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PATRICK TAYLOR FOUNDATION FUNDS MEDICAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL, UNDERGRAD & 1ST YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS AT LSUHSC

New Orleans, LA – The Department of Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine has been awarded a $220,000 grant over two years by the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation to fund two programs offering medical research experience for students at the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy as well as Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholars.

Under the grant, LSUHSC Genetics faculty will conduct hands-on workshops at the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy. During field trips to LSUHSC, Academy students will tour LSUHSC research labs, perform scientific experiments and be assigned LSUHSC medical and graduate student mentors to help teach and advise them during the school year.

TOPS scholars will have the opportunity to do summer internships in medical research, working directly with an LSUHSC medical or basic science research faculty mentor. The Summer Internship Program matches high school, college, and first-year medical students with mentoring doctors, not only at the Health Sciences Center, but also at LSUHSC partnering institutions like Children’s Hospital, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Ochsner Hospital.

"The goals of this program are to immerse the students in laboratory or hospital settings, cultivate an interest among Louisiana students in medical and research careers, and to help these students to prepare presentations for professional meetings, all of which will improve their resumés and their future careers options," notes Fern Tsien, PhD, LSUHSC Genetics Instructor, who is the principal investigator on the grant.

The programs will make science more accessible to students at a young age to spark interest in biosciences careers as well as to give them real world experience that will serve as a solid foundation for future education and work. In 2004, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans recruited Dr. Hollier to return to his alma mater as Dean of its School of Medicine. He was named Chancellor in November, 2005. He also continues to practice vascular and endovascular surgery.

"We hope that long-term, these two programs will make students aware of higher education and career opportunities available in their home state, and will keep the best and brightest students in Louisiana for graduate and medical school," says Dr. Tsien.

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana’s health care professionals. The state’s academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state’s only School of Dentistry, Louisiana’s only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSUHSC research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact, LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu and http://www.twitter.com/LSUHSCHealth.

The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1985 by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick F. Taylor to serve as a charitable extension of Taylor Energy Company. Mr. Taylor’s true passion was ensuring that tomorrow’s generation had an educational opportunity to obtain a college education. Crediting his own college opportunity at Louisiana State University for his success, Mr. Taylor wholly committed himself to the ideal that every young person should have the opportunity to receive a quality education in the United States. In response, he conceived, developed, and spearheaded legislation for the "Taylor Plan," which passed the Louisiana Legislature on July 10, 1989. Now called TOPS (Tuition Opportunity Program for Students), the state pays tuition for all academically qualified students. Prior to Mr. Taylor’s death, 21 other states had adopted versions of the Taylor Plan.

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