BROOMFIELD, COLO. – Danone North America announced it will contribute $50,000 through its annual fellowship grants this year to support graduate students researching the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics for human health.

The company noted scientific research already has led to knowledge on how the microbiome of the gut impacts more than just gastrointestinal health, with links to the brain, immune system and circadian clocks, as well.

"Research plays a critical role in advancing our knowledge of the human gut microbiome," said Miguel Freitas, PhD, who serves as vice president of scientific affairs for the company. "Danone North America is a top food company in the US, with a vast offering of essential dairy and plant-based foods. Over the past 12 years we have been pleased to award grants to further human health research to help us learn more about how the foods we eat impact our gut microbiome and our health."

Freitas said the research grants help advance science “and make meaningful progress in using food to nourish lives.”

The company shared that applications for this year’s grants – with two graduate students receiving $25,000 apiece – may be submitted through March 1. Danone noted that applicants “must be incoming or current graduate students who have demonstrated an interest in exploring the gut microbiome, probiotics and yogurt to better understand how they help support and maintain human health and wellness.”

Further details regarding the grant and application process are available online at Danone North America’s website

The most recent grant recipients were Madison Adamthwaite of Harvard University, whose work focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which microbiome-derived metabolites alter health, and Nam Than of the University of Texas, who was conducting research regarding next-generation probiotics’ role in maintaining gut homeostasis – and perhaps disease prevention.