LSU's Pennington Biomedical executive director named chief scientific and medical officer of ADA

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced Monday that William T. Cefalu, M.D. has been chosen as their new chief scientific and medical officer.

Cefalu has been the executive director of LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center since 2013. He also holds the George A. Bray Endowed Super Chair in Nutrition.

"While we are sad to see Dr. Cefalu leave Pennington Biomedical, his new position with the American Diabetes Association elevates one of our state's greatest challenges to a national focus. Louisiana citizens will benefit not only from the groundwork he has laid here at Pennington Biomedical, but also from the important work he will do at the ADA. Dr. Cefalu leaves Pennington Biomedical well poised to capitalize on the work already done to expand the state's biomedical research infrastructure and leverage existing partnerships into real impact on the health and well-being of Louisianans," said F. King Alexander, president of LSU.

While at Pennington Biomedical, Cefalu helped secure national and international chronic disease research collaborations and personally drew in more than $50 million in scientific grants and contracts.

"Congratulations to Dr. Cefalu on this prestigious new position. LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center has proven itself not only a vital Louisiana resource, but a national resource. It is a huge testament to the caliber of the research underway at Pennington Biomedical that one of our own has been asked to lead the fight against diabetes in such an important national and international role," said C. Kris Kirkpatrick, chairman of the board of the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation.

Before becoming executive director of Pennington Biomedical, Cefalu worked in both basic and clinical science, researching potential botanical treatments for insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity. Cefalu received his medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He served as Chief Resident at the University of California, Irvine, Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System. He completed his fellowship in endocrinology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, Center for Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also widely published in journals and books on the management of diabetes.

"As a proud alum of LSU and a native of Amite, leading Pennington Biomedical has been one of the biggest honors of my career. Only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this could tear me away from my home state, LSU and my gifted colleagues. There is still a great deal of work left to be done in the fight against diabetes - a chronic disease that affects so many Louisianans and costs the state billions of dollars each year. I look forward to working with an organization who is leading the fight against the disease - and to continuing collaborations with Pennington Biomedical - in our efforts to create a healthier Louisiana and a healthier world," said Cefalu.

For more information about Pennington Biomedical Research Center, click here.

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