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New dean at LSU med: chancellor had been dean since Katrina


For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, LSU’s medical school has a separate chancellor and dean of medicine.

The appointment of Dr. Steve Nelson as dean of medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center of New Orleans shows that medical education there is moving forward and becoming more stable, said Dr. Larry Hollier.

Hollier, who had been both chancellor and dean of medicine since the hurricane in 2005, said few people would have wanted the dean’s job two years ago, but this year’s national search produced several top candidates.

Nelson, who has “done it all” in his 23 years at LSU, was the overwhelming choice as the school’s head academic officer and its leader in grants and clinical health care, Hollier said.

“I’m obviously very excited,” Nelson said. “This is the opportunity to rebuild the health science center and train the next generation” of doctors.

Nelson, a professor of medicine, currently leads the LSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence. He is also vice chairman of research in the department of medicine, chief of pulmonary medicine and program director of the Tulane/LSUHSC General Clinical Research Center at University Hospital.

Nelson said he has strong ties with most of the major universities and hospitals in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, so working for more grants and collaborations should be a smooth transition, he said.

The health sciences center has about 2,000 faculty members overall, Hollier said. That includes 172 new faculty members hired in the past 12 months, 71 of them for the School of Medicine.

Information from: The Advocate,

–Associated Press

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