5,000 Peer-reviewed Articles 212,123 Scientific Literature Citations 300 Institutional Partners 24 Countries
44,000 Clinical Trial Participants



  1. 1980-1988

    1980 – C.B. "Doc" and Irene Pennington makes $125 million donation to construct Pennington Biomedical. It is the largest donation ever made at that time to a public institution of higher learning.

    1988 – The Pennington Biomedical Research Center opens on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge, LA with three buildings – Administration, Basic Science and Comparative Biology. See original building photos in "Our History in Photos" Gallery below.

  2. 1989-1996

    1989 – 1st research project begins. U.S. Army requests insights on the effects of diet on soldier performance.

    1993 – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) chooses Pennington Biomedical to study the effects of diet on blood pressure, resulting in the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a seven-time award-winning "best diet" by U.S. News & World Report.)

    1993 – C.B. Pennington, Jr. Building opened

    1993 – Exercise Research Building opened.

    1993 – The Lodge opened and now provides housing for visiting scientists and LSU medical school residents.

    1996 – The landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) trial recruitment begins, funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

  3. 2000-2003

    2000 - The first annual Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women is held in the C.B. Pennington Jr. Building.

    2001 - The inaugural Men's Health Conference is held at Pennington Biomedical. The Center continues to support the Louisiana Men’s Health Organization’s yearly activities that strive change men’s attitudes about their health and well-being by heightening their awareness of preventable health problems.

    2002 - Planning begins for the first Scientific Symposium, and the series continues today.

    2002 – New England Journal of Medicine publishes Diabetes Prevention Program trial results that show type 2 diabetes is preventable through modest weight loss, exercise and lifestyle interventions.

    2002 – The first version of the Army H.E.A.L.T.H. portable, interactive technology is developed to help US warfighters maintain fitness even while stationed at home and awaiting orders.

  4. 2004-2009

    2004 – State-of-the-Art Basic Science Lab opens.

    2005 – The Center of Excellence in Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome is created with the first NIH center grant to Pennington Biomedical. The grant funded basic research into whether plants and extracts could effectively treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Now named "The Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center," it is one of only three such research centers in the nation.

    2006 – The Pennington Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) is established with an award from the National Center for Research Resources at NIH. The Center provides support for outstanding junior faculty as they transition from training to independence and establish their own research programs.

    2007 - Building on its strengths in basic and clinical science, Pennington Biomedical expands its focus by establishing the Division of Population and Public Health Sciences.

    2006 – Pennington Biomedical doors and arms open to the LSU Health Sciences Center – New Orleans campus staff and students as a temporary base of operations after Hurricane Katrina destroys much of the city's health infrastructure.

    2009 – The Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention opens.

  5. 2010-2011

    2010 – Clinical Science Center building opened, funded by the state of Louisiana and philanthropic support.

    2010 – A Pennington Biomedical researcher isolates the human genome that influences the effect of aerobic exercise on an individual's health.

    2010 - A group of warfighters, including 137 Louisiana National Guard Units across 40 Louisiana parishes, begin participating with Pennington scientists as they developed and test a new version of “Army H.E.A.L.T.H.”

    2011 – Louisiana Report Card on Physical Activity and Health for Children and Youth is released for the first time as a kick-off to Pennington Biomedical's childhood obesity initiative.

    2011 – Researchers at Pennington Biomedical discover the mechanism that leads to an inflammatory response in individuals with obesity.

    2011 - DASH diet is selected for first time as U.S. News & World Report's #1 Diet in America reinforcing research proving diet can control blood pressure. It has topped the list every year since.

    2011 - The Louisiana State Office of Group Benefits funds a Pennington Biomedical study on the health benefits and cost effectiveness of medical and surgical treatments for obesity. Results reveal which treatments are most effective for improving medical outcomes while successfully reducing health care costs for obese patients.

  6. 2012-2013

    Pennington Biomedical scientific discoveries begin to receive broad recognition for public health impact.

    2012 - NIH taps Pennington Biomedical to study how to improve the health and well-being of female collegiate athletes.

    2012 - A Pennington Biomedical study finds that having a TV in the bedroom puts children at higher risk for developing obesity.

