Good Health is Good Business

A Scientific Center Becomes an Economic Engine


March 14, 2024 · Baton Rouge, LA

Entrepreneurial scientists at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center win national grants and corporate contracts that fund hundreds of biomed jobs at the Center in Baton Rouge each year.

Fiscal Year Graphic

Over the past 35 years, Pennington Biomedical has attracted researchers from around the world to its Baton Rouge campus with the purpose of helping people live longer, healthier lives. These internationally renowned scientists collaborate with their colleagues in 240 academic institutions in 24 countries. Their work has generated close to 400,000 citations in scientific literature with five scientists ranking among the most cited researchers in the world.

While these accomplishments are formidable, Pennington Biomedical is more than a center of scientific excellence in the state. The biomedical research giant is a significant economic driver.

In 2022-23, Pennington Biomedical supported an estimated $127 million in Louisiana's state domestic product and $80 million in earnings for a total effect on 1,177 jobs statewide.

On average, each scientist generates $813,000 annually in income from grants and contracts.  These direct dollars are then greatly multiplied in the economy. In addition, the average lead investigator generates five direct jobs at Pennington Biomedical and more indirect jobs in the community.

Pennington Biomedical’s research combines the expertise of nearly 65 entrepreneur researchers and more than 20 postdoctoral fellows with 13 highly specialized service facilities and a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians and support personnel. To support the science, Pennington Biomedical directly employs 530 Louisianans.

Since the Center’s founding, Pennington Biomedical faculty/researcher entrepreneurs have leveraged the state contribution of $439 million to compete for and win more than $1.17 billion in federal, sponsored projects and philanthropic support, a 267 percent return on investment.

Pennington Biomedical's National Institutes of Health funding rate is 55 percent higher than any other research center in the country.

In addition, 98 pharmaceutical companies, 27 food and beverage companies, along with several medical device companies relied upon Pennington Biomedical’s knowledge and expertise for a variety of projects. Pennington Biomedical has generated more than $95 million from these contracts since 1999.

This infusion of dollars has created new jobs and an intellectual infrastructure that has the potential to expand Louisiana's reach in bioscience, the industry that will drive the future of technology and the U.S. economy.

While the Center's scientific and business development teams have been successful in acquiring funding, philanthropic investment in proof-of-concept projects accelerates Pennington Biomedical’s scientific and economic progress. 

About the Pennington Biomedical Research Center

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. The Center conducts basic, clinical, and population research, and is a campus of the LSU System. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 530 employees within a network of 44 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical a state-of-the-art research facility on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge. For more information, see

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