Welcome to the Department of Genetics
LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Department of Genetics, established in 2000, is one of six basic science departments in the School of Medicine. The Department continues to grow and develop through the efforts of 7 primary faculty, 3 research associates, 2 administrative staff, 9 students, 16 joint faculty, 17 training faculty and 1 emeritus faculty. The process of recruiting new faculty is continuing in partnership with other Departments and Centers of Excellence.
The Genetics Department shares the 6th floor of the Clinical Sciences Research Building with the Gene Therapy Program, resulting in a synergy that enhances both groups. In addition, members of the Department are involved in collaborative efforts with other LSUHSC entities, in particular, the Cancer Center and the Neuroscience Center.
The genome projects have markedly empowered the use of genetics to better define human variation and susceptibility to disease. This knowledge will clearly advance medical science in human health in the 21st century. Furthermore epigenetics changes in genome also contribute to human disease and this aspect of genetic control needs to be better defined. Thus it is truly an exciting time in the field of genetics! Dr. Bronya Keats established the Department of Genetics with the goal of the Department to understand the complexity of the genome to improve human health. To this end the Faculty in the Department conduct state of the art research, education, and teaching/training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the genetics of humans and model organisms. In terms of population genetics, Louisiana is home to the Acadians. The Acadians are culturally unique and were geographically isolated for nearly 200 years during which time they forged a cohesive identity in language, religion, and devotion to their families and are a population who are disproportionately affected by genetic disease.
Ongoing research in diseases such as Friedreich's ataxia, Usher Syndrome and Cancer represent a strong translational arm of the Department. We also have a strong program in gene discovery and to this end research in the Department has demonstrated novel cytokine receptors that participate in mucosal immunity. In addition to these genes, novel tumor suppressor genes and transcription factors have been identified which may represent new targets for cancer treatment. We are harnessing the power of high throughput sequencing and other genetic tools to better understand genetic diversity.
As part of the training program, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows carry out interdisciplinary genetics research in these diverse areas. The students that matriculate through our graduate program come from across the country and the world. Currently we have thirteen students pursuing Ph D. degrees in our Genetics Program. Our students are very successful in competing for fellowship funding and travel awards to national meetings. Both graduate students and post-doctoral trainees have access to state of the art core lab facilities including: Microarray, Bio-informatics, flow cytometry, high throughput sequencing, and morphology and imaging. We are currently building a RNAi screening core. Furthermore, our students enjoy mentoring and career guidance from extremely dedicated faculty.
It is an exciting time in the Department to be a member of the faculty and training program. We welcome you to explore additional links on our web page and enjoy your visit to the LSUHSC Department of Genetics!