Angela M. Amedee, Ph.D. 

Research in the Amedee laboratory focuses on HIV transmission and disease progression using the SIV-infected rhesus macaque model, as well as HIV-infected patient cohorts.  Several of our ongoing studies are designed to investigate how chronic alcohol abuse or the use of Delta 9- Tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, affect HIV transmission and disease in females.

Wayne L. Backes, Ph.D. 

Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) is an enzyme that not only is capable of the metabolism of significant amounts ethanol, but also is capable of being induced by ethanol exposure.  This enzyme system also is able to generate oxygen radicals that can be damaging to humans.  CYP2E1 is a membrane-bound protein that is located in the endoplasmic reticulum.  The goal of our studies is to determine how the enzymes of the P450 system are organized in the ER, particularly CYP2E1.  Its location in the membrane can have a significant influence on how CYP2E1 interacts with other P450s enzymes and other protein partners that are necessary for CYP2E1 function.  Such interactions can affect the efficiency of the body to remove ethanol, and could potentially contribute to addiction, particularly after chronic administration.  

Greg J. Bagby, Ph.D. 

I am the Scientific and Animal Core Director of LSUHSC Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center. In these roles, I study and coordinate study of the impact of chronic alcohol consumption on HIV disease using the rhesus macaque SIV model. Our lab also studies mechanisms by which alcohol intoxication suppresses host defense against pneumonia. 

Carmen C. Canavier, Ph.D. 


The firing pattern in midbrain dopamine neurons is critical for reward mediated learning, which is clearly involved in addiction. Dr. Canavier studies how the firing pattern is regulated in midbrain dopamine neurons using computational models in collaboration with electrophysiologists. She alsoexamines synchronization and phase locking of small networks of neurons. One application of this research is a better understanding of central pattern generating networks for respiration, locomotion, and other repetitive motor activities

Chu Chen, Ph.D. 

Molecular mechanisms underlying marijuana-caused synaptic and cognitive impairments; Endocannabinoid signaling in resolving neuroinflammation and preventing neurodegeneration

Erich J Conrad M.D., FAPM

Dr Conrad has an interest in addiction research, especially as it relates to psychiatric sequelae in traumatically injured patients and those in alcohol withdrawal

Luis Del Valle, M.D. 

Dr. Del Valle interest  are Polyomaviruses (JCV, Merkel Cell Polyomavirus); Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy; Glial Brain Tumors; Medulloblastomas; Viral Oncogenesis; DNA Damage and Repair mechanisms.

Jason D. Gardner, Ph.D. 

As a cardiovascular physiologist, Dr. Gardners focuses his attention on heart failure and ECM.  He studies the role of oxidative stress as affected by alcohol and cardiac fibrosis. 

Sonia Gasparini, Ph.D. 

Dr. Gasparini is interested in information processing and memory formation.  as explained by dendritic excitability and plasticity: synaptic transmission and voltage-dependent channel activity in hippocampal and entorhinal neurons

Nicholas Gilpin, Ph.D. 

Dr. Gilpins interests lie in the field of addiction.  As an experimental psychologist he studies alcohol dependence and the neurobiology of stress-induced escalation of alcohol intake.

Paula E. Gregory, Ph.D. 

Dr. Gregory directs a High School Cancer Research Partnership program that is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and brings PCR technology into Louisiana high school biology classes. Students analyze normal and tumor cell DNA. They learn basic concepts of cancer genetics and discuss the ethical implications of predictive genetic tests and the impact this information may have on families.  Dr. Gregory's research interests lie in the area cancer genetics education and focus on students, teachers, health care professionals, and the public. Analysis of the educational efficacy of online materials is another focus. In addition, she collaborates with family therapy faculty in studies designed to measure family stress and distress associated with the genetic counseling and cancer predisposition gene testing experiences.

Patrick Greiffenstein, M.D. 

As a trauma surgeon, Dr. Greiffenstein will use the trauma registry review to study peripheral vascular injury using fluids and tissues from trauma patients.

Michael E. Hagensee,
M.D., Ph.D.

We are looking at the role of alcohol addiction in rate of human papillomavirus infection in HIV+ men and women.  We are also examining the role of alcohol in the development of cervical and anal dysplasia in HIV+ individuals 

Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D. 

Dr. Hollenbach is a cancer biologist who focuses on the mechanisms of Px3-FOXO1 alteration in myogenic transcriptional regulatory networks  along with the inflammatory millieu in skeletal muscle.A second project involves examining how phosphorylation of Pax3 contributes to the development of melanoma. Pax3 is key for melanocyte development and is believed to contribute to the development of melanoma.

Nicole J. LeCapitaine, Ph.D. 

There are 3 focuses to Dr. LeCapitaine's research.  1) Impact of chronic alcohol administration on muscle turnover and dyslipidemia in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque; 2) Impact of chronic delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) administration on SIV disease progression in the macaque; and 3) Impact of ethanol, THC, and SIV on adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells and skeletal muscle progenitor cells.

Kathleen H. McDonough, Ph.D.

Dr. McDonough's research has focused on myocardial function during conditions of stress, sepsis, alcohol,  as well as hemorrhage and resuscitation. 

