Postdoctoral Research Experience Gets Major Boost at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge

Dr. Claude Bouchard and Monique Chagnon pledge $1M to support postdoctoral fellows

Claude Bouchard-Monique Chagnon Fund

Rebecca Schutte, Dr. Claude Bouchard, Monique Chagnon, and Dr. John Kirwan

Former Executive Director Dr. Claude Bouchard and his wife, Monique Chagnon, were recently celebrated for their generous gift to enhance the postdoctoral researcher experience at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

"I became very conscious that postdocs are critical to the success of the scientific research enterprise. They work hard, they master the latest technologies, they are eager to succeed and passionate about science. One could argue that they are the actual driver of research in a laboratory. They are not passive recipients; they challenge their mentors and everyone becomes wiser in the process," said Dr. Bouchard.

In order to enhance the postdoctoral researchers' experiences at Pennington Biomedical, Dr. Bouchard and Chagnon pledged $1 million to create the endowed Claude Bouchard-Monique Chagnon Fund to support postdoctoral fellows in basic research, as well as in clinical and public health and population science. 

They hope that their gift represents only the launch of the fund and that others who understand the value that postdoctoral fellows bring to science, specifically to the mission of Pennington Biomedical and Baton Rouge, will contribute to the enhancement of the fund over time.

Under Dr. Bouchard's leadership, Pennington Biomedical created a Division of Education, whose mandate included supporting the training of postdoctoral fellows and networking with relevant units of the National Institutes of Health and the National Association of Postdoctoral Fellows. The effort led to Pennington Biomedical being recognized as one of the top 10 postdoctoral programs in the nation. 

"This generous gift is part of a much larger legacy Dr. Bouchard has given to Pennington Biomedical," said Pennington Biomedical Executive Director Dr. John Kirwan. "As the former executive director, he significantly shaped this institution, greatly increasing the number of postdoctoral researchers, increasing the impact of basic research, and enlarging the physical footprint of the campus. In addition, his own research career is second to none and he continues to rank among the most cited researchers in the world."

Rebecca Schutte, President/CEO of Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation, noted that his legacy also extends globally through the scientists who trained under him as postdoctoral researchers and are now conducting their own cutting-edge science all over the world.

"We are so grateful to Claude and Monique for this gift that will greatly amplify our ability to recruit the best and brightest postdocs in the world," she said. "Through their generosity, they are making a historic addition to Pennington Biomedical's commitment to create a welcoming place for postdocs to train. We hope that many others will consider contributing to the growth of this fund entirely devoted to the success of the next generation of scientists."

To contribute to the fund, visit

Contact Information:
Ernie Ballard
Senior Director of Communications & Marketing
[email protected]

Original Source: Postdoctoral Research Experience Gets Major Boost at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge

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