Pennington Biomedical scientist wins lifetime achievement award

Updated: Nov. 1, 2017 at 2:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A doctor at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center received an award for his obesity and nutrition research.

Dr. Eric Ravussin, associate director of the Department of Obesity and Diabetes at the center, was named the 2017 Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the 2017 Obesity Week Conference in Washington, D.C.

"For the first time in our history, our children are expected to have shorter life spans than their parents, due in part to the harmful health effects of obesity," says Dr. Donna Ryan, LSU Pennington Biomedical Executive Director. "The answer to obesity is simple – invest in and support health research to understand obesity triggers and pioneer new ways to prevent it or treat it."

The award, named in honor of Dr. Albert Stunkard, is designed to recognize people who, like Dr. Stunkard, have made a lifetime of contributions to the field of obesity in terms of scholarship, mentorship, and education.

It is awarded by members of The Obesity Society, a 2,500-member organization of researchers and health care provides that publishes the leading peer-reviewed scientific journal titled Obesity.

"Dr. Eric Ravussin is one of the groundbreaking researchers who have uncovered many of the triggers of obesity and keys to nutrition and exercise that help people lose weight and keep it off," Dr. Ryan added. "We are very fortunate to have Dr. Ravussin as a colleague, investigator and a true leader in the field."

Dr. Ravussin, who earned his Ph.D in Human Physiology from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, joined Pennington Biomedical in 2000, because "It is the only research institution in the world with a critical mass of investigators all working in obesity and related conditions."

A world expert in the conduct of translational research in obesity and Type 2 diabetes, Ravussin has published more than 450 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and aging, and has mentored more than 60 postdoctoral fellows.

Currently, Ravussin is working on the MoTrPAC research study which aims to explain how exercise impacts our bodies at the cellular level – something researchers have not previously understood. The results of this study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, could help with the development of personalized exercise programs that can maximize the benefits of exercise, even for people who have previously seen little results from exercise.

He also led the NIH_funded CALERIE research study which found that reducing calories up to 25 percent in people who were not obese could reduce the risk for chronic disease, improve quality of life, and have a positive effect on predictors of longevity.

More information about Dr. Ravussin and his ongoing work at the Pennington Nutrition and Obesity Research Center is available at

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