LSU garners $11.5M grant to establish Louisiana pulmonary research center

LSU garners $11.5M grant to establish Louisiana pulmonary research center
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine researchers bring in $11.5 million of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health to Louisiana to advance pulmonary research. From left to right: LSU Provost Stacia Haynie, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Joel Baines, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies and co-investigator Rhonda Cardin, LSU Professor and principal investigator Samithamby Jeyaseelan, LSU President F. King Alexander and LSU Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development Gus Kousoulas. (Photo Credit: Thomas Rooney, LSU) (Source: (Photo Credit: Thomas Rooney, LSU))

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU was awarded an $11.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to launch a center focusing on lung disease research.

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine received the funding over five years from the National Institutes of Health to establish the Center for Lung Biology and Disease (CLBD), according to a release from the university.

The CLBD will expand research on campus in the molecular and cellular immunological mechanisms of pulmonary diseases. Louisiana is one of top states most affected by pulmonary diseases. Lung diseases is an increasing problem, particularly for babies and the elderly. The center will also be open to all researchers on campus and in the state of Louisiana.

The funding comes from the NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, or COBRE program, which helps to develop or expand biomedical and behavioral research centers at institutions that have received low levels of support from NIH.

“This multimillion dollar federal grant is a major economic development win for Louisiana. It supports our on-going research in a critical health field and helps Louisiana continue to stand out as a leader in research,” Gus Kousoulas, LSU associate vice president for research & economic development, said.

COBRE funding will be laid out in three 5-year phases. Phase I involves developing research infrastructure and providing junior investigators with formal mentoring and research project funding to help them acquire preliminary data and successfully compete for independent research grant support. Phase II focuses on strengthening the center’s research infrastructure and supporting investigators. Phase III will provide support to maintain COBRE research cores developed during Phases I and II, and sustain a collaborative research environment with pilot project programs, mentoring and training components.

“This grant focuses on lung disease, which is an ongoing area of cutting-edge research done by the investigators at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine,” Jeyaseelan said. “This is an outstanding opportunity for a group of new and early-stage investigators to get their research programs off the ground and to flourish. It sets essential milestones

The grant is renewable for two additional five-year terms for a total of more than $32 million.

“This new center award is the second major federally funded center award that builds on the success of the COBRE on Experimental Infectious Disease Research, now in its 15th year, in the state of Louisiana. The new center is supported by the strong biomedical infrastructure provided by existing SVM Cores including cores administered by the SVM Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine, or BioMMED, and the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, or ORED,” said Kousoulas, who is also the BioMMED director. ”LSU plans to submit additional COBRE applications in the future.”

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