city councils and 43 individual council members.
Thompson, who was born in Minden, is a graduate of Southern
University in Baton Rouge and the Southern University Law Center.
He was a Captain in the U.S. Army, Judge Advocate Generals Corps for four years and served as a Special Court-Martial Judge during his last year of military service. He has served on many boards and commissions including the Caddo Parish School Board, Metropolitan
Planning Commission of Shreveport and Caddo Parish and in leadership positions on the Providence House and Strategic Action
Thompson is married to Margaret Marks Thompson. They have two
children, Bryan and Dionne, and one grandchild, Phineas (Finn) Carter Thompson. Thompson succeeds Malcolm Murchison, founding member of Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea law firm, who served as BRF Board of Directors Chairman since August 2016.
“Malcolm is a Shreveport native and passionate about his home and Northwest Louisiana. His passion for his community and his leadership as a businessman have made him a tremendous leader for BRF’s board,” Thompson said. “I look forward to stepping into this role and moving BRF forward for my two-year term.”
“I admire Art’s character and look forward to working with him over
the next two years while he serves as BRF’s Chairman,” said John F.
George Jr., M.D., BRF President and CEO. “Art truly understands our
mission in economic development and diversification, and is a
champion of this community.”
A letter from John F. George Jr., M.D.
BRF took on its largest
endeavor and business unit over five years ago with a goal to provide uninterrupted safety net healthcare service to
North Louisiana and support to LSU
Health Sciences Center Shreveport (LSUHSCS) as its clinical partner.
Our secondary goal was to improve University Health System’s (UHS) two hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe’s finances and put them on secure footing for the future. We believe we have achieved these goals.
Beyond financial successes, UHS has many improvements to
patient care to celebrate, such as the elimination of massive patient
backlogs and queues for patient services, including CT scans, MRIs
and cancer treatments.
My heartfelt appreciation goes to each individual at UHS who has made improving patient care and efficiency a priority.
On the horizon is a potential partnership with Ochsner Health System. Now that the hospitals are stable and their future secure for
LSUHSCS and indigent patients, we are in full support of UHS’s transition to Ochsner Health System.
We are well aware that the community may not have understood all the behind-the-scenes work to bring the right healthcare partner to North Louisiana, but know that it has been accomplished by tireless volunteer board members serving BRF and UHS who have withstood the politics and continuously worked for the survival and betterment of safety net healthcare and graduate medical education in North Louisiana.
More than 50 upstanding individuals serving on these boards, transition teams, and BRF and UHS leadership have collectively pushed political and personal agendas aside to bring us to where we are today.
UHS is now stronger, and I believe this potential partnership with
Ochsner Health System is the best possible solution for North
Several operators were considered, but none were as good of a fit as Ochsner. Ochsner Health System and its leaders have exceeded our expectations and offer outstanding healthcare services to the state of Louisiana.
We believe their presence in North Louisiana is beneficial to the
patients, employees and partners of UHS. We as a board and leaders of BRF and UHS feel good about this partnership.
In politically charged events such as this, there are bound to be
nay-sayers, but this partnership and the evolution of the healthcare
industry in our region should be a true turning point for our community and for LSUHSCS.
Nothing and no one should stand in the way of our hospitals and medical school becoming the exemplary medical center we’ve expected it to become all these years.
Now is the time to realize potential and build upon the foundation in place.
Thank you all for your support of University Health System.
Together, we are building our region’s future.
John F. George Jr., M.D.
BRF President and CEO
EAP screens 500 entrepreneurs and ideas
BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) reports the completion of a milestone of 500 screens of entrepreneurs and ideas.
During a screen, the EAP team of financial analysts sits down with an entrepreneur looking to develop or advance his or her business locally.
The EAP team analyzes the viability of the idea or product, matches the entrepreneur with informed investors, and nurtures them through the critical steps toward market.
“To be able to screen over 500 ideas in North Louisiana really shows that there is a lot of innovation going on out there, and there are a lot of entrepreneurs who have great ideas that would love to start their business in North Louisiana,” said Dave Smith, EAP Executive Director.
Smith said this milestone is important because more than half of all people who work in Louisiana are employed by a small business.
He said those small businesses are started by entrepreneurs who have great ideas and who want to produce a product or provide a service.
