February 3, 2006
It is my great honor to serve as your new chancellor, and I am grateful for the support shown me by the LSU Board of Supervisors, LSU System President Dr. William Jenkins, and many of you. In the days and months ahead I know I can rely upon your continued commitment to working together to move the health sciences center forward and fully back home.
Today we launch a new communication tool. In the interest of keeping you informed of our many accomplishments, I will post a weekly message in this space.
This week, our Office of Information Services put together a very successful press conference the first one on our campus post-Katrina. The subject was the return of our research scientists to their own labs. A banner day, we introduced a number of our investigators, Drs. Nicolas Bazan, Michal Jazwinski, Augusto Ochoa, Art Haas, Steve Lanier, and Richard Scribner. Drs. Wayne Backes and Dennis Paul also made our television coverage. The event was well attended by media, community and political leaders, ably recognized by Vice Chancellor Ron Gardner, and our own faculty and staff. The room was so packed, it was standing room only, with overflow crowding the hallways. So it was a broad audience who heard about the success of our research enterprise and some of the heroic measures taken to save it. The total value of our research enterprise last year was $221.3 million. In FY 2005 we received $48 million in NIH grants with research expenditures of about $70 million. To date this year, our scientists have been awarded $49.5 million in NIH funding, $22 million of that post Katrina. Despite challenges no one has ever faced before, we are well on our way to another banner year in research. For more information, please see Leslie Capo's press release posted on our webpage.
On the national front, Dr. Frank Opelka was one of a committee of two who presented the American College of Surgeons Universal Health Care Proposal this week to the executive staff of the Presidents National Coalition on Health Care. The co-chairs of the group are George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.
I have received word from the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that they have awarded a grant to the Louisiana Board of Regents in support of the partnership between the Board of Regents and the Louisiana State University System to serve as the lead entity for the juvenile justice reform initiative Models for Change. Our own Dr. Debra DePrato will direct the project.
On the home front, the contracts for the repair of University Hospital have been signed, and we hope to be back there treating patients by July.
Each Friday, Ill tell you about the news of the week so that we can share our achievements and celebrate our victories.