School of Medicine


Steve Nelson, MD
Dean, LSUHSC School of Medicine

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.

Dr. Nelson joined the faculty of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans in 1984. He rapidly rose through the ranks being named Professor of Medicine in 1994 and then the John H. Seabury Professor of Medicine in 1995. He serves as Director of one of only 5 NIH awarded Comprehensive Alcohol Research Centers in the nation- a $2 million per year operation- since 2000. Dr. Nelson has also led the LSUHSC Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence since 2002. 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 is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Research Council. Dr. Nelson was appointed Program Director of the Tulane/LSUHSC General Clinical Research Center at University Hospital in 2006. Dr. Nelson is also the co-principal investigator of the $5.9 million Clinical and Translational Research Education and Commercialization Program at LSUHSC and Tulane recently awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

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.

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 200 journal papers, seven books/monographs, 30 book chapters, 15 audio-visual scientific presentations and 199 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.

Click here for faculty information page