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35th Annual Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease Awarded to Mount Sinai Physician

35th Annual Alton Ochsner Award Relating  Smoking and Disease Awarded to Mount Sinai Physician

The 35th annual Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease has been awarded to Paul J. Kenny, Ph.D. (Ward-Coleman Professor and Chair, Nash Family Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York).

This prestigious honor bestowed by Ochsner Health recognizes scientists who have made major contributions regarding the relationship between smoking and disease along with the development of innovative treatment modalities. The award is named in honor of Alton Ochsner, M.D. – co-founder of the Ochsner Clinic (now known as Ochsner Health) based in New Orleans. In 1939, Dr. Ochsner published the first evidence indicating that tobacco smoking was the major cause of lung cancer. As the 2020 honoree, Dr. Kenny will receive a $15,000 honorarium, an award medallion and a plaque describing key research findings.

“Research is at the core of all our Centers of Excellence. At Ochsner, we have a rich legacy of recognizing and supporting research critical to progressing our understanding of complex healthcare issues – including the work begun by Dr. Alton Ochsner back in 1939 relating smoking and Lung Cancer. As our 2020 honoree, Dr. Kenny joins the ranks of other research giants in this field for his contributions studying nicotine addition,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health.

Through his research, Dr. Kenny has significantly impacted how scientists understand nicotine addiction, providing valuable insight for the development of new treatment methods. He conducted innovative studies of the neural and biochemical correlates of nicotine addiction, developed therapies based on these insights, and defined the relation of nicotine addiction to the pancreas and diabetes. Additionally, Dr. Kenny demonstrated the relevance of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) to the regulation of nicotine craving, leading to the development of therapeutic strategies.

For more information on the Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease call 504-842-3700. For more information on Ochsner Health, visit


About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Ochsner Health is a not-for-profit committed to giving back to the communities it serves through preventative screenings, health and wellness resources and partnerships with innovative organizations that share our vision. Ochsner Health healed more than 876,000 people from across the globe in 2019, providing the latest medical breakthroughs and therapies, including digital medicine for chronic conditions and telehealth specialty services. Ochsner Health is a national leader, named the top hospital in Louisiana and a top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. As Louisiana’s leading healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. Ochsner Health is innovating healthcare by investing in new technologies and research to make world-class care more accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner's team of more than 26,000 employees and 4,500 providers are working to reinvent the future of health and wellness in the region. To learn more about Ochsner Health, please visit To transform your health, please visit