EAP’s specialty is high-growth, scalable business.
The startups that have used EAP services are regionally and nationally known companies, from beer brewing and entertainment media production to financial index technology and biomedical products.
EAP was created four years ago as a public-private partnership with the City of Shreveport and Caddo Parish Commission to diversify the regional economy, grow jobs, and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high-growth potential.
- 207 - Startups received EAP services
- $54+ million - In capital raised (loans, investors, grants)
- 24 - Startups represented on the EAP Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement
- 123 - Full time jobs created
Juan Zuniga family makes donation to University Health Shreveport
The Zuniga family is pictured with the LSU Health Shreveport and University Health Shreveport team that helped save Juan Zuniga's life.
Juan Zuniga, age 25, is a walking testament to the quality of care at University Health Shreveport.
Zuniga was shot during a robbery outside of his family’s restaurant in July 2017. He was rushed to the hospital’s trauma center, where LSU Health Shreveport doctors worked to save his life.
“He was as close to death as you could possibly imagine,” said LSU Health Doctor Keith Scott.
“He lost almost all of his blood,” said LSU Health Trauma Surgeon Dr. Navdeep Samra. “We had to rush him to the operating room right there to see what was bleeding.”
Zuniga’s lungs had been badly damaged by the gunshot wounds and
loss of blood. Doctors removed his right lung during surgery.
The day after the shooting, Zuniga was connected to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
The machine removes blood from the body, oxygenates it, and returns it to the body. This machine would give Zuniga’s remaining lung a chance to heal.
He had to be hooked up to the ECMO machine twice during his recovery. Normally, a patient is hooked up to the machine just once.
Doctors say the ECMO machine saved his life.
Zuniga and his family returned to University Health in March to return the favor.
The family made a generous donation so that the hospital can purchase more life-saving equipment for its trauma department. It was also a chance for him to reconnect with the men and women
who worked to save his life.
“They mean a lot to me because they saved my life,” said Zuniga.
“Without their care, I don’t think I would be here.”
University Health System and BRF are grateful to the Zuniga family for their generous donation to the hospital, and to the staff and doctors who cared for the Zuniga family during their stay.
ORDA funds five North Louisiana researchers through Seed Funding Program
Five North Louisiana researchers have been funded a total of
$200,000 in the second cycle of the Office for Research Development
and Administration’s (ORDA) Seed Funding Program.
Awardees are from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM),
LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport (LSUHSCS) and Louisiana Tech University.
The Seed Funding Program, administered by ORDA (a division of BRF), is part of ORDA’s mission to promote North Louisiana as a bioscience research hub, foster multidisciplinary research partnerships, and leverage preclinical and clinical research to advance healthcare and economic development in the region.
The funding is intended to provide support for investigators to
generate preliminary data and apply for extramural funding from
government and/or private sources.
Projects were peer-reviewed by out-of-state reviewers and then by
BRF’s internal committee.
This cycle’s focus area was Neuroscience/Neuroengineering,
Neuroinformatics and Aging. ORDA’s first seed funding cycle, awarded in February 2017, was focused on Neuroscience/Neuroengineering.
ULM • $50,000 • KHALID EL SAYED, PH.D.
Professor of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy
Project Title: Novel PCSK9-LDLR natural products-based inhibitor for the prevention of neurological disorders
Project’s Narrative: A novel class of anti-hyperlipidemia medications is developed with unique mechanism of action. The use of this natural product is expected to replace the current drugs, which induce a wide array of
side effects. This new drug is expected to protect the human brain and cardiovascular system against the harm caused by elevated blood cholesterol levels.
ULM • $50,000 • KAREN BRISKI, PH.D.
Professor, Pharmacology; Department Head, Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences,
School of Pharmacy
Project Title: Estrogen neuroprotection against hypoglycemic brain injury
Project’s Narrative: Severe hypoglycemia is a recurring complication of strict management of diabetes mellitus. Hypoglycemia causes nerve cell death in discrete brain areas, including the hippocampus, a structure that is critical for memory and learning. Anticipated new insight on neuroprotection afforded by locally generated neuro-estrogen against hypoglycemic injury can be leveraged to develop therapies aimed at preventing/minimizing brain damage in those patients.
