As researchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center continue to dig out from Hurricane Katrina, a $79 million gap in the School of Medicine's roughly $240 million annual budget poses another hurdle to recovery, putting large numbers of research jobs at risk.

"This is a crisis that needs to be addressed, and nobody seems to be paying attention to the urgent need for interim funding," exhorted Larry Hollier, dean of the medical school.

The $79 million shortfall represents income from graduate medical education and patient care activities that failed to materialize after the loss of five major teaching hospitals in New Orleans, Hollier explained. That figure does not include additional hurricane-related expenses that the medical school has incurred, he said, including relocating faculty and residents to facilities outside of the waterlogged city.

"Unless I can get some business interruption funding, either from the federal government or from the [state]...

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