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Friday, September 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Steven Smith, M.D.
Endocrinology Laboratory, Pennington

Dr. Steven Smith earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He completed a three-year internship at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas in 1991. He subsequently completed a two-year fellowship in clinical endocrinology and metabolism at the Ochsner Clinic and Hospital in New Orleans, LA. Over the past 10 years, he has been a faculty member at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. He holds the rank of Associate Professor. He is also Chief of the Inpatient Unit at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, where he has been employed in a full-time position since 1994.

His research has primarily focused upon the links between obesity and type 2 diabetes. He has published 39 peer-reviewed research journal articles, and 13 book chapters. Also, Dr. Smith is the Principal Investigator for the NIH-sponsored Project ‘Healthy Transitions’ designed to elucidate the effects of menopause on body composition, insulin action and health. He is the project leader for research sponsored by the Department of Defense that aims to use nutrition to enhance warfighter performance and he is co-PI for 2 research projects sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture: High fat diets and the metabolic syndrome (with George A Bray) and a Prospective study of the predictors of weight gain in a biracial cohort (with Eric Ravussin).

Dr. Smith has developed a variety of clinical methods at the Pennington (e.g. CT scanning, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle biopsies) and has led many investigations that have tested the reliability and validity of these methods. Dr. Smith was the first investigator at the Pennington to apply qRT-PCR and microarrays to bridge the gap between the clinic and the excellent basic science facilities at the Pennington. Therefore, Dr. Smith can provide valuable leadership for the Methods Validation and Quality Control Committee that is a part of the Human Phenotyping Core and the overall goal of translational research at the Pennington.

Current Topic


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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