Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Loyola at a Glance

Louisiana Recovery Authority features Loyola in publication

September 17, 2010

The Louisiana Recovery Authority recently highlighted the research and work of two departments at Loyola University New Orleans as stepping stones in the recovery effort of New Orleans. The LRA not only helped secure funding for recovery, but also developed and implemented policies to support rebuilding efforts for areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Loyola’s Small Business Development Center and the research of Patricia Dorn, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of biological sciences, were featured as programs critical to the revitalization of the New Orleans metro area. They were noted in an LRA brochure intended to update the legislature, U.S. Congress and Louisiana residents on the progress of rebuilding efforts since 2005.

The SBDC, headed by director Carmen Sunda, empowers small business owners and entrepreneurs with the right tools, technical assistance and resources to help their businesses start, grow and succeed.

Within the LRA program alone, the SBDC worked more than 15,000 hours, assisting 3,822 businesses, creating 204 jobs, saving 669 and helped start 47 new businesses.

The LRA update also highlighted the Public Health Research Scholar’s Program, developed by Dorn and funded through a $498,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents. The program allowed Dorn and research assistants to travel to Guatemala in 2009 and 2010 to conduct critical field studies on kissing bugs and the deadly illness they transmit to humans, Chagas disease.

Chagas disease is the most serious parasitic disease in Latin America and a leading cause of heart disease there. Once confined to the tropics, it is beginning to appear in non-endemic countries such as the United States. Dorn and coworkers described the first human transmission by the kissing bugs in Louisiana in 2006.

Dorn describes the program as having a tremendous success in workforce training. “We have trained 10 undergraduates in all aspects of scientific research from bench work, to ethics, to scientific writing and presenting,” Dorn said.

“All graduates have gone on in biomedicine, including one student who chose to matriculate in a Louisiana graduate school and one who chose to attend LSU Medical School, thus retaining talent in our state.”

For more information on the SBDC, contact Sunda at cfsunda@loyno.edu. To learn more about Dorn’s research on Chagas disease, contact her at dorn@loyno.edu.

For the latest updates about Loyola University New Orleans, follow us on Twitter @LoyolaNOLANews or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loyno.

Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

Information to be included in Loyola at a Glance must be received 2-3 weeks in advance of the publication date. Send us your news here.