Pennington Biomedical Research Center Grabs $6 Million Grant For Research

Yesterday the Pennington Biomedical Research Center announced their selection for a new competitively awarded $6 million, three-year grant to discover novel ways to increase warfighter resilience, combat readiness, and optimal performance of soldiers.  The new research project is based upon a 23-year history of collaborative research between Pennington Biomedical and the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD).

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia.  It’s part of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research.  The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center’s more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Executive Director Steven Heymsfield said, “This new grant is the cornerstone of the long-term collaborative relationship which has spanned the entire history of the Pennington Biomedical since 1988, resulting in more than 151 published research papers.”The research has directly impacted performance of our military personnel around the globe,” added Dr. Heymsfield. “Together with the U. S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, we have a powerful partnership that strengthens each institution and shares a primary goal: to fuel a better and healthier warfighter.”

The grant provides $2 million for fiscal year 2011, with a commitment of equal annual allocations through fiscal year 2013. “The modern warfighter faces numerous physiological challenges during training and combat,” said Rood. “We will be conducting nutrition, metabolism, and human physiology research in an attempt to discover novel strategies that promote warfighter resilience and improve warfighter readiness,” added Rood during the press conference.

The new grant will be led by Professor Jennifer Rood, Ph.D., who will serve as Pennington Biomedical’s principal investigator for the CROWN project, which stands for: Collaborative Research to Optimize Warfighter Nutrition.  Rood said CROWN supports communication and interaction between USARIEM, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and Pennington Biomedical scientists in the design, execution, and translation of research projects. “We have high quality analytical laboratories, nutritional databases, and metabolic support for military nutrition clinical research protocols.