Steve Nelson, MD, CM, FACP, FCCP
Interim Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans
Dr. Steve Nelson’s career spans decades of progressively more senior academic medical leadership positions while consistently maintaining significant NIH funding, caring for critically ill patients, training hundreds of future healthcare professionals, and advancing healthcare policy to ensure optimal care for citizens across Louisiana.
After graduating with honors from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Dr. Nelson earned his medical degree as a University Scholar at McGill University. At the Johns Hopkins Hospital, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine along with a Clinical Fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine and a Research Fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine. He also completed a Fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.
In 1984, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty of the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where he rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming Professor of Medicine in 1994 and, in 1995, the John H. Seabury Professor of Medicine. He holds joint appointments in the Departments of Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, and in the School of Graduate Studies. He served as Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Medicine and in 2005 was named Chief of the Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Nelson was appointed Dean of the Medical School in 2007, and in 2009 became the President of the LSU Healthcare Network. In October 2021, LSU President William F Tate IV appointed him Interim Chancellor.
Dr. Nelson has been a National Science Foundation/National Institutes of Health funded investigator his entire academic career with more than $55 million in extramural funding. His first foray into research as an undergraduate resulted in a first author publication in Nature. He has since authored or co-authored over 250 peer-reviewed journal papers, seven books/monographs, 30 book chapters, and 250 scientific abstracts, and has an h-index of 74 with 19,162 citations (Google Scholar). In 1993, Dr. Nelson collaborated with Boyd Professor Dr. John Spitzer to win an NIH Alcohol Research Center grant which has been continuously funded since and is one of only eight such comprehensive centers in the country. As one of three original founding co-principal investigators, in 2012 he partnered with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Tulane Medical Center to establish the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center which also has been continuously funded since inception to transform the clinical and translational research efforts of the region. Dr. Nelson is currently working to earn NCI-designation for LSUHSC-New Orleans.
Dr. Nelson's honors include membership in Alpha Omega Alpha (the medical honor society) and Delta Omega (the public health honor society) along with inclusion in multiple volumes of Best Doctors in America, Guide to America's Top Physicians, and New Orleans Magazine's Top Doctors. He was recognized in 2006 by the American College of Chest Physicians with its annual Edward C. Rosenow, III Honor Lecture Award for outstanding contributions to mentorship and training of chest physicians. In 2019, Dr. Nelson received the prestigious Spirit of Charity Award in recognition of his significant medical contributions and compassionate care cultivated through years of practice at Charity Hospital. He is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary Disease.
Dr. Nelson holds membership in the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Thoracic Society, the American Federation for Medical Research, the American Clinical and Climatological Association (one of the oldest medical societies in America established in 1884), the Association of Professors of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Physicians.