Washington University receives $8.3 million for child malnutrition study
May 16, 2012
The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will receive an $8.3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for child and infant malnutrition studies. Jeffrey I. Gordon will lead a team of scientists who represent universities internationally and stateside, including Finland, London and Malawi as well as Colorado, California and Ohio.
"A complex relationship exists between diet, gut microbial communities and the immune system in severely malnourished children," said Gordon. "This project seeks to discover novel dietary and microbial therapeutics that can be targeted to infants and children living in countries with rampant malnutrition."
In the study, scientists will use intestinal microbes from malnourished and healthy individuals, both young and old, from countries that show a high occurrence of malnutrition. Those microbes will be tested in mice, which will be fed the same diets as human and children. Gordon hopes to discover how different intestinal microbes respond to improve diagnoses, treatments and prevention methods for the worldwide issue of malnutrition.
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