News/Features

January 12, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Gavins!  Dr. Gavins has been named deputy chair of the British Pharmacological Society’s International Advisory Group.  Click here to learn more.

January 10, 2017

Meet Our First Year Students

When fall classes started this past August, three first year students from three different countries joined the Physiology graduate program.  With the first semester of their coursework almost finished, we wanted to find out how they selected the program, how their first few months had been going, and what they hoped to accomplish in the future.

Although LSUHSC - Shreveport may not be the very first place potential international graduate students may think of when considering their future, all three of Physiology’s first year students learned of the program in different ways.   

For Israa, the choice was easier.  Since she and her husband already live in Shreveport, it was just logical to pursue her Ph.D. locally.  However, Mohamed was living in Cairo, Egypt and Gaganpreet was in India. 

Mohamed learned about the program from the Egyptian Association for American Medical Training and Research program (EAMTAR).  According to the EAMTAR Facebook page, “EAMTAR was created by a group of Egyptian physicians in the US as an online portal for Egyptian medical students and graduates to help those interested in coming to the United States for residency, fellowship or research.”  Dr. Hany Saqr, who is a graduate of the LSUHSC – Shreveport Anatomy graduate program, produced a series of web videos to educate others on pursuing educational and training opportunities in the U.S. Mohamed said he first learned of the opportunities at LSUHSC – Shreveport from Dr. Saqr.  Even though Mahamed said his mother encoured him to pursue his education in the United Kingdom (since it was much closer to Cairo), she and the rest of his family have been very supportive of his decision to come to the United States.        

Gaganpreet learned about the program from another Physiology graduate student who is currently in her second year. Although Gaganpreet applied to one other school in the U.S., she said the opportunity to obtain teaching experience while obtaining her Ph.D. was a major factor in her decision to attend LSU Health Shreveport.

All of the students said moving to Shreveport has had its challenges, but that you just learn how to manage yourself, your coursework and new responsibilities differently than you had to in the past.  They all agreed that the general friendliness of the people in the area, it’s lack of congestion and low cost of living are all positive aspects of living in a smaller city.  For Israa, who is not only a full-time student, but also a wife and mother, the family friendliness of the area is important. 

The first semester of the Physiology program consists primarily of coursework and completing the laboratory rotations.  Although the coursework is challenging, the students have developed their own support system, and they even refer to Mohamed as “The Teacher”.  Both Israa and Gaganpreet praised Mohamed for his tutoring skills, and it is not uncommon to find all three first year students working together in the departmental graduate study room.

All three are looking forward to continuing their studies and eventually pursuing careers in teaching, research and academia. Because of Physiology’s comprehensive training program, all of the students agreed they would be prepared for whatever path they chose in the future.