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Panelist Bio


Elizabeth T.H. (Terry) Fontham, MPH, DrPH
LSUHSC School of Public Health

Elizabeth Fontham is the Founding Dean and Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus at Louisiana State University (LSUHSC) School of Public Health and Professor of Pathology in the LSU School of Medicine where she has been on the faculty in the LSUHSC since 1980. She is a member of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, served as Senior Consultant Epidemiologist to the Louisiana Office of Public Health, and was recently named a Senior Research Fellow of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon France.

Dr. Fontham’s major area of research is cancer epidemiology, with a particular interest in tobacco, as well as nutrition-related cancers and gastric carcinogenesis. She has conducted studies of lung cancer and environmental tobacco smoke, including the largest early study of lung cancer in nonsmoking women that provided critical data leading to the classification of secondhand smoke as a human carcinogen. Dr. Fontham has published extensively on stomach cancer and its risk factors, with studies of the high risk populations in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. Her current research includes the study of innovative approaches to cervical cancer screening in hard to reach women, and studies of the long-term human health effects of the exposures as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

She served as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors from 2000-2005 and was recently appointed to a new term beginning 2014. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Epidemiology of which she is a Fellow and past Treasurer. She was a member of the inaugural Editorial Board of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention as Assistant Editor; Chairman of the Scientific Editorial Board of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; and a contributing author and reviewer for several Surgeon General’s Reports as well as contributing author of two International Agency for Cancer Research Carcinogenesis Monographs.

Dr. Fontham is recipient of the Alton Ochsner Award Relating Tobacco and Health, the C.L. Brown Award for Leadership Excellence in Tobacco Prevention; the Leadership and Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Epidemiology; and the Pfizer Award for Excellence in Research, Education and Patient Care. Dr. Fontham has been active in the American Cancer Society since 1981 at all levels and was a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society from 2001-2010 and served as national President in 2009.

Current Topic


     12/17 - Healthy New Year! (Encore)

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?
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