$1 Million Endowed Chair

Creating Solutions

In 2011, the $1 million Al Copeland/Cancer Crusaders Endowed chair in Endocrine Cancer was established at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. Because research drives all advances in cancer treatment and prevention, the Al Copeland Foundation partnered with Louisiana’s flagship academic medical center and its renowned cancer research enterprise. 

Establishing the endowed chair was a corporate effort, beginning with separate $300,000 donations from both the Al Copeland Foundation and Cancer Crusaders, as well as a $400,000 match from the Louisiana Board of Regents. While the principal donations remain untouched, the interest earned supports the work of the chair’s holder. Further, the prestige and funding that are garnered through chairs are a powerful tool used to recruit effective effective researchers. 

Leading the Charge

Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine at LSUHSC New Orleans, has appointed Augusto Ochoa, MD, and Director of the LSUHSC Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, as the recipient of the Al Copeland/Cancer Crusaders Chair in Neuroendocrine Cancer. Introduced in 1987, Endowed Chairs for Eminent Scholars is a highly competitive program designed to enhance the recruitment and retention of distinguished university faculty.

The program pairs a 60% private-sector match with a 40% Board of Regents award to endow a chair to be filled by a scholar with both high renown and tremendous ability. The funds supporting endowed chairs are invested in an interest-bearing fund in which the principal remains intact while the interest provides a perpetual source of annual income. This income is used to recruit and support the academic and research efforts of the exceptional faculty member appointed to this position.

“I am deeply honored to hold this chair, and I’m so inspired by the community partnerships that made it possible and will continue to be a fundamental part of our success.”

- Augusto Ochoa, MD

A Better Tomorrow

Dr. Ochoa earned his MD from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia in 1982. That year, he started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Immunobiology Research Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he later became an Assistant Professor in 1986. Dr. Ochoa served as Head of the Immunotherapy Laboratory for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1989 to 1996 and Head of the NCI Signal Transduction Laboratory from 1996 to 1997. He designed and led several clinical trials using the patient’s immune system to treat cancer. 

At LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, Dr. Ochoa founded and now directs the cancer immunology program. Aside from this primary position, he is also a professor of Pediatrics, an adjunct associate professor of Biochemistry, and a practicing physician in the field of Allergy and Immunology. His research interests include T-cell function, cytokine production, macrophage T-cell interaction, immune regulation, immune dysfunction and disease, as well as tumor immunology.

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