Louisiana Higher Ed: Pennington gets diabetes funding; meal vouchers curb campus hunger

Your weekly update on the higher education news that didn’t make the front page 

By: - February 27, 2023 5:00 am
A purple sign that says "Student Health Center" stands in front of a building and an oak tree

Our Lady of the Lake, a Christian Healthcare Ministry, will assume management of the LSU Student Health Center (Piper Hutchinson / Louisiana Illuminator)

The Louisiana Illuminator takes a weekly look at news from universities and colleges around the state. Have a tip or want to submit a Louisiana Higher Ed news item? Contact [email protected].

Federal funds for Pennington 

A research professor at Pennington Biomedical Research center was awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study diabetes. 

David McDougal, a professor at Pennington’s Neurobiology of Metabolic Dysfunction Laboratory, will receive the funds over a five-year period to study hypoglycemia treatments. 

The project, titled “Evaluating the role of hypoleptinemia in impaired counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia,” seeks to find better treatments to help patients with diabetes manage life-threatening periods of low blood sugar. 

There are currently no FDA-approved therapies solely for preventing hypoglycemic complications, so patients have to rely on behavior modification. 

“There is a significant knowledge gap regarding how exposure to well-known risk factors cause increased levels of hypoglycemia in persons with diabetes,” McDougal said.

OLOL takes helm at LSU clinic

Our Lady of the Lake officially took over operations of the LSU Student Health Center on Wednesday. 

The Catholic Health ministry will directly provide all services, except for the gynecology clinic, Wellness and Health Promotion and the Lighthouse Program, which provides support to survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking and harassment. 

The partnership comes with pharmacy services, expanded telemedicine capacity and up to $3 million annually for 10 years of in-kind services for uninsured and underinsured LSU students. 

Study finds meal vouchers effective 

A study of a community college found that students who were randomly selected to participate in a meal voucher program were more likely to graduate than their peers and obtained more credits during their first year of college. 

University of Iowa researchers Katherine Broton and Milad Mohebali and sociologist Sara Goldbrick-Rab compiled the study published in Educational Researcher. It is one of the few research studies done on this issue of food insecurity on college campuses, which affects 29% of students at four-year colleges and 38% at two-year schools, according to a 2020 study.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.