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Nicholls awarded $150,000 for genetics education

THIBODAUX – Nicholls State University received a substantial service grant from the Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Center Foundation earlier today.

photo_007_small.jpgThe $150,000 award will allow Dr. John Doucet, director of the University Honors Program and associate professor of biological sciences, to conduct a genetics education outreach program for rural communities across Louisiana.

For the past 10 years, Doucet has delivered more than 150 lectures on genetics to community organizations and institutions throughout the state. With the funds, Doucet will establish and direct a Nicholls-based program for Louisiana State University’s Center for Acadiana Genetics and Hereditary Health Care. The CAGHHC studies the genetic links in hereditary diseases such as Friedreich’s ataxia, Usher syndrome, prostrate cancer, aortic aneurysms and obesity.

Brian P. Jakes, chief executive officer of the Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Center Foundation, and Gayla Strahan, genetics and hereditary health program director for the Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Center Foundation, presented the $150,000 check to Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president, and Debi Benoit, director of research and sponsored programs, at a ceremony outside Picciola Hall.

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