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Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation Kicks Off "Making Memories" Campaign To Meet Dementia Research Challenge Grant from Charles Lamar Family

Released: Thursday, May 03, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - "Making Memories: A Challenge Campaign for Dementia Research " has kicked off to raise funds for the Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention (IDRP) at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Lamar Family and Dr. Keller

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The campaign was launched in response to a leadership investment of nearly half a million dollars from the Charles Lamar Family.  In addition, the Lamar family announced that they are challenging others to support the dementia program.  The campaign will raise funds to provide resources for expanding clinical participation for its brain aging study, funding for pilot studies for emerging research, and development of a bioinformatics platform for data analysis. 

The IDRP conducts Louisiana's only brain aging longitudinal research study and is presently the 12th largest in the United States with 1,600 participants from 37 parishes across the state. The institute is attracting pharmaceutical industry-sponsored clinical trials, providing widespread access for the first time to Louisiana citizens affected by Alzheimer's disease.

A volunteer committee for the Making Memories campaign, led by Ed Middleton, president and CEO of Citizen Bank & Trust, is initiating the effort to help meet the challenge. "The Charles Lamar family will match other contributions to the IDRP, dollar for dollar, up to $360,000, now through June 2014. This is a wonderful opportunity to support important scientific discoveries related to dementia and to know your gift will have twice the impact on dementia research because of the match provided by the Lamar family.  Gifts of all sizes are important and appreciated," said Middleton.

Making Memories Campaign Volunteers

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"We are on the verge of making landmark discoveries identifying the causes of dementia, identifying novel avenues for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and most importantly beginning the process of initiating efforts focused on preventing age-related dementias in Louisiana," said Jeffrey Keller, Ph.D., associate executive director for basic research and director of the IDRP at Pennington Biomedical.

Joining Middleton on the Making Memories campaign cabinet are Bill Blackwood, Louis Curet, John Graves, Erin Kolb, Susan and Richard Lipsey, Neil Ann Parks, Harold Price, Jim Purgerson and Chuck Schwing.

The gift from the Charles Lamar Family - Charlie and Carole Lamar, Mary Lee and Bill Dixon and their families - honors the late Josephine Pugh Lamar.   She passed away in 1976.

The Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation held a special ceremony to honor the Charles Lamar family and recognize the official naming of the Josephine Pugh Lamar Assessment Center and the Jo Lamar Dementia Study at the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention. Charles Lamar said at the reception, "Dementia took our mother's life too early, and we believe the work of the IDRP will find ways to help other victims of dementia. It is gratifying for all of my family members to play a part in developing a new and important organization that may improve lives in our community and perhaps the entire world."

For more information about the "Making Memories" campaign and challenge, call Ann Wilkinson at (225) 763-2512 or visit   Gifts can also be made online.   

Photo 1:  Pictured at the official opening of the new Josephine Pugh Lamar Assessment Center at Pennington Biomedical Research Center are (left to right) donors Bill and Mary Lee Dixon,and  Charles and Carole Lamar with Dr. Jeffrey Keller (center), director of Pennington's Institute for Dementia Research. The Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation held a special ceremony to honor the Charles Lamar family and recognize the official naming of the Josephine Pugh Lamar Assessment Center and the Jo Lamar Dementia Study at the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention.

Photo 2: Community leaders serving in the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation's Making Memories Campaign Committee met recently to kick off the challenge effort to raise funds for the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  The committee is spearheading the campaign to meet a challenge grant from the Charles Lamar family honoring the memory of Josephine Pugh Lamar. Serving on the committee, from left to right, seated, are Neil Ann Parks, Ed Middleton, campaign chairman, and  Erin Kolb; standing, Bill Blackwood, Chuck Schwing, Ann Wilkinson, and Louis Curet. Committee members not pictured are John Graves, Harold Price, Jim Purgerson, and Susan and Richard Lipsey. 


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical’s more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.