Researcher from LSU's Pennington Biomedical awarded prestigious honor from The Obesity Society

For more information, contact our Media Relations Manager, Ted Griggs, 225-763-2862 or our Communications Director, Lisa Stansbury, at 225-763-2978. Our news email box is also available at

Released: Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Baton Rouge, LA – LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center scientist Dr. Steve Heymsfield has been awarded the 2016 George A. Bray Founders Award from The Obesity Society (TOS). The prestigious award was bestowed today during the ObesityWeek opening session in New Orleans.

The TOS Founders Award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the scientific or clinical basis for understanding and treating obesity. The award is named for Dr. George A. Bray, a former executive director at Pennington Biomedical and the chair of the organizing committee that established The Obesity Society. Dr. Bray later served as the group's fifth president.

"The Obesity Society is a distinguished organization that has unwaveringly supported not only my research, but the work of so many of my colleagues at Pennington Biomedical through the years," said Heymsfield. "This award is an extraordinary honor and I am deeply humbled."

Heymsfield's research focuses on the interrelations between energy balance, metabolism and body composition across the translational spectrum. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed basic science, clinical and population science research papers, chapters, editorials and books on these interrelated topics. He has long served as a public advocate for the field, including testifying before congressional committees on multiple occasions. He has mentored or co-mentored more than two dozen pre-and post-doctoral students who now serve in academic and industry positions. Heymsfield served as President of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition and the American Society of Parental and Enteral Nutrition. In addition, he served as executive director of Pennington Biomedical from 2010 – 2013.

Heymsfield joined TOS in 1990, and during that time served on the Development Committee (2012-2015), IASO Representative on Council (1998-2008), the Ethics Committee (2006-2009), the Audit Committee (2007-2009), Nominating Committee (2007-2010), and Finance Committee (2009-2012). He also served as an associate editor for the scientific journal Obesity, published by TOS. In addition to the Founders Award, Heymsfield also received the society's 2003 TOPS Award which recognizes an individual for singular achievement or contribution to research in the field of obesity.

The Obesity Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to expanding research, prevention and treatment of obesity and reduction in stigma and discrimination affecting people with obesity. Find more information about ObesityWeek here.


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.