Through its Challenge Programme, which seeks answers to global challenges within health and technology, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is focusing on research on the human microbiome and diet.
Changing our diet can either promote or hinder specific bacteria that live inside us: our microbiome. Studies have shown that influencing this microbiome can achieve promising results in treating gastrointestinal diseases, obesity and malnutrition. Interest is therefore growing in developing ingredients and foods that can influence the microbiome in a desired direction. Although important scientific insight into the human microbiome has been obtained in recent decades, many of the diseases associated with the microbiome cannot yet be treated or prevented through diet.
Under the Challenge Programme theme How Dietary Factors Affect the Human Microbiome, the Foundation will therefore support research that can contribute to new strategies and opportunities for preventing and treating disease through special diets, designer food or dietary supplements that, for example, promote the desired gut bacteria.
“The aim of this Challenge Programme theme is to explore and use insight into the interaction between diet and the human microbiome to improve people’s lives and health,” says Niels-Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou, Head of Research and Innovation Grants, Novo Nordisk Foundation.
The Challenge Programme was established 5 years ago, and the Board of the Foundation recently earmarked DKK 1.8 billion (€241 million) for continuing the Programme for the next 5 years. The Foundation awards up to DKK 360 million annually under the Programme, with themes varying from year to year. The grants of DKK 60 million each are paid out over 6 years.
How Dietary Factors Affect the Human Microbiome is one of three themes for the 2019 Challenge Programme. The Foundation selected this theme because improving the understanding of the interaction between diet and the human microbiome can lead to new strategies and opportunities for preventing and treating disease. The other two themes are Emerging Infectious Diseases and Modern Plant Science – Towards a Sustainable World.
Applications for the programme may be submitted now; the deadline is 6 December 2018.
Read more about each research theme, the application criteria and the application process here.
About the Challenge Programme
The Challenge Programme focuses on in-depth research on specific global challenges within annually selected research themes.
The Foundation awards up to DKK 360 million annually under the Programme, with themes varying from year to year. The grants of DKK 60 million each are paid out over 6 years and provide research groups with the opportunity to carry out research on an important problem within the themes chosen.
The approach can be cross-disciplinary and is not limited to any particular method or discipline. Projects must be based at a Danish university, hospital or other non-profit research organization.
Read more about the Challenge Programme here.
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