LSUHSCS • $50,000 • J. STEVEN ALEXANDER, PH.D.
Professor, Molecular & Cellular Physiology
Project Title: Pilot alpha-syn glymphatic Tau stasis in experimental Parkinson’s Disease
Project’s Narrative: Tau and alpha-synuclein are toxic proteins that aggregate and cause injury to the substantia nigra in the brain, often leading to more rapid progression of motor and cognitive disturbances in
Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our research strongly suggests that deposition of Tau with alpha-synuclein intensifies Tau-mediated PD severity by limiting the clearance of these proteins in exosome/microparticulates from the
brain via the glymphatic/paravascular pathways. The successful completion of these studies will determine how Tau and alpha-synuclein hasten and intensify the onset of PD, and provide a powerful mechanistic platform for diagnosing and staging PD, as well as develop novel mechanism-based models for testing and developing PD therapeutics.
LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY • $25,000 • SCOTT POH, PH.D.
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Project Title: The use of novel electrochemical sensors to detect oxidative stress generated by macrophage in the brain
Project’s Narrative: During oxidative stress, the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or reactive nitrogen species (RNS) by macrophages (brain region mimic) will be investigated by a multiplexed novel microarray sensor. The sensor directly measures total antioxidant activity (TAA) by determining the overall electrochemical reducing power, and thus avoids the disadvantages of the classical fluorescence
LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY • $25,000 • YURI LVOV, PH.D.
Professor, Institute for Micromanufacturing
Project Title: Nanoclay based anti-aging drug formulations
Project’s Narrative: We will elaborate a novel assay for evaluation of aging effect of nanoclays using C. elegance nematodes as an animal in vivo model. Based on this assay, natural anti-aging drug formulations will be developed (permethrin and lawsone loaded into the clay nanotubes give 10-40 hrs sustained release).
In commercialization, we focus on: 1) cosmetic anti-aging skin formulations with tubule clay additives for sustained release of natural drugs and gray hair treatment; and 2) animal anti-parasite hair care products which
are easier for approval.
Grants make DMII accessible to more students
BRF’s Digital Media Institute at InterTech (DMII) will offer more
student scholarships to its two accredited programs and its
summer camps thanks to grants made possible by the Best Buy®
Foundation and an anonymous donor.
The Best Buy® Foundation, through grants such as the one to DMII,
has committed to helping prepare one million teens from underserved communities annually for tech-reliant jobs of the future.
DMII’s camps provide an
introduction to the ever-growing digital media industry through
hands-on experiences in a
cutting-edge environment and
by using the latest technology.
The camps offer an entry-level
opportunity for young people to
understand the basics of animation and visual effects, and how to make a basic video game using the same professional-level programs that the industry is using.
DMII offers two camps each summer based on its two
certificate programs. Game Development Camp is June 11 – 15, and Animation and Visual Effects Camp is July 16 – 20.
“For some, the camps may simply provide a fun and rewarding
summer learning experience, an opportunity for those who love to play video games to develop a better understanding of how to
make them. Others may decide to use their learning as a platform
for pursuing continued education – whether at their local high school, by applying and returning to DMII, or by pursuing other training and education opportunities,” said DMII Executive Director John Miralles.
As society’s reliance on technology grows, careers in the technology
field also will grow, thereby making related skill development at an early age a valuable and necessary component to continued economic growth.
“Focused market sectors seeing growth are the internet of things,
virtual reality, augmented reality and mobile gaming,” said Miralles.
“All of these need content creators, and the camps expose a new generation to these skills. The goal of our camps is to grow and
support interests in the use of technology and digital media and
to inspire future education and career choice. The camps are also
a great intersect of education, technology and fun.”
The $25,000 anonymous grant will go toward needs-based student
aid and a mentorship program benefiting students who qualify for
tuition assistance and those who would benefit from mentors to
encourage them from enrollment to program completion, and
eventually job placement in the field of digital media.
“DMII is becoming more financially accessible to anyone interested
in a career in animation or video game development,” said Miralles.
“Our programs have a 75 percent completion rate and 80 percent
placement rate. Our students are finding jobs in diverse industries such as entertainment, cyber security and advertising/marketing.”
