Government officials are working to close the budget deficit that representatives of Hurricane Katrina-battered Louisiana State University said last week could lead to medical school faculty cuts, according to a state representative.

LSU "will not be in danger of imminent shutdown for three or four months," Bill Black, director of research and governmental accountability in the Louisiana division of administration in Baton Rouge told The Scientist. "But we need to do some work to make sure that doesn't happen."

LSU medical school Dean Larry Hollier told The Scientist last week that a $79 million gap in the School of Medicine's roughly $240 million annual budget could put large numbers of research jobs at risk. The 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.

To address the situation, Black said that state...

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