Steve Nelson, MD, Interim Chancellor

Steve Nelson, MD
Interim Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans

After graduating with honors from State University of New York at Stony Brook, Dr. Steve Nelson earned his medical degree at McGill University where he was a University Scholar. He completed his residency in Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as a Clinical Fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine and a Research Fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine. He also completed a Fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Hygiene and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1984, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty of the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where he rapidly rose through the ranks being named Professor of Medicine in 1994, John H. Seabury Professor of Medicine in 1995, and Director of a NIH awarded Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center in 2000. His research has been continuously funded since 1981 and he has been awarded more than $40 million in research grants during his career. He served as Vice Chair of Research in the department of Medicine and was named Chief of the Section of Pulmonary Medicine in 2005. He was appointed Dean of the Medical School in 2007, and in 2009 he became the President of the LSU Healthcare Network. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Nelson’s major clinical interests include lung immunology, pneumonia, adult cystic fibrosis and sepsis. His research interests are primarily directed toward understanding normal pulmonary host defense mechanisms, defining how disease states undermine and disrupt these defense mechanisms, and determining the potential of biological response modifiers, including gene therapy, to provide innovative approaches to both the prevention and treatment of pulmonary infections. He has been continuously funded since 1981 and has been awarded more than $30 million in research funding during his career.

Dr. Nelson’s honors include membership in Alpha Omega Alpha (the medical honor society), inclusion in multiple volumes of Best Doctors in America and Guide to America’s Top Physicians as well as New Orleans Magazine’s Top Doctors, and the 2006 Edward C. Rosenow, III Honor Lecture Award from the American College of Chest Physicians for outstanding contributions to mentorship and training of chest physicians. In 2019, he was awarded the Spirit of Charity Award.

He serves on the Editorial Boards of Clinical Pulmonary Medicine, Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Alcohol Research and Health which is the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Nelson is also a member of the NIAAA External Advisory Board focused on AIDS-related biomedical research. He is a manuscript reviewer for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Chest, Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Journal of Infectious Disease, Critical Care Medicine, and the Journal of Immunology.

Dr. Nelson authored or co-authored nearly 250 journal papers, seven books/monographs, 30 book chapters, 15 audio-visual scientific presentations and 250 abstracts.

He is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary Disease as well as in Critical Care Medicine.

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 Research Society on Alcoholism, the Association of Professors of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He is also a member of the Louisiana State Medical Society House of Delegates.