Nature included in its Nov. 4 edition Guillermo Rougier’s paper detailing his paleontology research team’s discovery of a new mammal from the early Late Cretaceous period in South America.

On Nov. 14, The Lancet published a paper by Roberto Bolli and his team’s clinical trial that showed dramatic improvement in heart function for heart failure patients who received infusions of their own cardiac stem cells.

Three days later, Science featured a paper by Yousef Abu Kwaik and his microbiology/immunology team that shared their discovery of how the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease proliferates and causes disease.

“To have such breakthrough discoveries published in three of the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals during the same month is extraordinary,” said William Pierce, executive vice president for research and innovation. “Two key goals of our strategic plan are to increase both the quantity and quality of our faculty discovery and publication. In this one month, we did both.”

Faculty publishing is a key demonstration of the university’s efforts to become a leading research university, Pierce said.

“Universities both guard the knowledge of the past and discover the knowledge of the future,” he said. “We do so in part for the joy of learning, but we also are committed to contributing to the betterment of our world, and when we make discoveries, we get them out to help people. That is why publishing – scholarly communication – is such an integral part of our strategic plan.”

Expanding the breadth of faculty inquiry also is an objective of the university’s strategic goals, and the papers produced in November reflect wide diversity of inquiry, thought and translation of our discoveries as well, he said.

“With these papers, we see one group studying what occurred 60-plus million years ago in the development of mammals; another seeing how and why bacteria infect us; and a third group helping give new hope to people with heart disease,” Pierce said. “In the field, the laboratory and the clinic, the breadth of research being conducted by UofL faculty is impressive.”