Major Gift for Pennington Research

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Released: Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mrs. L. Heidel Brown Makes $1 Million Gift to the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation in Memory of L. Heidel Brown

Baton Rouge, LA - The Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation (PBRF), a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to support the work of the world-recognized Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC), has received a one million-dollar gift from Mrs. L. Heidel Brown in memory of her late husband, L. Heidel Brown.

Mrs. Brown made the gift to demonstrate the importance of the Center's breakthrough research and its contributions to economic development. In making the gift, Mrs. Brown said, "Through this gift, Heidel's legacy will live on."

L. Heidel Brown was a highly-respected Baton Rouge businessman and real estate entrepreneur. He built C. J. Brown and Associates, the company founded by his father, into one of the largest brokerage firms in Louisiana and was instrumental in the economic development of Baton Rouge and the lower Mississippi River region. Brown's influence went far beyond his business acumen. He was a founder of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and worked tirelessly for the betterment of his community by contributing his leadership and resources to countless nonprofit and civic organizations. He is remembered for his vision and his integrity.

Claude Bouchard, executive director of PBRC, in acknowledging the gift said, "This is the largest gift received by the Center from an individual since Irene and C. B. "Doc" Pennington, Sr. made their initial gift, which led to the opening of the institution 19 years ago. We are indeed thankful for this generous gift."

According to PBRF Chairman John Noland, "Mrs. Brown has been an ardent donor and supporter of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center for many years and is vitally interested in its ongoing work." Noland said, "Her gift will help the Center accomplish the goals outlined in its five year strategic plan."

Noland said that PBRC research scientists can successfully acquire more than $3 in additional research grants for every $1 of unrestricted support they receive. "This is a great incentive, and we hope the opportunity to leverage private support in this way will encourage others to invest their dollars into the Center."

The PBRC strategic plan, called Vision 2010, established 10 major priorities. "This gift is another step forward in making our priorities within reach," added Dr. Bouchard. "The gift will help the Center to expand its research capability to investigate the study of prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity; to add expertise in research related to nutrition, physical activity and genetics; and to translate our discoveries for the benefits of individuals, families, and larger communities of people."

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. It is the largest academically based nutrition research center in the world, whose mission is to promote healthier lives through research and education in nutrition and preventive medicine. The Center employs nearly 600 on the 234 acre campus, including more than 80 research scientists who are supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel.

For information on the work of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Foundation, go to


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.