Indeed, Batzer might even be able to locate their living descendants and determine what traits they inherited from their French forebears.
Batzer, the George C. Kent Professor of Life Sciences at LSU, has been working for more than a decade with researchers from the LSU Health Sciences Center and the Tulane Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to trace, analyze and better understand the genetics of the Acadian people in Louisiana.
The project is a massive one, with a variety of offshoots, or sub-projects, funded by millions of dollars from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Louisiana Board of Regents Health Excellence Fund. Batzer has been primarily involved in two key areas of investigation: a population genetics study the study of the genetic structure or architecture of the Acadian population as a whole and a study of the genetic underpinnings of certain disorders found in or at higher rates in the Acadian population.
The history of the Acadian people, known as "Cajuns" in Louisiana, makes them a particularly good focus group for genetic study.
In the 18th century, Acadians were French-descended residents of Nova Scotia. They were expelled from Canada by the British in 1755 and began drifting into Louisiana around 1763, settling along the Mississippi River and Bayous Lafourche, Teche and Vermilion in South Louisiana. There, they have remained, a geog
Contact: Mark Batzer
Louisiana State University