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Great Discoveries and Scream Queens

Friday, September 25, 2015

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Dear Tulane Community:

It's hard to keep up with all the great news at Tulane this semester.

First, we welcomed our largest first-year class ever. Then we shot up 13 places to 41st in the U.S. News and World Reports' Best Colleges rankings.

Next, Tulane researchers played significant roles in the discovery of a new species of human relative in South Africa, and in a study suggesting that those over 50 should aim for blood pressure targets well below current guidelines.

These discoveries and achievements reflect the best of Tulane and underscore this year's "Crossing Boundaries" theme – the idea that the best solutions and breakthroughs occur when the best minds from many fields and perspectives cross disciplines and work together.

The discovery of the new human relative was the result of 40 international researchers working together. The blood pressure study was a collaborative effort involving the National Institutes of Health, the Tulane School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and numerous other study sites around the country. Even the rise in rankings took the effort of many different departments and schools working together including the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Newcomb-Tulane College, Student Affairs, the Office of the Registrar and more.

Tulane promises to be in the vanguard of collaborative discoveries in the future through efforts such as the Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge, which hopes to tap into the genius of entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors by offering a $1 million prize for the best solution to combat annual dead zones in the world's lakes and oceans.

But just to show that we are not exclusively devoted to intensive research and academic rigor, Tulane also has a starring role as Wallace University in the new Fox horror-comedy series "Scream Queens," which debuted this week. I missed the first episode but am told there were some familiar campus scenes with Nick Jonas, Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer and numerous other stars. No word on whether there was any cross-disciplinary research.

Signature of Mike Fitts