    2012 - NIH awards Pennington Biomedical first federal funding for LA CaTS Center. The statewide, eight-institution collaborative encourages, supports, and expands clinical and translational research through partnerships addressing health disparities as well as improving health outcomes in underserved populations with chronic diseases.

    2013 – The NIH-funded Look AHEAD study results are published. They show weight loss and increased physical fitness nearly halve the risk of losing mobility in overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes.

    2013 - The US Army Surgeon General began disseminating the Army H.E.A.L.T.H program Army-wide as part of the Performance Triad program (nutrition, fitness, sleep) in an effort to change the health culture of the Army for Soldiers, military families, and veterans. Army H.E.A.L.T.H. is now being used by 12,000+ US warfighters and their families to maintain fitness levels.

  7. 2014

    Pennington Biomedical opens the Translational Research Center for Children (TReCC), a newly renovated space for activities and research aimed at fighting childhood obesity.

    Pennington Biomedical is designated as an Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) site, making it the only site within a tri-state area with the designation.

    New biomedical imaging center is inaugurated.

    Participants begin enrolling in the NIH-funded D2d Study at Pennington Biomedical. The center joins nineteen clinical trial sites across the U.S. investigating whether vitamin D supplementation may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who are at high risk for diabetes.

  8. 2015

    The CALERIE study shows that restricting calories can lead to healthier aging.

    Basic science researchers discover two new molecules that can reduce inflammation without inducing diabetes, as some steroids do after long-term use.

    The results of the SPRINT study disclose that more intensive management of high blood pressure significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and younger with high blood pressure.

    A Pennington Biomedical collaboration shows that adding the medication liraglutide to a regimen of diet and exercise boosts weight loss and improves metabolic control.

    Pennington Biomedical releases the Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit, a guide for Louisiana physicians and pediatricians that provides integrative strategies for reducing and treating obesity in children.

  9. 2016

    The BabyEE Pilot study launches March 1, 2016. This is the first study at Pennington Biomedical to use the infant metabolic chamber with babies. It is currently the only functioning infant metabolic chamber in the world.

    The first-of-its-kind study aiming to slow memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease begins in the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention.

    A five-year grant is awarded to the Pennington Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) by the NIH to explore "nutrition and metabolic health through the lifespan."

    In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Pennington Biomedical launches a groundbreaking study to explore how maintaining normal testosterone levels can preserve warfighter endurance in extreme conditions.

    Pennington Biomedical sounds the alarm that three quarters of American children are at risk for future chronic disease because they are not meeting physical activity recommendations.

    NIH reaffirms its support of Pennington Biomedical by renewing the Center of Biomedical Excellence (COBRE) funding with a $5.5 million grant. The funds support promising junior faculty and aim to expand numbers of investigators studying metabolic diseases.

    Moving one step closer to personalized medicine, the NIH begins to fund a study of the molecular mechanisms behind the benefits of exercise.

    To find out if controlling blood pressure through aerobic exercise and/or medication might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, the NIH National Institute on Aging asks Pennington Biomedical to begin the landmark rrAD (Reducing the Risk for Alzheimer's Disease) trial.

  10. 2017

    Pennington Biomedical team publishes first study of its size (16,000 participants) that shows early weight gain in pregnancy correlates with childhood obesity.

    A better BMI calculator for adolescents called a TMI is outlined by Pennington Biomedical scientists and their colleagues in an issue of JAMA.

    Scientists begin looking for the genes that may increase likelihood of a women developing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that prevents women from becoming pregnant.

    U.S. Department of Defense continues a 29-year partnership with Pennington Biomedical and taps the Center to lead a new multi-year study of military nutrition and metabolism.

    American Diabetes Association names Pennington Biomedical "Elite Corporate Health Champion."

    The annual Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women is such a hit with the community that attendance exceeded six hundred and fifty women accessing health and wellness screenings, educational sessions, exhibits and activities, with the support of an additional one hundred and fifty volunteers and exhibitors.

    The Division of Scientific Education at Pennington Biomedical announced that 126 Postdoctoral fellows had been trained at the center over the previous 10 year period.



1989-1990 1991-1996 1997-2002 2003-2008 2009-2014 2015-2018