MAKING AN IMPACT

Our science yields results. Since 1988, our research has helped people around the world eat better, exercise smarter and combat chronic disease. Read more on our history of discovery here.

In this blog we showcase our basic, clinical, population science research, as well as the community outreach underway at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Join us in exploring these stories of science, discovery, and health. For more news and information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

  • Try This Cookie Dough Smoothie Recipe
    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    This delicious cookie dough smoothie was created in Pennington Biomedical's metabolic kitchen by a team of registered dietitians.
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  • Investigating adipose tissue homeostasis
    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    Adipose tissue, or body fat, plays an important role in the how the body maintains its metabolism. The global rise of obesity, along with the increased risk for complications such as type 2 diabetes, has intensified research on the role of adipose tissue.
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  • What's in this scientist's lunchbox? – Dr. Ursula White
    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Have you ever wondered how the topics studied by scientists impact their daily lives?
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  • Researching a Better Way to Predict Health Risks
    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    What if doctors could predict your risk of developing disease simply by evaluating your body shape?
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  • From the circus tent to the research lab
    Tuesday, March 07, 2017

    Going from the circus tent to the research lab may sound a bit unconventional, but for Pennington Biomedical postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nicole Fearnbach, her unique path has led her to combine several fields of interest in the hopes of finding new ways to help children live healthier lives.
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  • A look at epigenetics
    Monday, March 06, 2017

    Dr. Ken Eilertsen is an associate professor in the Epigenetics and Nuclear Reprogramming Lab at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. He shared with us about his work, the importance of this field of study, and the key role that epigenetics plays in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
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  • Postdoc Q&A: Early career scientist from Finland shares why she chose to traverse continents for research
    Wednesday, February 22, 2017

    Welcome to our postdoctoral researcher Q&A, where you get to meet Pennington Biomedical's emerging scientists. Dr. Sari Aaltonen came to Pennington Biomedical from Helsinki, Finland, where she spent time studying and working in the exercise science field. Thanks to a grant from Finland, Aaltonen has been at Pennington Biomedical studying alongside Dr. Tuomo Rankinen for the last 10 months. Hear why she traveled across the globe to study at Pennington Biomedical.
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  • Giving Back: Art Imitating Life
    Monday, February 20, 2017

    [As shared in 'Making an Impact’ newsletter]
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  • What's in this scientist's lunchbox? – Dr. Annadora Bruce-Keller
    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Have you ever wondered how the topics studied by scientists impact their daily lives?
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  • Research study participation helps lower man’s risk for diabetes
    Thursday, February 09, 2017

    Elmo Winters has been participating in research studies at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center for the past 17 years.
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  • Networks to Neighborhoods: a look at population health
    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Marcus Hills, a senior at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge, dreams of one day following in the footsteps of Dr. Stephanie Broyles. Broyles is a population researcher at Pennington Biomedical who studies how our various environments (work, social networks, neighborhoods, parks, etc.) shape our disease risks and health outcomes.
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  • In Memoriam: Dr. William Hansel 1918 - 2017
    Monday, January 09, 2017

    Dr. William Hansel spent nearly 70 years working as a scientist and health research pioneer, building a legacy of dedication and discovery. After a remarkable scientific career that will forever leave its mark on the face of cancer and chronic disease research, Hansel passed away at his home on January 2.
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  • Want to participate in one of our research studies?
    Friday, December 16, 2016

    Research conducted at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center has changed the way Americans eat, exercise, age and think about chronic disease.
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  • Transforming Plants into Modern Medicine
    Wednesday, December 14, 2016

    These days herbs and supplements come in all colors, shapes and flavors, and it can be nearly impossible to sort through which ones you should choose.
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  • Your genes may not determine your weight fate
    Monday, December 12, 2016

    Are you one of the millions of people who, at some point in your life, has rolled your eyes and blamed your mother and father for one genetic shortcoming or another? Most of us are guilty of it. Perhaps your eyelashes are not quite long enough or you wish your eyes were a different color. Maybe your muscles do not carry the definition you would like, or perhaps you carry too much extra weight.
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  • Heart-healthy nutrition tips
    Friday, December 09, 2016

    LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center is putting science to work for a healthier Louisiana.  Our researchers and dietitians are constantly striving to assure that we are equipped with the latest in health information and that it is accessible and easy to use. Here are some heart healthy nutrition tips that research has shown can make a difference in our well-being.
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  • What is insulin resistance?
    Wednesday, December 07, 2016

    Insulin and insulin resistance. You're familiar with the terms and you likely know someone taking it or affected by it. But, do you know what it all actually means for our health?
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  • Mom's healthy weight & blood sugar levels before pregnancy may improve baby's health
    Friday, December 02, 2016

