Pennington Biomedical Selected as Top Ten Places in U.S. to Work for Postdocs

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Released: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pennington Biomedical Research Center has been recognized as one of the highest ranked institutions in The Scientist’s annual listing of Best Places to Work for Postdocs.  The publication surveyed more than 1500 postdoctoral fellows globally and ranked Pennington Biomedical number 4 on the 2012 listing, among a highly prestigious selection of research institutions. 

The Scientist measured dozens of criteria aimed as assessing the working environment for young scientists in training, referred to as post doctoral fellows.  Pennington Biomedical was lauded for dedicating resources to support the career development of post doctoral fellows through an internal Education Department that manages a range of professional development activities including mentoring and annual grant-writing courses.   The survey results, released today and published in the April issue of The Scientist, considered additional factors such as the quality of the facilities and infrastructure, the value of the post doctoral experience, and compensation and benefits.

"The postdoctoral training program at Pennington Biomedical is devoted to training the next generation of biomedical researchers capable of making significant contributions to science and to the health of the citizens of Louisiana. Many of our postdoctoral fellows choose to remain in Louisiana by acquiring federal and corporate funding to finance their research laboratories,” said Phillip Brantley, John S. McIlhenny Endowed Professor and Director of Education at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

According to Dr. Steven Heymsfield, Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical, “Postdoctoral researchers are vital to our institution.  They bring new ideas, enthusiasm and motivation, and these postdocs create the next generation of scientists who will work in Louisiana and throughout the world.”  

The magazine article also referred to the importance of the National Postdoc Association (NPA) in serving as an active force in improving the experiences for post doctoral fellows.  In fact, Pennington Biomedical was one of the founding institutional members of the National Postdoctoral Association.

The full survey results and methodology can be found in the article “Best Places to Work for Postdocs: 2012,” appearing in The Scientist’s April issue and online at

The top 10 U.S. academic institutions are:

  1. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA
  2. The J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA
  3. Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
  4.  Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  5.  Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK
  6. Argonne National Laboratory, IL
  7.  La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, CA
  8. Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO
  9.  Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA
  10. Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO

The top overall results for non-U.S. institutions are:

  1. Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), Vienna, Austria
  3.  Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), Vienna, Austria
  4. Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
  5. Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, multinational


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.