Michael E. O’Brien DDS, JD is the recipient of the 2009 Daniel M. Laskin Award for “Outstanding Predoctoral Educator in OMS” (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery).

O’Brien, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Predoctoral Studies in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center’s School of Dentistry, was chosen by the American Association of Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons. This award is given to a recipient “exemplifying the highest ideals of an educator” and one who is actively involved in improving curriculum in the chosen undergraduate program, as well as an “excellent relationship” with both peers and students.

nLakeview Regional Medical Center recently received the coveted Gold Quality Award for the third year in a row. The award was presented by Louisiana Health Care Review, Inc. The Covington hospital also ranked No. 3 in employee satisfaction of same level hospitals and No. 1 in Outpatient Test and Treatment by Health Corporation of America.

nA team of scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently decoded the entire HIV genome, in hopes that this greater understanding of the virus will lead to an ability to compare it to the way other viruses operate within the body. Because they have now mapped and decoded its entire genome, researchers are hoping to use this information to “make tiny changes to the virus” in order to understand why it evades “detection by the human host,” according to UNC Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Ron Swanstrom.

nResearchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center have identified a small strand of RNA that plays a significant role in the development of invasive breast cancer, and also identified a small gene that inhibits the growth of the same type of breast cancer. Published in a recent issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the research team led by Suresh Alahari demonstrated that the ST14 gene inhibits both the cellular invasion and growth of the miR-27b strand, molecules found in “aggressively invasive breast tumor cells.” Researching think the ST14 gene will be useful as an early cancer detector marker as well as tumor suppressor.

– Lilith Dorko