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A new method for studying the cellular functions of fruit flies was perfected by the LSU Health Sciences Center research team that was led by Charles D. Nichols, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Pharmacology. Researchers can now remotely control the behaviors and bodily functions of a fruit fly in a selective, reversible and dose-dependent way thanks to this influential genetic device called Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD). The DREADD technology was developed to overcome certain drawbacks scientists face. The genetic similarity between humans and fruit flies is noteworthy and can be used to replicate many human diseases. The development will give scientists more knowledge of fly behaviors, an advancement that can lead to a better understanding of human biology and illnesses. The research of this study is available online in the journal Cell Reports.

The Great 100 Nurses of Louisiana Foundation is an organization that awards nurses who have made outstanding success in four essential areas with the honor of being named some of the best nurses. This year Ochsner Health System had a record-breaking 46 nurses fit the bill to be named among the 2013 “Great 100 Nurses in Louisiana.” In the past five years the Great 100 Nurses Foundation has honored 152 members of Ochsner’s nursing staff with this award.


The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) is a medical group that acknowledges and applauds the select hospitals that are able to achieve impressive performance results in surgical patient care. St. Charles Surgical Hospital is now one of the 37 hospitals that have been awarded this title. Being an ACS NSQIP recognized hospital means that St. Charles Surgical Hospital participates in the tracking of data that measures patient safety, the outcomes of surgical procedures and the quality of recoveries. Lessening the amount of infections or deaths that can happen during surgery is the goal of ACS NSQIP, which is achieved through evaluating a hospital’s scoring in nine different clinical areas. Some of these areas include unplanned intubation, cardiac incidents, urinary tract infection, renal failure and mortality, in all of which St. Charles Surgical Hospital succeeded in getting an excellent composite quality score.


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