NLAF 2 partners with six North Louisiana universities
Six North Louisiana universities and foundations have partnered with the New Louisiana Angel Fund 2 (NLAF 2), a $3 million angel investment fund made up of more than 60 accredited angel investors or entities, to expose business students to such areas as entrepreneurship,investment in private entities, technology transfer and innovative startup activity.
Four-year institutions in North Louisiana with business schools were
invited by BRF, the managing member of NLAF 2, to participate in
educational opportunities for faculty members and students.
Participating universities or foundations are LSU Shreveport Foundation, Centenary College, Louisiana Tech University Foundation, University of Louisiana at Monroe Foundation, Grambling
State University Foundation and Northwestern State University
BRF provided a total of $75,000 for the participating foundations or universities to become members of the fund.
NLAF 2’s investors make informed investment decisions to fund
startups in North Louisiana after a rigorous due-diligence process, in which the universities’ business students will be invited to participate.
“With this NLAF 2 partnership, we hope to open the world of investing and entrepreneurship to promising students in North Louisiana, whom we believe will become active entrepreneurs or supporters of the startup community in North Louisiana,” said John F. George Jr., M.D., President and CEO of BRF.
“Investing in a knowledge-based economy while at the same time diversifying our region’s economy through the launch of innovative,
high-growth startups is a win-win for BRF, North Louisiana and our partner universities.”
More than 40 of the Angel Capital Association’s (ACA) 260 member
groups have a similar connection to a partner university.
Examples include the Duke Angel Network, the Harvard Business Alumni Angels of Greater New York and Notre Dame’s inspired angel group, Irish Angels.
“Ultimately, our goal is to provide an invaluable opportunity for our local colleges of business to become more knowledgeable, involved
and supportive of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that NLAF and others are building and promoting in this region,” said George.
NLAF 2 is the second fund of its kind to be launched by BRF. The New Louisiana Angel Fund 1 (NLAF 1), launched in 2015 at $2.6 million, has funded 13 North Louisiana-based, high-growth startups.
8 Caddo Parish high school seniors graduate from SMART program
John F. George Jr., M.D., BRF President and CEO, Caddo Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree are pictured with the SMART program graduates and SMART program coordinator Kris Clements.
Eight Caddo Parish High School students who graduated from the Science and Medicine Academic Research Training (SMART) program were honored at a special luncheon.
The SMART program matches high school seniors with LSUHSCS researchers. The students spend a year working alongside graduate students on a number of medical research projects.
2017 – 2018 SMART STUDENTS, MENTORS & RESEARCH PROJECTS
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: J. Steven Alexander, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Project Title: “The Role of Lymphatic Proteins in the Brain and Multiple Sclerosis”
C.E. Byrd High School
Mentor: Mani Panchatcharam, Ph.D., Assistant
Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Project Title: “Hyperglycemic Vascular Complications and the Autotaxin-LPA-LPP3 Axis”
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: Elizabeth Disbrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor,
Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience; Adjunct, Department of Neurology
Project Title: “The Relationship Between Brain Volume and Cognitive Function in Parkinson’s Disease”
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: Christopher Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research; Dean, School of Graduate Studies; Professor, Department of Pathology;
Project Title: “An Investigation into the Possible Application of Selenide in the Treatment of Ischemic Vascular Disease”
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: Diana Cruz-Topete, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Project Title: “Stress Signaling Inhibitory Effects of Estrogen Protection in Myocardial Ischemia”
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: Christopher Pattillo, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Project Title: “Redox in CABG: A Tale of Two Cell Types”
Captain Shreve High School
Mentor: Yunfeng Zhao, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience
Project Title: “UCP2 and Metabolic Reprogramming”
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Mentor: Lynn Harrison, Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Project Title: “Is Alternate Sigma Factor H (SigH) Essential for the Mycobacterium marinum Response to Low-Shear Modeled Microgravity?”
BRF's Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy (CMIT) manufactures Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiopharmaceuticals to detect neurodegenerative diseases
CMIT has signed a six-year
contract with Eli Lilly/ AVID to produce a PET radiopharmaceutical for early
detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
The compound, F-18 labeled AV-1451, targets the brain’s tau protein that is one of the leading culprits in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease has become a higher priority in the research community, as it has become the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with the disease, and by 2025, the number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
This radiotracer is being produced at CMIT’s Southern Isotopes facility on King’s Highway in Shreveport.
