2020 In the News!

Physiology 2020 State of the Department

White Coats for Black Lives


Dr. Patricia Molina has been named Corresponding Member of the Institution, Academy of Sciencies of Latin America (Academia de Ciencias de America Latina; ACAL).  Congratulations Dr. Molina!

Dr. Elizabeth Delery and Dr. Scott Edwards published their article "Neuropeptide and cytokine regulation of pain in the context of substance use disorders" online on Science Direct Neuropharmacology.

Congratulations Jessica Cucinello-Ragland for being elected as SGA President for the School of Graduate Studies!


Congratulations Jonquil Poret, Physiology Graduate Student, for being awarded NIH Grant for your project "Chronic Binge Alcohol in SIV Infection: Impact of Adipose Tissue Stiffness on Metabolic Dysfunction"


Dr. Warcus Weera, Postdoctoral Fellow, was selected as a finalist for Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award.  Since the Research Society on Alcoholism in New Orleans, LA was cancelled, a Gordis Award Virtual Conference will be held where the selected finalists will be judged on their presentation.

Congratulations Dr. Weera!  Good luck!

Dr. Marcus Weera, Postdoctoral Fellow, submitted a paper for publication and was accepted.  Congratulations!

Weera MM, Schreiber AL, Avegno EM, Gilpin NW. The Role of Central Amygdala Corticotropin Releasing Factor in Predator Odor Stress-Induced Avoidance Behavior and Escalated Alcohol Drinking in Rats. Neuropharmacology (in press).

2019 In the News!


Congratulations Dr. Liz Simon on the selection of your first senior author publication from your K01 award in the October 2019 Select list!

Click here to read the publication.


Congratulations Jessica Cucinello, Physiology Graduate Student, for receiving Fall 2019 AWIS Outstanding Young Scientific Travel Award!



Congratulations Dr. Marcus Weera on your successful application for NRSA!  We know you will do great work as you research "The Role of Amygdala Outputs in Stress-Induced Escalation of Alcohol Drinking"


Congratulations 2019 Graduates
Dr. Elia El Hajj and Dr. Van Ninh


Faculty Assembly Awards Phys FAculty Mtg 040319 [Read-Only]

Congratulations Dr. Lisa Harrison-Bernard for winning the 2019 Faculty Assembly Outstanding Mentor Award!

Katie Adler Thesis

Congratulations Katie Adler for your successful defense of your Masters Thesis "Alcohol-Induced Increases in Class IIA Histone Deacetylases Impair Muscle Stem Cell Differentiation"


Congratulations Jarrod Harman for being selected as 1 of 10 fellows across the US for a one-year Science Communications Training Fellowship through the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).


Congratulations Katie Adler for being a finalist to receive the 2019 CaMPS Robert Gunn Student Award!


Congratulations Dr. Lucas Albrechet Souza for being accepted into the 2019 IRTI (Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Use) program at University of Southern California!

Cropped COE picture

Congratulations Dr. Danielle Levitt-Budnar, Physiology Postdoc, for being selected to receive Martin Frank Diversity Travel Award to attend Experimental Biology Conference!


Congratulations Van Ninh, PhD Student, for your manuscript being accepted for publication in Cardiovascular Toxicology

"Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Causes Adverse Cardiac Extracellular Matrix Changes and Dysfunction in Neonatal Mice"


2018 In the News!

Congratulations Dr. Michael Levitzky for receiving the AAMC Distinguished Service Member Award.  


2018 Graduates




2017 In the News!

Meet Tetsuo Nakamoto, DDS, PhD      2017 10:49:19 AM

APS Living History Series In this installment of the APS Living History of Physiology series, Tetsuo Nakamoto, DDS, PhD, talks about how a chance encounter on a train when he was 18 shaped his outlook on life. He also discusses his research on the effect of caffeine on mineralization of the tooth and how it led to him becoming the co-founder of Theodent Toothpaste. He was interviewed by Melinda Engevik, PhD, at EB 2017 in Chicago. For more information on Nakamoto, please see his APS Living History webpage.






