Its beautiful building and park-like campus might be an iconic East Baton Rouge Parish landmark. Still, few Louisianans really understand what goes on inside LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center at 6400 Perkins Road.
Soon after C.B. “Doc” and Irene Pennington presented their $125 million gift to establish LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Chancellor of the LSU Medical Center Allen Copping, D.D.S., announced the university’s intention to build a state-of-the-art biomedical center that would attract scientists from across the globe.
The largest gift from a private individual to a public institution at the time, the Penningtons’ magnificent gift came with only one directive: “…this should be the biggest and best nutrition research center in the country.”
Thirty-two years later, Pennington Biomedical has emerged not only as a world leader in nutrition but a renowned authority in the science of helping people live longer healthier lives. Pennington Biomedical scientists explore how diet and exercise can help maximize human performance and defend against dementia, diabetes and other chronic diseases that are shorten lifespan.
Their approach involves examining everything from the tiniest fragments of DNA in a cell in basic science laboratories to the effectiveness of new medications in clinical trials food to exercise apps that can change the behavior of entire populations.
Over the past three decades, Louisianans from almost every parish in the state—44,000 individuals total—have participated in Pennington Biomedical studies and received the benefit of our scientists’ knowledge and expertise.
Among its many contributions to health and science, Pennington Biomedical has:
- Researched prevention and treatment strategies for dementia, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases.
- Conducted one of the largest brain aging studies in the country.
- Facilitated the development of key diabetes and all obesity medications.
- Provided Louisiana physicians with our Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit, which includes innovative prevention strategies to help reduce the growing obesity epidemic.
- Been a key player in the creation of the DASH Diet, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 best diet overall 8 years running.
- Served as the primary provider of nutrition research for U.S. military soldiers and their families.
Although the generosity of two philanthropists were responsible for its founding, Pennington Biomedical has been sustained with the support of many statewide philanthropists, industry, state funding and federal grants.
Those sources of funding are all essential to Pennington Biomedical’s continued success in the future.
With the partnership of generous donors, industry and the steadfast support of the state and federal grants, Pennington Biomedical has the potential to help everyone everywhere live longer, healthier lives.
Click here for more information about Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s scientific discoveries.