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NOVA To Feature Tulane Researcher

January 4, 2006

Fran Simon
fsimon@tulane.edu

NOVA sciencenow rings in 2006 with a fast-paced and thought-provoking roundup of some of the year's most groundbreaking discoveries and intriguing advances in science from around the world, including a profile on a dedicated Tulane physician who fought to save research after Hurricane Katrina.

010406_curiel_3In a one-hour premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. central time on PBS (check local listings), NOVA sciencenow will introduce viewers to Tyler Curiel, professor and chief of hematology and medical oncology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Curiel worked heroically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to try to rescue the irreplaceable research from his lab.

During the segment, Curiel recounts the dramatic and moving story of working under extreme conditions in an attempt to save key scientific research and preserve the memory of his friend, Andy Martin. Martin was a Tulane medical student who had been diagnosed with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), a rare form of cancer.

Up to the time of his death, Martin had worked tirelessly in Curiel's lab at the Tulane medical school to extract the only known living cell line of SNUC in the world. Were Curiel's extraordinary efforts enough to save this invaluable research, which could one day lead to breakthroughs in treatment for the disease?

Other stories in the science magazine show focus on global-warming factors that may support an increase in hurricane intensity. The show is hosted by Robert Krulwich, praised as "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide. Krulwich got his start with Pacifica Radio and from there moved to NPR's "All Things Considered" for a creative stint as a business and economics reporter.

NOVA is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit. Major funding for NOVA sciencenow is provided by the National Science Foundation with additional funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Kavli Foundation. For more information, go to: www.pbs.org/nova/sciencenow.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu