Danone North America continues to show its commitment to furthering research, science, and education in the field of the Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics through their Fellowship Grant Program. The 2021-2022 program marks 10 years and half a million dollars’ worth of grants awarded to empower creative minds and nurture scientific advances. This year’s esteemed honorees, selected by a committee of scientific experts, are Elena Kozlova at University of California, Riverside and Yannis Ntekas at Cornell University.

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, Ntekas’s research will implement a novel RNA sequencing technology to study how probiotics colonize in the gut and how specific strains affect human health and wellbeing, while Kozlova will study how the maternal gut microbiome impacts the social behavior of their offspring. Winners were chosen based on the quality of their proposals, faculty recommendations, and each of their studies’ value to human health and wellness.

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, immune health and gut health has soared – and top research institutions are pioneering new ways to study various aspects of its power, potential and influence. Plus, consumers are increasingly interested in the connection between gut health and the immune system as they continue to seek out products that are tailored to helping improve specific health and wellness issues.