LSU Health Sciences Center’s Professor and Chairman of Genetics Dr. Jay Kolls, right, was recently awarded a $2.1 million grant to continue his research on pneumonia. Awarded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the grant will be dispersed over a period of five years. Kolls and his research team have identified a group of white blood cells that play a key role in the defense against bacterial pneumonia, and the money will go toward advancing his research and spurring vaccine development against lung infections. Kolls’ research shows that these white blood cells produce proteins within the immune system that communicate in such a manner as to reduce infection in the lungs.

nOchsner celebrated another milestone in its legacy of providing consistent care and the latest technology in February:

The John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute’s new electrophysiology lab. This minimally invasive technique is used to study the heart’s electrical system, and is also used in procedures concerning abnormal heart rhythms without performing a more invasive open-heart procedure. It uses magnet navigation to guide catheters through the heart, bi-plane imaging to view the heart front-to-back or side-to-side (versus a flat image) and three-dimensional color imaging to detect arrhythmia. According to the EP lab’s medical director, Dr. Freddy Abi-Samra, this new Ochsner lab is one of the few to have all of this sophisticated technology in one place. The new lab is located on the third floor of the Ochsner Medical Center at 1514 Jefferson Highway.

nFor those finding it difficult to stick to last month’s New Year’s resolution to lose weight and be healthier, a new book has hit shelves to help overcome those hurdles. Local weight loss and wellness expert Dr. Catherine Wilbert recently authored the no-nonsense approach to weight loss Mending your Metabolism. Wilbert is a doctor of naturopathic medicine as well as a nutritional expert, and she stresses this book is not a diet book; rather, it’s a guide to improving quality of life through better nutrition and health. “Mending Your Metabolism focuses on more than weight management; it gives the reader a better understanding of what you eat and what it does to your body so you can always make good food choices,” says Wilbert. “You’ll have better energy, better focus, better sleep, and better overall quality of life, without the deprived, hungry, tired or miserable feeling one gets from a typical ‘diet’.” The book can be purchased directly through her Web site,, or through as well as at The Nutrition Company.