Inside Tulane Med: Quarterly News from the Tulane University School of Medicine

New $13M interdisciplinary
JBJ labs debut this fall

In October, Tulane University will complete a sweeping $13.5 million renovation of laboratory spaces in the J. Bennett Johnston (JBJ) Health and Environmental Research Building, setting the stage for a vibrant hub of interdisciplinary research on Tulane Avenue.

Bruce Bunnell
Bruce Bunnell, director of the Tulane Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, stands in the center's "ballroom" lab.

The project transforms lab space on three floors of the building – roughly 37,500 square feet – into five large, open "ballroom labs."  It's the first major downtown research space to bring together the schools of Medicine, Science and Engineering and Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

The goal is to enhance the school's medical research output by involving investigators in the physical sciences, engineering and public health, says Dr. Laura Levy, Tulane vice president of research. With investigators from different schools and disciplines working close to each other, ideas can cross-pollinate between projects, sparking innovations.

"This is really marvelous because the biomedical engineers clearly have a common vision with investigators in the schools of medicine and public health, but they have not had the opportunity to interact regularly. Now they will," she says. "Strategically it makes sense because the solution to many of the most complex and intractable problems in medicine, science and engineering will be found at the interfaces of the disciplines."

CTU pediatric treatment room
Each lab connects to open "relaxation space" near a kitchen and coffee area so that people can easily congregate and have discussions.

The new third-floor labs house researchers from Tulane Cancer Center and the Center for Bioinformatics and Genomics; the fourth floor will be home to biomedical engineering investigators (including new BioInnovation PhD researchers) and a cluster focused in the area of infectious diseases; the sixth floor will house the Tulane Center for Stem Cell Research & Regenerative Medicine.

The project was made possible through a National Institutes of Health grant for interdisciplinary research secured by principal investigator Dr. John Clements, professor and chair of Microbiology & Immunology.

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Tulane University School of Medicine
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131 S Robertson St. Suite 1500
New Orleans, LA 70112
Telephone: 504-988-5462
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Tulane School of Medicine