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The 7th annual School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences' Research Day was held on Friday, October 25, 2013 in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union at UMMC. The all-day event began with an early morning breakfast buffet during poster presentations. Dr. Richard O'Callaghan received the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. O'Callaghan is a biology graduate of LSU in New Orleans (now University of New Orleans). He earned MS and PhD degrees in the Department of Microbiology of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He then performed post-doctoral studies and became an instructor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, Canada. He moved to the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans (later LSU Health Sciences Center).
As a faculty member at LSU Medical Center, Dr. O'Callaghan led research on influenza C virus that discovered a unique viral receptor destroying enzyme. Dr. O'Callaghan's antibiotic research has contributed to the development of antibiotic formulations that have been the most commonly prescribed ocular antibiotics since 1991. His studies of corneal virulence mechanisms of Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas have been independently funded by the National Eye Institute and have led to the discovery of previously unrecognized bacterial proteases and toxins. Dr. O'Callaghan has received multiple awards for teaching and research. He has also been elected as a fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) an international research organization.
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