“Besides mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s, this radiopharmaceutical is also quite effective in imaging Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and several other traumatic brain injury cases,” said CMIT Executive Director Dr. Pradeep Garg.
“This radiopharmaceutical binds to a protein called ‘tau protein’ which accumulates in the brain during repeat concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Availability of this PET radiopharmaceutical allows the non-invasive detection of various neurodegenerative brain disease.”
Garg said this radiopharmaceutical is relatively new and not widely
used in the region yet, but it is likely to become more prevalent in
diagnosing Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases locally.
CMIT has recently completed a 600-site, nationwide clinical trial called Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) to learn how amyloid PET scanning can help clinicians diagnose the cause of cognitive impairment, provide the most appropriate treatments and recommendations, and improve health outcomes.
The results of the study support reimbursement of amyloid imaging
by Medicare and other third-party payers, making diagnostic imaging
for Alzheimer’s disease more accessible to patients.
CMIT supporting area researchers through "Innovation in Molecular Medicine Through Molecular Imaging" research grant initiative
2017 • CMIT provided a $16,000 pilot grant for a University of Louisiana at Monroe researcher. The funded proposal is entitled “Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates blood brain barrier function and reduces microglial activation: a pilot study” by PI Amal Kaddoumi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2018 • CMIT provided a $7,500 pilot grant for a LSU Health Sciences Center researcher. The funded proposal is entitled “Interactions between alpha-syn/beta-Amyloid/tau and cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease” by PI J. Steven Alexander, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology.
Titus Regional selects EMR Everywhere as technology partner
EMR Everywhere is pleased to announce a 10-year agreement
to provide Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) services to Titus Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
After a thorough selection process, TRMC selected EMR Everywhere
to be their partner in providing hosting, implementation and support services for their IT systems.
The agreement includes the implementation for EPIC Software’s
EHR system as well as other ancillary systems to support clinical
EPIC is a world leader in the delivery of patient software and cutting-edge solutions, continually ranking Best in KLAS among healthcare providers.
“We are excited to partner with TRMC as we work together to implement systems and processes that will improve the workflow for
the hospital,” said Marcus Hobgood, EMR Everywhere CEO.
“We strongly believe in the quality of the systems we offer. Epic’s EHR, combined with best practices, will help lower the cost of healthcare delivery by streamlining processes and improving patient outcomes.”
The 12-month implementation will include My Chart, a patient portal
that will connect patients with their healthcare data and facilitate
communication with their physicians.
Epic’s fully integrated platform also includes patient scheduling, revenue cycle management and population health tools, as well as inpatient and outpatient modules.
EMR Everywhere is an Epic-accredited, best-practice organization located in Shreveport, that has received excellence awards
for improving patient care.
EMR Everywhere is a product of Future State, an initiative of BRF.
EMR Everywhere’s staff has decades of healthcare IT experience, implementing and supporting hospitals and physicians of varying
sizes from large academic hospitals to single physician clinics.
John F. George Jr., M.D., and Dave Smith named to Silicon Bayou 100
Two men who have made it their mission to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Louisiana have been named to Silicon Bayou’s Top 100 list.
The list highlights the most influential men
and women in Louisiana’s tech and entrepreneurial sectors.
BRF President and CEO John F. George Jr., M.D., and Entrepreneurial
Accelerator Program (EAP) Executive Director Dave Smith have been
named to the list for the third year in a row.
Dr. John George joined BRF in 2013 and expanded the organization to include several initiatives aimed at economic development, including EAP.
He modeled his vision for EAP after the University of Texas at Austin’s IC
2 Institute, one of the premier entrepreneurial think-tanks
in the country.
EAP is a public-private partnership between local government and BRF to diversify the regional economy, create jobs, and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to startups with high-growth potential.
Dr. George hired Dave Smith, who has more than three decades of
extensive experience in government contracts and initiatives, university technology transfer and early-stage technology development, to lead EAP.
Since its inception, EAP has consistently outperformed its annual
goals for the number of companies screened, jobs created and local
Startup businesses helped by EAP services include media/entertainment, medical, tech companies and lifestyle companies, among others.
To date, EAP has screened more than 500 startups and business
Its portfolio companies have received more than $54 million in
grants, bank loans and investments.
