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The Work of the Linus Pauling Institute

Photo of the Linus Pauling Science Center

The Linus Pauling Institute was co-founded in 1973 by Linus Pauling, Ph.D., the only individual ever to win two unshared Nobel Prizes (Chemistry, 1954; Peace, 1962). More than 40 years ago, Dr. Pauling concluded that vitamins and other essential micronutrients play a significant role in enhancing human health and preventing chronic diseases, not just deficiency diseases. He founded his own institute to carry out research in this field that he believed would be of enormous importance to public health. The Institute moved from Palo Alto, CA, to the campus of Oregon State University (Dr. Pauling's undergraduate alma mater) in 1996 and now operates as one of the University’s Research Centers and Institutes. The program is principally supported by gifts from individuals, private corporations, and foundations; research grants from private and federal agencies, in particular the National Institutes of Health; and Oregon State University.

Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute investigate the role that vitamins and essential minerals (micronutrients) and chemicals from plants (phytochemicals) play in human aging, immune function, and chronic diseases, especially heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. A major emphasis is to understand the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in disease etiology, and the preventive effects of dietary constituents with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties.

The goal of these studies is to understand the mechanisms by which diet, micronutrients, and dietary supplements affect disease initiation and progression and can be used in the prevention or treatment of human diseases, thereby enhancing lifespan and healthspan.

More information about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and phytochemicals (chemicals from plants), many of which are available as dietary supplements, can be found in the Linus Pauling Institute's Micronutrient Information Center and Research Newsletter.

LPI's home is in the new Linus Pauling Science Center, on the campus of Oregon State University. Since September 2011, the state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment, and suites have provided a rich environment for dynamic collaborations.

Linus Carl Pauling: A Biographical Timeline