LSUHealthNO Research Finds Walnuts May Promote Health by Changing Gut Bacteria

walnuts lgResearch led by Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD, Research Associate Professor of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that walnuts in the diet change the makeup of bacteria in the gut, which suggests a new way walnuts may contribute to better health. The findings are published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry available online. Byerley-2014

“We found that walnuts in the diet increased the diversity of bacteria in the gut, and other non-related studies have associated less bacterial diversity with obesity and other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease,” says Byerley. “Walnuts increased several bacteria, like Lactobacillus, typically associated with probiotics suggesting walnuts may act as a prebiotic.”

Prebiotics are dietary substances that selectively promote the numbers and activity of beneficial bacteria.

“Gut health is an emerging research area, and researchers are finding that greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes,” adds Byerley.




Top Story on VAntage Point :

Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, who recently was awarded a research grant from VA, is working to identify the neurobiological mechanisms in underlying heightened pain states in the context of alcohol dependence and stress disorders. Gilpin and his staff are working to develop therapeutic strategies that reduce pain in Veterans living with PTSD and/or alcohol use disorder.
Gilpin's grant will support work to examine the contribution of brain melanocortin-4 (MC4) receptor signaling to pain processing in those living with alcohol dependence or traumatic stress disorders. Our first major data set demonstrates that MC4 receptors modulate heightened pain processing in those living with alcohol dependence, and that we can use this receptor as a therapeutic target, he said. Next, our plan is to drill deeper to understand how and where this receptor interrupts brain circuits. That will be a major step toward understanding how MC4 receptors may potentially be targeted to improve Veterans lives.



Preventing Abuse & Treating Addiction, in Louisiana and Beyond

Alcohol and drug abuse take a tremendous toll on our society at many levels, and Louisiana is no exception, ranking among the highest in the nation for consumption and abuse of alcohol and drugs. Approximately 10% of Louisiana residents have a diagnosable alcohol use disorder and 5% use illicit drugs. Outdated estimates from 1998 place the economic cost of alcoholism in Louisiana at $3 billion annually and the cost of illicit drug addiction at $193 billion per year nationally.


The LSU Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence (ADACE) is working on a number of fronts to combat issues related to addiction and abuse. The mission of the ADACE is to enhance the research capabilities of scientists, stimulate collaborative research efforts, and strengthen educational activities related to the biomedical aspects of alcohol and substance abuse. Dr. Patricia Molina and her team work together to find solutions to alcohol and drug addiction. Pictured (left to right) Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, Dr. Patricia Molina, Dr. Liz Simon and Dr. Robert Siggins.

"Our projects have a positive economic impact on Louisiana by reducing lost wages, as well as health care and mortality costs associated with alcohol and drug abuse."

Patricia Molina, MD, PhD, Director of the ADACE


Elizabeth Avegno2Elizabeth Avegno, PhD, T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow

Recipient of a F32 award for a project entitled:
Brain Reward and Stress System Interactions in Alcohol Dependence



Elia El Hajj :  Winner of the Caroline Tim Suden Award:  EB 2017

2016 In the News!

J.J. Spitzer Lecture Series Speaker: Mark Sussman, Ph.D.,Distinguished Professor of Biology,
SDSU Heart Institute, San Diego State University

2016%202:18:43%20PM  2016%202:32:47%20PM

Read the living history as given by  Johnny R. Porter, PhD.


Congratulations to Van Ninh selected to receive a research Recognition Award from the Americal Physiological Society Cardiovascular Section. This award will be presented at Experimental Biology  April 4, 2016 in San Diego, CA.


Pfizer Award recipients from Physiology


       Jason Gardner, PhD  presented  the Pfizer Award for Excellence             by Dean Steve Nelson, MD



         Roberto Diaz Del Valle presented the Pfizer Award for Excellence           by Dean Steve Nelson, MD






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

88th President of the American Physiological Society

April 1, 2015 - March 31, 2016





Dr. Patricia Molina, center, of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and president of the American Physiological Society traveled to Cuba April 28 to signs a historic research agreement in Cuba to formalize collaboration between the APS and the Cuban Society of Physiological Sciences and to support the exchange of scientific information and resources between the United States and Cuban research scientists.
Check out the whole story at: http://blog.nola.com/new_orleans/2015/06/physiology_groups_in_new_orlea.html#incart_river