    Eating a healthy diet, exercising, controlling your weight and blood sugar level are key to good health at any stage in life. But, recent research shows maintaining healthy weight and blood sugar levels are especially important for women and their babies in the earliest stage of pregnancy.
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  • Turning up the Heat on Obesity: Brown adipose tissue (BAT)-induced heat could be a promising therapy to treat obesity and metabolic diseases, according to new research
    Wednesday, November 30, 2016

    With escalating obesity rates facing our state and nation, there is a need for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that modulate body weight.
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  • Tasty fall squash recipes
    Monday, November 28, 2016

    The fall is a great opportunity to take advantage of the flavorsome varieties of fall vegetables, including a plethora of different types of squash. They are packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, which is beneficial to the skin. They also contain vitamin C which helps boost our immune system and which also act as an antioxidant to prevent or delay some types of cell damage.
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  • Alzheimer's Disease and Thanksgiving: What They Share
    Monday, November 21, 2016

    The Thanksgiving holiday and Alzheimer's disease have something in common: they share the month of November. While this month brings a plethora of cuisine-filled celebrations with friends and family, it is also Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. The Thanksgiving holiday, which often brings in relatives from out of town, provides an opportunity for family members to spend quality time with loved ones and perhaps even be on the lookout for warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
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  • What does the way you walk and talk say about how well your brain functions?
    Monday, November 14, 2016

    At Pennington Biomedical's Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention (IDRP), more than 2,400 people are now taking part in research focused on the latest prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer's disease and other age-related dementia.
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  • Fall spices that taste great—and can help avoid extra calories
    Friday, November 11, 2016

    By Registered Dietitian Taylor Ayers and Certified Nutrition Professional Karissa Elsass, both with LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Ingestive Behavior Laboratory
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  • A Look Inside a Metabolic Chamber
    Monday, November 07, 2016

    You can get a great estimate from a fitness tracker on how many calories you burn throughout the day, but to get a more accurate measurement, scientists use a powerful tool called a whole room calorimeter (or a metabolic chamber). Not only can a metabolic chamber give insight into how many calories are burned, but it can also shed light on what kind of calories are being burned, whether they are calories from fat, protein or carbohydrates.
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  • Mentoring the Next Generation of Scientists
    Thursday, November 03, 2016

    Tuskegee University veterinary student Janna Hunt dreams of working with the USDA and one day inspecting animals for diseases in an effort to safeguard the food supply. She spent two summer internships at the USDA building an already impressive resume, and this summer she dedicated her time to learning more about basic research under the mentorship of Dr. Jackie Stephens and her team in Pennington Biomedical's adipocyte biology laboratory.
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  • Improved Health? There's a Scientific App for That
    Thursday, November 03, 2016

    There seems to be an app for nearly everything these days—including healthy eating, fitness and sleep—but not all of them are backed by proven scientific data. Pennington Biomedical scientists are developing apps aimed at health. One example is Dr. Robert Newton, Jr., a population scientist at Pennington Biomedical. He's on the lookout for new ways to improve community health while integrating technology that makes a healthy lifestyle more convenient—and he's putting science to work to evaluate effectiveness.
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  • Children's health research to expand, thanks to $1.4 million NIH grant
    Tuesday, November 01, 2016

    In Louisiana one in two children is considered overweight or obesei, a startling statistic which poses significant health risks to kids as they grow up. Among Louisiana's adults, 36 percent are considered obeseii—a condition which costs the state $3 billion annuallyiii. Obesity puts both kids and adults at risk for developing a host of chronic diseases such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes. Right now, the Bayou State has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the nation.
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  • Postdoc Q&A: Young researcher shares her passion for learning about hormones' impact on aging
    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Welcome to our postdoctoral researcher Q&A, where you get to meet Pennington Biomedical's emerging scientists. Dr. Cristal Hill is studying hormones and aging alongside Dr. Chris Morrison. Hill graduated with her undergraduate and masters degrees from Tuskegee University and completed her doctorate at Southern Illinois University in 2016. Prior to her time with Pennington Biomedical, Hill spent time working for the American Diabetes Association. Hear from Hill what fuels her passion for science:
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  • Join us for free Diabetes Screenings
    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Join us October 26 and 27 for free diabetes screenings at Pennington Biomedical. We are offering glucose and A1C testing to the first 100 people who stop by our clinic!
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  • What does brain size have to do with Alzheimer's disease?
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    New research shows that genes may play a role in helping us grow larger brains early in life. Recently published in Nature Neuroscience, a new study analyzed DNA and brain scans of nearly 30,000 people and identified five new genes responsible for how large our brains grow.
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  • Blood Sugar and Brain Metabolism: A New Research Study
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    There are two immediate dangers for people with diabetes who are insulin dependent: blood sugar that dips too low and blood sugar that climbs too high. Over time and if left untreated, high blood sugar can lead to cardiovascular disease, limb amputations, kidney failure and blindness. Blood sugar that's too low can lead to symptoms ranging from weakness and lightheadedness to seizure and even death. For people with diabetes and their support networks of family and friends, maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar is a constant balancing act that at times can be tricky.
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  • Pennington Biomedical is researching ways to help women reduce diabetes risk after menopause
    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Average life expectancy in the United States has risen to nearly 79 years. That's good news and a significant increase from decades past. The not so good news is that people who are living longer are dealing with chronic medical issues far longer than in years past. These diseases – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. – can take a toll on the body.
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  • Video games can help get kids moving!
    Monday, April 11, 2016

