Danone North America announces it will award two graduate students $25,000 each for the 9th year in a row. As the name indicates, the grant is designed for graduate students to study the role of the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics for human health. Scientists in the field have found that the microbial community, or microbiome of the gut affects not only gastrointestinal health, but has links to the brain, immune system and even our circadian clocks.1 The fitness of the gut microbiome has also been associated with certain chronic disease risk, such as for cardiovascular disease.
The interest in microbiomes has exploded since the launch of Common Fund's Human Microbiome Project (HMP) by the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2007. While there is a better understanding of what a "normal" human microbiome looks like, how its controlled or how it can be changed hasn't been fully elucidated. Recipients of the Danone North America Fellowship Grant will support these efforts by exploring how the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics help sustain human health and wellness through growth, development and longevity.
Danone North America made a commitment to use business as a force for good, balancing financial interests with the social and environmental benefits for people, communities and the planet. As a public benefit corporation (PBC), it declared becoming a Certified B Corp by 2020 a top priority. Ahead of schedule, they did so in April 2018, making them the largest PBC and B Corp in the world. Among their achievements, the Danone North America Fellowship Grant has enabled up-and-coming scientists to make strides in the interdisciplinary fields of biology, health sciences, nutrition, yogurt and probiotics.
1. Human Microbiome Project, US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/public.