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Ochsner Health Announces 33rd Annual Alton Ochsner Award Recipients

Professors Geoffrey T. Fong, Ph.D of Canada and Eric A. Hoffman, Ph.D of Iowa Honored

NEW ORLEANS – The selection committee for the 2018 Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease recently bestowed its 33rd annual award to:

  • Professor Geoffrey T. Fong, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and public health systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • Eric A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa

The award acknowledges Drs. Geoffrey Fong and Eric Hoffman for their contributions that clarify the relationship of tobacco smoking with public health and lead to tobacco-related disease prevention and control. Independently, both scientists have made major contributions through their work related the effects of prolonged consumption of tobacco smoke on the development of malignant disease in patients that will significantly impact their areas of research and the training of other investigators. Each awardee will receive a $7,500.00 honorarium, award medallion, and plaque with the identifying statement attributing their research findings.

Dr. Fong, Senior Investigator of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC Project) Waterloo, Canada, created a network of more than 150 tobacco control investigators globally.He is considered an incredible role model and mentor for his colleagues of the ITC Project, which conducted longitudinal nationally representative surveys assessing all major dimensions of tobacco use and control policies in 28 countries. In over one-half of these countries the World Health Organization reported that more than 70 percent were tobacco consumers from every income mix of low, middle and high-income countries. Dr. Fong’s team of tobacco control researchers have provided evidence-based action globally to combat the number one cause of cancer in the world.

Dr. Hoffman serves as director for the Advanced Pulmonary Physiomic Imaging Laboratory of the Department of Radiology and the Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center (I-Clic). Previously, he led the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Laboratory (COPD) Gene Imaging Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Software developed in Dr. Hoffman’s laboratory formed the primary basis for his CT image analysis developed in his COPD Gene Project Laboratory. Dr. Hoffman’s findings have provided highly convincing data demonstrating how CT studies may be used to assess the progression of lung disease. He established that the micro-inflammatory events developed therein are among one of the earliest events developed in smoking-related lung disease that may predict risk for its development and progression of lung changes leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In short, this research illustrates pathways for the diagnosis and treatment of COPD by clinicians.

The Ochsner Award is named in honor of Dr. Alton Ochsner, co-founder of Ochsner Health System, in New Orleans. In 1939, Dr. Ochsner published the first evidence relating tobacco smoking as the major cause of lung cancer. For more information on the Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease or to view a list of past recipients, visit [insert website]. For more information on Ochsner Health System, visit


Ochsner Health is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 19,000 employees and over 1,200 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.