John Kirwan, M.D., PhD

Executive Director

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Region 2
Geo Area
Capital Region

Dr. John Kirwan is Executive Director of LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and holds the George A. Bray, Jr. Endowed Super Chair in Nutrition.  He also leads the Integrated Physiology and Molecular Metabolism Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical and is the Director/Principal Investigator of the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center.

Before joining Penning Biomedical in January 2018, Dr. Kirwan served as Director of the Metabolic Translational Research Center and Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  He was also a Professor of Nutrition, and of Physiology & Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

Dr. Kirwan’s professional expertise includes almost 30 years of research, teaching, and service in the obesity and diabetes fields. He received his clinical physiology training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, his PhD in Human Bioenergetics at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, his MSc in Exercise Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, and his BA (Hons) from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Dr. Kirwan leads an internationally acclaimed biomedical research program focused on diabetes, obesity, nutrition and exercise. He is currently PI or Co-Investigator on 10 NIH grants, and to date he has generated over $50m in research funding most which has come from the US National Institutes of Health, and the food, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries.  He has published over 200 scientific papers related to metabolism and nutrition in prestigious peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, American J. Clinical Nutrition, Diabetes and Diabetes Care. Among his most important research achievements is the discovery that for a significant number of patients, diabetes can be cured by surgically altering the physiology of the intestine and stomach.