Our History
and Mission

The mission of Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation is to support the work of LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, which aims to discover the triggers of chronic diseases through innovative research that improves human health across the lifespan.

Over the last 30 years, Pennington Biomedical’s world-renowned scientists have made remarkable discoveries that have improved the way Americans exercise, eat, age, and think about obesity, diabetes, dementia and other chronic diseases.

But many questions remain about the triggers and treatment of these devastating diseases.

Pennington Biomedical researchers have been involved in the development of every obesity medication on the market today and many diabetes medications. Pennington Biomedical’s research helped shape the DASH Diet, consistently ranked the No. 1 diet in America by U.S. News & World Report. And, Pennington Biomedical’s science has been helping the U.S. military and their families stay healthy for the past three decades.

Philanthropic gifts help accelerate the exploration of new ideas, innovative techniques, life-changing programs, and powerful technologies.

By contributing to Pennington Biomedical, you have the power to help people everywhere live longer and healthier lives.

Foundation History

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a world leader in research of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and other chronic diseases.

In 1980, C.B. “Doc” Pennington and his wife, Irene, made a large gift to LSU, one of the most generous gifts ever from a private individual to a public institution. Doc Pennington’s directions were simple: “Build the best nutritional research center in the country.”

It was important to Doc that others join this effort and contribute to the success of this endeavor. Many community leaders came together to find the necessary funding to recruit and hire the Center’s first executive director, George Bray, Ph.D. These same leaders helped launch a major campaign to raise unrestricted funds, essential for commencing operations of the Center.

Over the years, the Foundation has played a valuable role in supporting the Center. The Foundation maintains the Center’s endowments, which include professorships and chairs, and seeks to create additional avenues of funding that allow the Center to grow and help to bridge funding gaps.

Charitable gifts from donors provide essential leverage that permits Pennington Biomedical researchers to acquire federal and state funding. Those gifts help turn science into practical health solutions by supporting faculty researchers and their projects, enabling exploration of the underlying causes of disease and new treatments, and, by affording young researchers an opportunity to thrive and grow professionally.

Our generous founders, C.B. “Doc” and Irene Pennington, had tremendous foresight and wisdom regarding the future of health research. Their vision and donation provided the laboratories and facilities on our campus, but they also challenged others to fill these buildings with top-notch researchers and world-renowned science.

Today, philanthropy from our generous donors plays a key role in accelerating scientific progress, recruiting top scientists from around the world, and promoting research that enables longer, healthier lives for people everywhere.

We invite you to join our efforts.

Foundation History