“New Frontiers” series welcomes renowned environmental, health researcher

Jan 12, 2014 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science, Research and Development

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Dr. Louis J. Guillette, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, will present two lectures on January 27 in Louisiana Tech’s University Hall as a part of the “New Frontiers in Biomedical Research: Impacts on Health and Society” seminar series.

Dr. Louis J. Guillette

Dr. Louis J. Guillette

The first lecture titled, “Environmental Contaminants and Health: New Lessons from Wildlife Sentinels” and sponsored by the Lincoln Health Foundation, will begin at 3:30 p.m. and is focused on Guillette’s research.  Guillette’s second lecture titled, “Contaminants, Cancer, and Health: The New Revolution in the Genetics of Disease and Health,” will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is designed for a more general audience.

Admission to both lectures is free and all members of the Louisiana Tech and Ruston communities are invited to attend.  The presentations will describe how and why environmental pollutants affect wildlife and what this means for human health.

“The goal of the entire series is to bring top researchers to Louisiana Tech to help build our research program and collaborative research network,” said Dr. Jaime Newman, assistant professor of biological sciences at Louisiana Tech and coordinator of the seminar series.  “In addition to supporting researchers and students, some of these guests will also have the opportunity to interact with the Ruston community where they will talk about the current state of medical diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.”

With over 270 peer-reviewed publications, Guillette is best known for his research on how environmental contaminants affect development and reproduction of wildlife, particularly alligators.  Guillette has earned the prestigious Professor’s Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, recognizing his accomplishments as a scientific mentor, and was recently awarded the Heinz Award for the Environment.

Over the past 15 years, the work of Guillette and his research team has focused on the ability of environmental contaminants to mimic chemical messengers (hormones) and alter gene expression and functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems.  Although considered rare until a decade ago, evidence that many types of chemicals, including some pesticides, industrial chemicals and personal care products, alter the signaling systems in our bodies and those of wildlife is now common.

During his career in academia, Guillette has mentored 29 Ph.D. students, 13 master’s students and over 100 undergraduate researchers.  Two of his former Ph.D. students, Dr. Thea Edwards and Dr. Brandon Moore, are currently assistant professors in Louisiana Tech’s School of Biological Sciences.

By interacting with leaders in biological research and biomedical engineering, the “New Frontiers in Biomedical Research” seminar series seeks to continue increasing Louisiana Tech’s impacts on science through everyday advances in technology and through new discoveries that expand the knowledge of biology and the treatment of human disease.

“This seminar series is a magnificent opportunity for Louisiana Tech faculty and students to interact with senior scientists and stay abreast of research innovations and discoveries at other research universities,” said Edwards.

Seminars during the series are sponsored by the Lincoln Health Foundation, ADVANCE Faculty Program, Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science and its Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS), and the College of Applied and Natural Sciences and its School of Biological Sciences.

“I am very pleased to see Dr. Newman and her colleagues reaching out to our community with current and relevant information about health care and biomedical research,” said Dr. Stan Napper, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech.  “The Frontiers seminar series also demonstrates the strength of Louisiana Tech’s interdisciplinary research environment, and our commitment to addressing the challenges of our state and nation.”

To register for the free event, please visit and click the “Register to Attend” link.  The link will also provide the schedule of future seminars in the series.