Danone awards $50K for yogurt, probiotics & gut microbiome research

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© newannyart / Getty Images
© newannyart / Getty Images

Related tags: Danone, Probiotics, Research, Gut microbiome

The mechanisms of probiotic and prebiotic function in the gut microbiome as a mediator of cardiovascular disease and early-life microbiota components that may prevent obesity in children are the two research projects on the receiving end of the Danone’s Fellowship Grant.

Catherine Shelton of Vanderbilt University and Alice Solomon of the University of Arizona have each been awarded $25,000 to help fund their studies into looking at the diverse health impact of yogurt and/or probiotics on the human gut microbiome.

“This year, we are pleased to have received an abundance of exceptional, highly innovative proposals,”​ said Miguel Freitas, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Danone North America. “The 2020-2021 winners are poised to drive scientific discoveries and contribute to crucial advances in our understanding of probiotics, the gut microbiome and human health. At Danone North America, we consider it our purpose to help further this field and support the future of these high-quality researchers.”


Danone established its Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant Program in 2010 with the intention of providing funding for novel studies of yogurt, probiotics and the gut microbiome.

Catherine Shelton of Vanderbilt University and Alice Solomon of the University of Arizona were chosen based on the quality of their proposals, faculty recommendations and each of their studies' value to human health and wellness, said Danone in a release.

On hearing the news on her aware, Solomon, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, said: “Receiving this grant means I am given an opportunity to study a relationship that is commonly overlooked and not well studied.

“This grant allows me to investigate the mechanisms of probiotic function in the gut microbiome as a mediator of cardiovascular disease and other related complications that arise during menopause. I am excited to complete my research proposal because I look forward to contributing to the overall improvement of human health through insight gained from studying the gut microbiome.”

Shelton, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, said: “This Grant award will help advance my scientific career and support my research into the role of early-life microbiota metabolites in host health. The role of the early-life microbiota in childhood weight gain is largely unknown. I'm excited to address this critical gap in knowledge and gain a deeper mechanistic understanding of how the early-life microbiota protects against obesity. I'm particularly enthusiastic about identifying early-life microbiota-derived metabolites that prevent diet-induced obesity."

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