EAP startups have created more than 120 full-time jobs.
Southwood places third in science and engineering fair
Southwood High School/Biotech Academy students who represented the school and program at the Region 1 Science Fair
Southwood High School in Shreveport, home to the BRF-sponsored Biotech Academy magnet program, won third place overall in the high school division of the Region 1 Science Fair sponsored by Bossier Parish Community College.
Students Raven Bowman, Anaya Cooley, Tatjana Cotton, Kayte Duhon, Anna Gregory, Hailey Mathews, Grayson Roberts and Anthony Preston were among the top winners from Biotech Academy and Southwood.
Preston won first place in Behavioral Science, and Roberts took second place in this category.
Mathews won second place in Translational Medicine, with Gregory taking third place in Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Duhon won third place in Biomedical Health and Medicine.
Preston was given a first-place award for his research from the Women’s and Children’s Mental Health Organization.
Bowman and Duhon were presented awards from the American Chemical Society, and Cotton and Cooley won awards from the Optimist Club.
Preston, Roberts and Mathews participated in the State Science Fair in Baton Rouge.
Mathews took fourth place in Translational Medicine at the state level.
SMART students top winners in regional and state science fairs
Three students of the Science and Medicine Academic Research Training (SMART) program were the top three winners of the 2018 Louisiana Region 1 Science and Engineering Fair.
One SMART student placed first overall at the state level in the 2018 Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair held in March.
Matthew Blaise Willis, a senior at Caddo Magnet High School, won first overall for his research, which examined the behavior of mycobacteria when exposed to simulated microgravity.
The objective of the project was to identify the gene responsible for the increased infectious nature of these pathogens when living in a
He thanks his mentor, Dr. Lynn Harrison of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and Wioleta Luszczek, Angela Stark and Adam Xiao of LSU Health Shreveport.
SMART/Caddo Magnet students Lilly Kamberov, Christopher Ferrier and Sunjay Letchuman
Caddo Magnet Seniors and SMART students Christopher
Ferrier, Sunjay Letchuman and Lilly Kamberov placed first, second and third, respectively, at the regional science fair.
All four SMART students recently competed in the 2018 International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ferrier investigated how the sizes of relevant regions of the brain affect cognitive performance in Parkinson’s disease.
This project pursues a viable way to detect and track the severity of Parkinson’s disease with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
He thanks his mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Disbrow, of the Department
of Neurology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Dr. Christina Ledbetter of LSU Health Shreveport.
Letchuman investigated the failure of vein grafts during Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), the most common open-heart surgery performed in the United States. During the surgery, the vein is stressed in many ways, and his project explores how the stress
the vein experiences may lead to vein graft failure.
He thanks his mentor, Dr. Christopher Patillo of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and Dr. Bandana Shrestha, Dr. Vyas Rao and Priya Prasai of LSU Health Shreveport.
Kamberov investigated the means by which heart disease affects women more adversely. In particular, she looked at the molecular pathway that a particular serotonin receptor mediates the sex-specific effects in heart attacks. She thanks her mentor, Dr. Diana Cruz of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology,
and Natalie Burford of LSU Health Shreveport.
SMART provides a yearlong research experience with investigators at LSU Health Shreveport for 10 to 12 academically advanced high school seniors who have a career interest in medicine, biomedical research or biomedical engineering.
In the SMART program, students receive mentorship from LSU Health Shreveport Ph.D. researchers, working in researchers’ laboratories 40 hours per week for seven weeks in the summer and at least 10 hours per week during the school year.
Completing the course earns students two high school science elective credits and the experience of hours of training in top-notch local research facilities.
SMART is a partnership among BRF, LSU Health Shreveport, and the Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto Parish School Boards. It is in its twenty-second year, having graduated more than 200 students.
Diversify and grow our region's economy.
Operate as a catalyst to expand and develop research, entrepreneurship and high-growth businesses in our region.
Innovation. Collaboration. Problem Solving. Bold Action.
Board of Directors
John F. George Jr.
Roy L. Griggs
John B. Hussey
Curtis R. Joseph Jr.
Terry E. Moore
Linda C. Sell
Arthur Thompson, Chairman
Lennis S. Elston, Treasurer
Willie C. White III, Secretary