- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is losing its leader.

The American Diabetes Association announced Monday that it was hiring William Cefalu as its chief scientific and medical officer, effective Feb. 20. Cefalu has been Pennington’s executive director since 2013.

LSU President F. King Alexander said he is sad to see Cefalu leave LSU, but believes his new position “elevates one of our state’s greatest challenges to a national focus.”

The American Diabetes Association says Cefalu has more than 30 years of work in diabetes research and care. LSU credits Cefalu with personally drawing more than $50 million in scientific grants and contracts to Pennington for chronic disease research.

Cefalu said: “Only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this could tear me away from my home state, LSU and my gifted colleagues.”

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