WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. and BROOMFIELD, Colo., April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- For the eighth year in a row, Danone North America has demonstrated their commitment to science and education through the Danone Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant Program. This year's honorees are Erica Kosmerl of The Ohio State University and Elizabeth Morrison of Indiana University. A committee of nutrition scientists selected the two winners based on the quality of their proposals, faculty recommendations and each of their studies' value to human health and wellness. Kosmerl and Morrison will each receive $25,000 to help fund their unique and independent studies of yogurt, probiotics and the human gut microbiome.
"This year, we received a wide variety of high-caliber applications," said Miguel Freitas, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Danone North America. "It is evident that these students are poised to contribute to advances in our understanding of the gut microbiome and human health upon the reopening of their educational institutions. At Danone North America, we are honored to help further the field and support the future of these high-quality researchers."
The Danone Fellowship Grant was established in 2010 with the intention of providing funding for novel studies of yogurt, probiotics and the gut microbiome. As such, Kosmerl's research will examine the impact of dairy intake and bifidobacteria on the gut microbiome during infancy, and Morrison's research will assess the role of probiotic, B. Infantis on infant gut microbiome. Both proposals use modern methodology to examine the infant gut microbiome, inform future research and expand current knowledge of the role of probiotics on milk protein digestibility in infants.
"This recognition is an inspiration to continue my hard work and purposeful research to achieve a greater goal of advancing infant nutrition," comments Erica Kosmerl, graduate student at The Ohio State University. "I am incredibly honored to be selected for this prestigious award. Receiving this award is such a tremendous opportunity to not only further my passion for dairy foods research, but also impact human health."
The impact of yogurt, probiotics and the gut microbiome has exceeded expectations and been tied to brain, digestive and immune function. Unsurprisingly, consumer interest in fermented foods and gut health has soared – and top research institutions are pioneering new ways to study various aspects of its power and potential.
"Probiotics show potential in mitigating the negative consequences of gut dysbiosis in infants. Understanding the benefits specific to individual probiotic species will highly benefit future research to develop treatment algorithims," comments Elizabeth Morrison, PhD candidate in Biology and Neuroscience at Indiana University. "Receiving the Danone grant will give me the opportunity to investigate this promising area of science."
"Danone North America strives to nurture advances in yogurt, probiotic and gut microbiome science," adds Dr. Freitas. "We recognize that supporting the pursuit of academic and scientific excellence will lead to meaningful advancements in the study of human health."
About the 2019-2020 Danone Fellowship Grant
The Danone Fellow Grant is awarded to incoming or current graduate students who have demonstrated an interest in exploring the gut microbiome, probiotics and yogurt to better understand how they help support and maintain human health and wellness. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, show proof of U.S. residence, and be able to utilize the scholarship funds during 2020 at an accredited U.S. institution. All applicants will be required to submit an application that includes answers to essay questions, recommendations from two faculty members, and proof of good academic standing. The application and full scholarship details are available here.
About Danone North America
Danone North America is a purpose-driven company with a portfolio of dairy and plant-based foods. As the world's largest Certified B Corporation®, Danone North America is committed to the creation of both economic and social value, while nurturing natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Our portfolio of brands includes: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, Good Plants™, Horizon® Organic, International Delight®, Light + Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious® Dairy Free, STōK®, Two Good®, Vega®, Wallaby® Organic and YoCrunch®. With more than 6,000 employees and 12 production locations across the U.S., Danone North America's mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. For more information, visit www.danonenorthamerica.com. For more information on Danone North America's B Corp™ status, visit: https://bcorporation.net/directory/danone-north-america.
Media Contact: Christina Deecken, [email protected]
SOURCE Danone North America