2024 Faces of Greater Baton Rouge

2024 The Face of Pediatric Research

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a campus of Louisiana State University and is at the cutting edge of treatments for obesity, diabetes and other obesity-related chronic diseases.

“We’ve been involved with every obesity medicine that’s on the market now and just about every diabetes medicine,” says Dr. Amanda Staiano, a developmental psychologist at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “We’ve been involved with developing and testing these medications.”

From doctors and researchers to scientists and nutritionists, Pennington Biomedical Research Center faculty members strive to find ways to help people who struggle with obesity and diabetes. Pennington Biomedical has attracted recognized leaders in their scientific field who are contributing to this cutting-edge research. The roster includes notables such as Dr. Staiano, as well as Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, Dr. Daniel Hsia, Dr. Steven Heymsfield, and Dr. Leanne Redman.

Dr. Staiano’s area of research is childhood obesity. An expert in children’s physical, mental, and emotional growth, her work also has implications for adults. “I design and test programs that help families who are trying to eat healthier, get more physical activity, sleep better, and ultimately, attain a healthier weight,” she explains.

Clinical trials conducted at Pennington Biomedical are another important aspect of the Center’s research. These trials are essential to confirming new paths of prevention, detection, and treatment of childhood obesity and related diseases.

“In general, obesity affects one in five of our kids in the country, and it is a serious health disease because it is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases,” Dr. Staiano says.

Currently, Dr. Staiano is working on technology such as apps and wearables that can help families attain healthier weights and develop healthier habits.

“That’s really exciting for me, especially when we can work with pediatricians, dietitians, and teachers to use these programs that are based on evidence that we’ve shown are effective and can help families.”

Pennington Biomedical Research Center aims to solve significant health problems associated with obesity through research, clinical trials and implementation. Learn more about the pediatric clinical trials available near you: pbrc.edu/clinicaltrials.

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