Dannon Co. Announces Fourth Annual Yogurt & Probiotics Fellowship Grant
Grant offers educational opportunity to a student showing strong interest in research and nutritional value of yogurt and probiotics
The Dannon Company® announced its fourth Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant as a part of its continued commitment to support young scientists in the field of yogurt and probiotics and advance scientific development and research in the field. The grant offers a unique educational opportunity for one incoming or current graduate student who shows a strong interest in the research and nutritional value of yogurt and probiotics. Furthermore, the program advances Dannon’s commitment to educate Americans about the importance and benefits of consuming yogurt and probiotics regularly.
The Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant is consistent with the company’s 2014 commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). As part of this commitment, Dannon vowed to invest in research that focuses on healthy eating habits and nutrition education programs. Launched in 2012, the Fellowship program was specifically designed to support the next generation of food scientists and the evolution of yogurt and probiotics. As in previous years, the winning student will receive a scholarship of $25,000, payable to their academic institution.
“As the leading maker of yogurt in the U.S. and globally, Dannon is unmatched in how we have demonstrated our commitment to advance education, research and innovation regarding probiotics and yogurt,” said Dr. Miguel Freitas, Vice President of Health Affairs at The Dannon Company. “Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship Grant has helped to create significant advancements in the field and has underscored the need for continued research and education. Given the demonstrated nutritional benefits of eating yogurt every day and continued advances in research and education, we are happy to continue to support the next generation of young scientists and researchers.”
The Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant has enabled three young scientists to make strides in the field of nutrition, yogurt and probiotics to date:
• Nicholas Bokulich was awarded the grant in 2012 when he was a doctoral candidate with the Dr. David Mills Research Group at University of California, Davis. He applied the funds towards researching the use of foods as a delivery vector for beneficial bacteria in the human diet. This work led to several publications investigating the microbiome, food production and human health. His research has also addressed methods for improving microbial analysis using high-throughput sequencing techniques. Nicholas is currently a postdoctoral fellow at New York University Langone Medical Center.
• Kurt Selle was awarded the grant in 2013 as a North Carolina State University Functional Genomics doctoral candidate within the Food Science, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science Department. With support from the Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant, Selle has presented research at four international conferences and published eight research articles since receiving the award. To date, he has developed technology for studying the adaptation of fermentative microbes to milk, publishing his findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is presenting the results at the 11th International Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria as an invited speaker.
• Amanda Ford was selected as last year’s recipient as a University of Florida PhD student. She used the funds towards investigating the effects of protein fermentation on the human microbiota and on different measures of digestive health both with and without probiotic consumption. Ford is now conducting a clinical research study to investigate these effects in older adults given a higher protein diet. The grant has also allowed her to focus exclusively on this research and expand the scope and outcome measures.
2015-2016 Scholarship applications are currently being accepted, and must be received by November 13, 2015 for consideration. The winning applicant will be determined by a cross-functional panel of experts specializing in the field of yogurt, probiotics, and nutrition. The application and full scholarship details are available at www.dannon.com/fellowship-application/.