LSU SVM assistant professor named to “Forty under 40” for outstanding professional achievements


LSU SVM assistant professor named to “Forty under 40” for outstanding professional achievements
The Baton Rouge Business Report is hosting a virtual event on Thursday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. CST for this year’s Forty under 40 reception. You can view it live online.

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BATON ROUGE—Jenny Sones, DVM (LSU 2008), Ph.D., DACT, has been named among the class of 2020 Forty Under 40, the Capital Region's brightest young leaders, innovators and business professionals. The Baton Rouge Business Report sponsors the awards program.

Dr. Sones completed veterinary school at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and pursued advanced training as a scientist at Cornell University. Her Ph.D. studies involved translational biomedical research of women’s health. In particular, she investigated preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by dangerously high blood pressure. Preeclampsia primarily affects women, but animals share some clinical features of preeclampsia as well.

Completing her Ph.D. and residency training in reproductive medicine, she joined the faculty at LSU SVM, where she is an assistant professor of theriogenology. She built a research program that trains residents, graduate, and veterinary students, as well as undergraduate and high school students in biomedical research that investigates maternal health in both animals and women.

Her laboratory has made key discoveries showing that obesity and inflammation before and in early pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia, as well as maternal and/or fetal death. Furthermore, her research indicates that lifestyle changes such as weight loss before conception may prevent this. She was recently awarded $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health to continue this novel research.

Dr. Sones has published more than 50 articles and abstracts on the pathologies of pregnancy, garnered over $1 million in monies devoted to researching maternal health, and has been awarded accolades from the American Physiological Society: Endocrinology & Metabolism New Investigator Award, American Heart Association: Stephanie Watts Career Development Award, and Zoetis Pharmaceuticals: 2020 Zoetis Research Award. However, she says that her greatest accomplishments would be helping her trainees achieve their goals. She has mentored several residents, graduate students, and undergraduate students, helping them complete degrees and receive top research awards at national and international scientific conferences.

Dr. Sones further states that her top accomplishments would be in mentoring the next generation of veterinary scientists who will go on to help both animals and people through their clinical and research efforts, adding, "I have been very fortunate in my career to have amazing mentors that have shown me tremendous support. My accomplishments were not achieved alone, but with someone that believed in me."

Dr. Sones has traveled to local schools, including Runnels Preschool and University Laboratory School, to talk about being a veterinarian. In addition, she has provided opportunities for school-age children to observe her at work to see what a day in the life of a veterinarian is really like. Besides caring for animals in the community, she is also a scientist that runs a laboratory to investigate problems of pregnancy in animals and people. To this end, she provides opportunities to budding scientists. She has mentored STEM students in both high school and college to help them complete their own research projects to further our understanding of maternal health. These students learn the scientific method and present data locally, nationally, and even internationally to a wide audience of fellow scientists. She thoroughly enjoys mentoring rising stars and showing them that veterinarians are scientists.

According to Lorrie Gaschen, DVM, Ph.D., director of diversity and inclusivity and professor of diagnostic imaging, “Dr. Sones’ work will have a lasting impact in both the human and animal worlds that will protect women with high-risk pregnancies from adverse outcomes. Dr. Sones is a passionate and celebrated veterinarian dedicated to both animal and women’s health and teaching the next generation of veterinary scientists who will carry her field of study into the future.”

Further support for Dr. Sones comes from Jacqueline Stephens, Ph.D., Claude B. Pennington, Jr. Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, “Because of her commitment to biomedical research, I invited Dr. Sones to participate in our new ‘Metabolic Basis of Disease’ at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. This new center was recently funded by the federal government for over $11 million. I have no doubt that our funding success was due in large part due to Dr. Sones' preeclampsia project that is a critical part of the research of this new center.”

About the LSU SVM

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 32 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research, and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

Media Contact 

Ginger Guttner, APR

Communications Manager

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine