LSU Professor Stephania Cormier Wins Adel Sarofim Award for Pollution Research

May 28, 2024

LSU Professor Stephania Cormier Wins Adel Sarofim Award for Pollution Research

The Adel Sarofim award is presented every two years to an international scientist who’ve made significant contributions to our understanding of combustion processes, formation of combustion by-products and mechanisms of their health effects. Last week, LSU researcher Stephania Cormier received the honor at the meeting of the International Congress on Combustion By-products and Their Health Effects in Durham, North Carolina.

Cormier directs the LSU Superfund Research Program, one of the university’s largest research teams with more than 50 faculty, postdocs, students and staff who helped discover and have since advanced the science and awareness of a new class of dangerous air pollutants known as environmentally persistent free radicals, or EPFRs. She serves as the Herbert Weiner Endowed Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences in the LSU College of Science, as professor of respiratory immunology at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and as associate vice president of health and human security in the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development. Cormier is also an honorary professor of child health at the University of Queensland in Australia, current chair of the Pacific Basin Consortium for environmental health science and president of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

“I’m honored to have helped grow this field of research,” said Cormier, who took over the leadership of the LSU Superfund Research Program from its founding director, LSU researcher Barry Dellinger. “Barry was an amazing scientist. He worked to demonstrate the presence of something most people didn’t know existed and didn’t understand the significance of, and that passion became my passion.”

Born and raised in Louisiana, Cormier earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from LSU Health New Orleans in 1997. Through her work, she has brought more than $32.5 million in federal research funding to LSU and Louisiana in the past 12 years. The Superfund Research Program is supported by the National Institutes of Health to lessen the environmental health effects of hazardous waste exposure on communities across the globe.

The Adel Sarofim Award is named after the late MIT Professor of Chemical Engineering Adel Sarofim, member of the National Academy of Engineering, who spent more than 50 years focusing on combustion science, energy efficiency and pollution reduction, including from fossil fuels.

LSU’s Barry Dellinger was among the first to receive the Adel Sarofim Award, ahead of Bill Suk, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Superfund Research Program. More recently, the award has honored researchers at the University of California Berkeley (Katie Koshland and Donald Lucas), University of Amsterdam (Kees Olie) and the University of Michigan (Angela Violi). In 2022, the award went to Brian Gullett, environmental engineer in the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized for our ongoing work on EPFRs, which now are being studied across the globe,” Cormier said.