Over the years, our researchers have contributed to nearly every obesity and diabetes drug on the market today, developed major obesity and lifestyle interventions, designed the world’s only functioning infant metabolic chamber that provides insight into how early nutrition impacts lifelong health, and are the leading provider of nutrition science for the U.S. Military.
Our clinical trials and research studies have engaged nearly 44,000 individuals enabling us to launch the largest and longest-running brain health study in the nation, collaborate with institutions to develop EP-100, a cancer treatment for ovarian and breast cancer (currently in Phase 2 clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center), and conduct over 140 research studies in health and performance for the Department of Defense.
Training & Education
The next generation of scientific explorers is training here at Pennington Biomedical. The Division of Education directs training programs for our postdoctoral fellows and are designed to help fellows become productive research scientists capable of establishing independent scientific careers in biomedical research. Your gift helps turn science into practical health solutions by affording these young researchers an opportunity to blossom and grow.
We are moving discoveries and inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace, and are working to improve lives through technologies designed for biomedical diagnostic, treatment, and prevention. Pennington Biomedical developed a new smartphone app to help pregnant women control their weight gain, created a pedal desk to decrease sedentary time at work, and much more.
Pennington Biomedical's discoveries include:
- Discovered a new gene that communicates from the brain to other organs to regulate fat storage, a finding that has important implications for the development of interventions which prevent obesity
- Discovered a new protein that influences how fat is deposited in the liver and other organs to produce insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. This data is currently being used to develop novel interventions for type 2 diabetes
- Discovered how stem cells can be produced from adipose tissue cells and then converted to bone cells by growing them on a bone promoting scaffold. Development of this potential therapy for osteoporosis has implications for other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease
- Discovered that a person’s response to regular exercise is highly individualized and that several genes and DNA sequence differences determine how much one benefits from a physically active lifestyle
- Developed, with other academic medical centers, the DASH diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables and then proved the diet is effective at lowering blood pressure as much as medications. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report selected DASH as the #1 overall diet in America
- Reported that measurements in 17 school systems showed Louisiana schoolchildren have among the highest rates of overweight and obesity in the United States
- Demonstrated that changes in the school environment can improve physical activity and eating habits among elementary school children and reduce the risk for obesity
Military Nutrition Research
- Established the effectiveness of the amino acid tyrosine supplementation during periods of intense stress in sustaining mental performance
- Established the mineral micronutrient requirements to sustain immune function during periods of caloric deprivation during periods of intense mental and physical stress and extreme environmental conditions
- Developed and evaluated the new replacement for Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs) and produced the now widely used military First Strike Ration