Patricia Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

Research in Dr. Molina's laboratory focuses on the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on the cardiovascular, metabolic and immune consequences of acute traumatic injury and hemorrhagic shock. In addition, work in her laboratory also investigates the interaction of chronic alcohol and cannabinoid use on the behavioral, metabolic, and immune consequences of HIV/AIDS.

Charles D. Nichols, Ph.D. 

Dr. Nichols studies receptor pharmacology with a focus on the pharmacology of GPCR.  His area of interests include hallucinogens; serotonin receptor pharmacology; the serotonin modulation of cocaine and amphetamine; inflammation models (including TBI) and models of schizophrenia resulting from chronic LSD.

Christopher Parsons, M.D.

As an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology, & Parasitology at LSUHSC, his research group focuses on identifying virus-host cell interactions that promote viral cancer pathogenesis. He also directs translational studies and clinical trial development related to the treatment and prevention of HIV-associated malignancies caused by the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)- the most common cause of cancer in HIV-infected patients worldwide.

Dennis Paul, Ph.D. 

Dr. Paul looks at pain modulation and the opiod receptor pharmacology.  Areas of interest range from chronic demylination pain and cAMP signaling assays to analgesic drugs that will not cause relapse or addiction.

Francesca Peruzzi, Ph.D. 

Dr. Peruzzi's current research focuses on molecular mechanisms associated with brain cell dysfunction caused by HIV-1 infection and on the role of microRNAs in controlling tumor growth. 

B arry Potter, Ph.D.

Dr. Potter examines oxidative stress and the antioxidant capacity using detection of free radicals in vivo and in vitro. He studies the perturbations to hepatic iron homeostasis associated with infectious diseases and alcohol abuse

Stefany Primeaux, Ph.D. 

With a joint appointment  in the Department of Interal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology  and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Dr. Primeaux's interests naturally lie in the area of feeding behaviors and the hormones that regulate them  She has models of diet-induced obesity while studying  fatty acid sensing by the tongue.  Brain peptides and reproductive hormones  are involved in these feeding behaviors.

Krzysztof Reiss, Ph.D. 

Dr. Reiss’ research team focuses on molecular pathways involved in the development of cancer, particularly brain tumors. His laboratory investigates the roles of various proteins including growth factors, viral proteins, cell cycle regulators, and proteins associated with cell signaling and DNA repair in the development of brain tumors, including Glioblastomas, which are the most aggressive and incurable brain tumors, and Medulloblastomas, which are the most common brain tumors in children

Judd E. Shellito, M.D. 

Dr. Shellito's research interests include host defense mechanisms against pulmonary infection, AIDS and alcohol consumption, occupational/environmental medicine, silicosis, asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, inhalation lung injury, and occupational asthma.

Robert W. Siggins II, Ph.D.

Disruption of dendropoiesis and osteoclastatogenesis by chronic alcohol is the focus of Dr. Siggins' research. Additionally he looks at the impact of chronic alcohol consumption on the disruption of bone marrow progenitor cell differentiation and the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on bone marrow response to bacteremia.  His focus is to understand the role of ethanol in dysregulating DNA methylation patterns, and the physiologic outcome of these perturbations.

Kurt J. Varner, Ph.D. 

As a of Pharmacologist, Dr Varner studies oxidative stress with drugs of abuse.  He focuses on cardiovascular parameters and the perturbationf of airborne particulates. 

Guoshun Wang, DVM, Ph.D.

As an immunologist Dr. Wang examines airway epithelial cells and the glucocorticoid receptor signaling. 


David A. Welsh, M.D.

Dr. Welsh's research activities focus on the impact of environmental factors on the biology of aging. A wide variety of environmental factors are currently under study including resident microbial communities, substance use (specifically alcohol use disorder), HIV, and stressors associated with environmental disasters. His laboratory focuses on the biology of adult bone marrow derived stem cells as it relates to lung disease. Ongoing projects use pre-clinical models to determine the role of deficient stem cell trafficking to the lung in the pathogenesis of emphysema and to define the mechanisms involved in stem cell mobilization and engraftment in the lung.  His translational research interests include the role of CD44 in bone marrow stem cell function in human emphysema. 

Theodore Weyand, Ph.D. 

Dr. Weyand's lab does unique experiments in which they record the activity of cells in the LGN and fibers from the retina to construct what is known as the space-time receptive field (STRF). They also  investigate the pattern of eye movements in both normal and neurologically-impaired patients (e.g., patients with Parkinson’s disease) to better understand interactions between motor strategies, brain circuits, perception and how eye movements might be used to diagnose and/or monitor neurological disorders

Peter Winsauer, Ph.D. 

Dr. Winsauer is a behavioralist/neuroscientist whose areas of interest are alcohol and cannabinoids.  He uses operant conditioning for behavior, learning, memory and drug discrimination.

Jovanny Zabaleta, M.S., Ph.D 

Dr. Zabaleta focuses his research on the molecular mechanisms of cancer development in gastric and other cancers. He also directs the Ilumina/Genomics core laboratory within the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center.

Arnold Zea, Ph.D.

Dr. Zea is an immunologist cancer biologist who studies the metabolic and signaling pathways associated with tumor growth and TB growth and persistence.  He studies the role of polyamines and arginine's role in tumor growth.