DannonLogo225The Dannon Company announced Amanda Ford from the University of Florida as the winner of the 2014-2015 Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant. Ford’s strong interest in yogurt and probiotics and commitment to advancing human health through scientific research distinguished her from a pool of well-qualified and talented candidates.

“We were very impressed this year by the caliber of the applicant pool. It is exciting to see so many dedicated, young scientists recognizing the potential of probiotics and devoting their substantial intellectual resources to this research”

Now in its third year, the Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant supports the next generation of scientists who have an interest in researching the functional benefits of eating yogurt and probiotics.

“The Dannon Company is proud to offer this Fellowship Grant for the third consecutive year. The study of yogurt and probiotics is one of the most exciting and rapidly emerging areas of nutritional scientific exploration, and there is still much to uncover about the functional benefits of yogurt and probiotics on the body,” said Dr. Miguel Freitas, Vice President of Health Affairs at The Dannon Company. “With this grant, Ford will be able to investigate the effects of protein fermentation on the human microbiota and on different measures of digestive health both with and without probiotic consumption.”

Since starting her PhD in the Fall of 2012, Ford has studied the characterizing effects of probiotics and their modulation of protein fermentation. She has also examined how changes in the gut microbiota can be critical to human health and disease. Ford has a comprehensive foundation in nutrition and metabolism, with a thorough understanding of the multi-disciplinary field of food science, including fermented food products, processing, regulations and safety.

“As a Fellow, I plan to expand my knowledge in the field of food science with coursework and practical experiences specifically focused on fermented dairy products,” said Amanda Ford. “My dream is to start a career in the field of probiotics and fermented foods – emphasizing promotion of health and functional benefits – and I am grateful for the opportunity Dannon has provided. This Fellowship Grant will help me achieve this goal and demonstrates Dannon’s dedication to education and research.”

Ford was chosen by a panel of judges that include: Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD, Dairy and Food Culture Technologies consultant, and Executive Science Officer of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP); Daniel Merenstein, MD, Associate Professor and Director of Research Programs at the Department of Family Medicine at the Georgetown University Medical Center; Muriel Derrien, Senior Scientist - Gut Microbiota, Danone Nutricia Research; and Miguel Freitas, PhD, Vice President of Health Affairs, The Dannon Company.