    There's a special kind of exercise that many parents likely relate to the video games their kids play at home—great exercises in patience, that is. Patience with their children who often spend hour after hour consumed with punching buttons and scoring points, often at the neglect of their homework, chores and pretty much everything else.
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  • 5 Things Dietitians Order at Restaurants
    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    Whether you're going strong in the nutrition department or you're struggling to stay on track, chances are at some point you've encountered the challenge of a restaurant menu. It can be difficult to navigate tasty menu options when you're away from home, so the registered dietitians at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center compiled a few of their favorite options for dining out that are full of flavor but low on calories.
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  • Can your brain help you burn fat?
    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    If only we could get a message to our bodies to burn off that excess fat we've been trying to rid ourselves of, right? It turns out you may not need a genie and a lamp for that. Instead your brain may hold the key to helping you burn off extra fat.
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  • Your genes may not determine your weight fate
    Friday, January 08, 2016

    Are you one of the millions of people who, at some point in your life, has rolled your eyes and blamed your mother and father for one genetic shortcoming or another? Most of us are guilty of it. Perhaps your eyelashes are not quite long enough or you wish your eyes were a different color. Maybe your muscles do not carry the definition you would like, or perhaps you carry too much extra weight.
    Continue reading...

  • New Brain Research Seeks to Understand the Nature of Cravings
    Wednesday, December 09, 2015

    In the midst of a discussion with Dr. Owen Carmichael on the texture of melted chocolate or the color and hue of a fresh batch of French fries, you might guess that he is a chef or a food critic. As cool as those jobs are, those guesses don't come close. Take his fascination with food and mix in a heavy dose of the biomedical sciences to find the answer. Dr. Carmichael is a brain scientist at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and he is striving to understand the way cravings, such as those we have for food, are embodied.
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  • How to Work Out At Work
    Tuesday, December 01, 2015

    Staying in shape can sometimes feel like a full time job.  That feeling is exacerbated when you consider that many of us are running some sort of balancing act that feels like it's straight out of the circus:  40+ hour-a-week-job, a significant other and a circle of friends, holiday social engagements, shuffling kids to school events, meal prep, trying to keep your home or apartment orderly—and the list goes on.
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  • Research gives hope to diabetes community
    Saturday, November 21, 2015

    Robby Huey's life today is much different than it was five years ago. Today, he is active, involved in the community and full of energy. Back then, he was struggling to manage his diabetes, tired and often frustrated.
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  • We're learning more about how cravings may contribute to obesity.
    Friday, November 13, 2015

    Dr. Heike Munzberg-Gruening has long been following clues in her research on factors in our brains that may affect the development of obesity – namely hormonal clues like leptin. In examining the different hormones related to obesity, Dr. Munzberg-Gruening stumbled upon something unexpected.  She found that reward circuits in our brain may play an even more important role in weight gain than researchers previously determined.
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  • Living your best life with diabetes
    Tuesday, July 07, 2015

    Recovery often requires change. At times, recovery means accepting a new normal and making a commitment to living your best life with some adjustments.
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  • LSU's Pennington Biomedical Working to Support Solider & Military Family Health
    Monday, June 15, 2015

    If your spouse or significant other is a fitness buff or a couch potato, chances are that your activity habits are similar to theirs. Data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study shows that by middle age, couples' exercise habits tend to become very similar. Hence, exercise more and your partner is likely to join you and experience improved health and fitness.
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  • Play Streets Coming to a Neighborhood Near You
    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    How many times did your parents tell you as a child not to play in the street? Traffic was just too dangerous, they said. For many children, traffic isn't the only thing keeping them from playing outdoors. Some kids don't live in neighborhoods where their parents feel safe allowing them to play outside. Others don't have access, or in some cases safe access, to neighborhood parks.
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