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Breathing Easier 

  Dr. Jay Kolls, chairman of genetics at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, has received a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The award provides Kolls up to 10 years of research support without the administrative burden of preparing a research grant renewal application.

  Kolls was selected from a group of investigators whose work shows promise in solving health care problems; researchers do not apply for the award. Kolls' research deals with advancing treatments for lung infections by identifying a unique group of white blood cells that are key in the body's defense against bacterial pneumonia infections. That defense mechanism is not fully understood, but learning how it works will help advance prevention, treatment and vaccine development against lung infections including pneumonia, influenza and drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. — Kandace Power Graves

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