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Thursday, September 15, 2005

If you thought medical school was hard before (katrina)...

A section in the Tulane Medical student web site for comments for the now Katrina displaced(to be largely relocated in Houston) students has the title "'If you thought Medical school was hard before". A sense of humor doesn't hurt. The exploits of Dr. Tyler Curiel-head of heme-oncology at Tulane- could be called " If you thought doing medical research was hard before...". His lab, like so many other labs at both Tulane and LSU, continue to be without power and much research material has either been ruined or will soon be. Some his work was preserved by using liquid nitrogen to freeze valuable samples before the power went out. The nitrogen induced freezing is finite ( maybe two weeks) and his efforts to return to New Orleans and refreeze valuable material are explained here. The logistics of returning to the Tulane Medical center and applying liquid nitrogen to storage chests in a building without power is daunting but apparently Curiel will ( or perhaps at this writing already had) pull it off. He acquired the aid of Phazar Aerocorp who has donated jets and employees to aid in the mission. It will involve carrying 400 lb. tanks of nitrogen up various flights of stairs to the various labs and working in the heat and dark. He and his wife, Dr. Ruth Berggren, spent endless days and nights caring for patients in the Tulane University Hospital and Charity Hospital before being evacuated to Fort Worth. The exemplary behavior of many of Tulane's faculty in that time of unprecedented crisis focused attention of some prime time role models for the Tulane Med students who no doubt have some major challenges to overcome this year to continue with their medical education.(The above referenced newspaper article is now several days old, if any readers have learned more recent information, please let me know).

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