St. Tammany Receives $2.5 Million Space & Health Research Laboratory
Tulane University has been granted $2,500,000 for the construction and initial operation of a major biological and medical research center in St. Tammany Parish, according to Dr. Herbert E Longenecker, Tulane president.
It will be located on a 500 acre tract near Covington, he said. To be known as the Delta Regional Primate Research Center, its principal purpose will be to provide opportunities for resident and visiting scientists to conduct extensive Studies on primate animals to advance knowledge useful in the solution of human health problems, Dr. Longenecker said. In the research center those species of animals will be used in studies aimed at casting new light on physical and psychological problems of man.
The multi-million grant to Tulane from the National Institute of Health of the U.S. Public Health Service according to the Tulane president, will be used for the purchase of land, construction of facilities and first-year operating costs.
He said NIH has assured Tulane that operating budget will be added to the initial grant for the next five years.
"It is anticipated that when the center is in full operation, the annual budget will exceed $1 million," Dr. Longenecker said. The Tulane grant was one of three announced this week by Luther L. Terry, surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service, for the construction and operation of three primate research centers.
Harvard University received a grant for initial operation and for construction of the New England Regional Primate Research Center, and the University of California was also awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health for construction and operations of the National Primate Conditioning Center.
Under terms of the grant Tulane, the university will be responsible for the center's operation and administration. Research programs will be conducted and directed by Tulane scientists, faculty members of other institutions, and by scientists employed by the center.
Six universities will be associated with Tulane in the work of the research center. These are Louisiana State University, Loyola University, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, University of Texas, and the University of Arkansas. Other universities are expected to be added later.
The primate research center is planned to be located on a 500 acre tract in St. Tammany parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain near U.S. Highway 190. Acquisition of land and arrangements for purchase are expected to be concluded in a few weeks, Dr. Longenecker said. He said also that appointment of a director of the center will be announced soon.
"We believe that this research center will become an important part of the rapidly developing St. Tammany area ,"Dr. Longenecker said. "It will be a major asset and a great step toward the further development of scientific research facilities in the region--one of many actions essential for the region to profit fully from the present scientific and technological revolution."
Dr. Longenecker said that when the center is in full operation it will employ about 300 persons with an annual payroll of $1 million. This will amount to the equivalent of a major industry located in St Tammany Parish which will "add immeasurably to the economic life of the area." More significant, he said, is that the center will bring to St. Tammany and the surrounding region some of the leading scientists of the world in a major attack on important health problems of man.
"The St. Tammany area will be playing a significant part in this forward development in biology and medicine," he said.
Research at the center will be directed toward the investigation of problems in infectious diseases, chronic degenerative and metabolic diseases, genetic developmental and embryological disorders, behavioral sciences, and environmental health.
Dr. Longenecker listed a number of goals of the integrated research and training programs to be developed at the St. Tammany center:
(1) To investigate the biology of various primate species in order to identify those species of particular scientific value for special research projects.
(2) To discover the inter-relationships among the species to obtain a better understanding of the biological nature of man and the illnesses to which he is subject.
(3) To investigate the human diseases for which certain primate species are believed to have special value. (For example, in certain parasitic diseases, the development of disease in animals is remarkably similar to humans. Study of these diseases in primates may lead to a greater understanding of its processes and to development of improved diagnostic and treatment methods in humans.)
(4) To facilitate and strengthen the research programs of the faculties and students of Tulane,
LSU, and other regional educational institutions and to exploit the unusual opportunities afforded by the close relation existing between the associated universities and those in Central and South America.
(5) To capitalize on the unique advantage of the South Louisiana climate and the extended space available to the center for inexpensive maintenance and study of semi-restricted animals of sub-tropical climates.
Dr. Longenecker said that the major research areas of the center will be in infectious diseases; chronic metabolic and degenerative diseases; genetic, developmental and embryological diseases; behavioral sciences; and environmental health.
The infectious disease section, according to the Tulane president, will study parasitic diseases which are significant for the health of the people of the United States.
The chronic metabolic and degenerative disease section will investigate problems of degeneration of the body due to diet aging and endocrine malfunction--such as disorders of the heart and blood vessels and the kidney system.
The environmental health section will study the effects of experimental environmental changes on the animals and their resistance to disease.
Under the organizational pattern of the center, the president of Tulane will be responsible for the operational policies in consultation with an advisory board composed of representatives of the cooperating universities.
The Tulane president said that the grant culminates nearly two years of extensive planning and negotiation, led by Dr. Fred R. Cagle, coordinator of research at Tulane and involving representatives of Tulane, LSU and the National Institutes of Health.
"From its inception, the project has been conceived as a cooperative undertaking" Dr. Longenecker said. "Especially helpful throughout this extended planning phase were Dr.William W. Frye, dean of the LSU Medical school and vice-president of LSU; Dr. George D. Davis, associate professor of pathology, LSU medical school; Dr. Henry McGill, professor of pathology at LSU; Dr. M.E. Lapham, dean of the Tulane school of medicine; Dr. John K. Hampton, Jr., professor of physiology at Tulane Dr. Neil C. Tappen, associate professor of orthopedics and physical anthropology at Tulane; and Dr. Cagle."