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Pennington Biomedical Research Center to honorary 50+ year career

Released: Thursday, May 18, 2006

BATON ROUGE - Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., known simply as Mickey to his friends and colleagues, has spent more than 50 years uncovering the mysteries of weight gain, obesity and the effects of dieting. His work has been heralded as landmark research by colleagues world-wide. He will visit Louisiana this month to be honored by those who know his work very well - the faculty of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC). On Saturday, May 20, he will take his place in Baton Rouge among Louisiana’s future doctors, and perhaps his future colleagues, to receive an Honoris Causa Doctorate, or honorary doctorate degree. .

“Thanks to the support of the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans,” said Claude Bouchard, Ph.D., “This honorary degree allows us to honor a colleague in a meaningful way.” .

Stunkard will receive the degree for his numerous contributions to the understanding of the genetic epidemiology of obesity through adoption and twin studies, including the first description of night eating syndrome and binge eating disorder and the role they play in the predisposition to obesity. .

The honorary degree will be officially granted by the LSU Health Science Center at its commencement ceremonies, but will also bear the name of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center which, as a research campus, does not grant academic degrees itself. .

“We truly appreciate the chancellor’s help in awarding this degree and look forward to the ceremonies,” Bouchard said. .

Stunkard received his B.S. from Yale University in 1943 and M.D. from Columbia University in 1945. He is still active in research as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. .

On Friday, May 19, he will present his work to the faculty and research staff at PBRC . .

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts both clinical and basic research. It is the largest academically based nutrition research center in the world, with the greatest number of obesity researchers on faculty. The Center's nearly 600 employees occupy several buildings on the 234-acre campus.

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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. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System 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.