CORDIS - EU research results

Research and Training in Early Life Nutrition to Prevent Disease

Project description

Nutritional interventions early in life to prevent disease

Preterm infants are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy and may experience health problems later in life. The gut of preterm infants presents with immaturity and a higher risk for microbiota dysbiosis that can lead to chronic inflammation and infections. The EU-funded GROWTH project is interested to identify nutritional interventions and bioactive components that can support the gut of preterm infants. Researchers will focus on the role of the gut microbiome in the metabolism of breast milk to identify factors that can be employed to modulate intestinal mucosal immunity. Moreover, the project will prepare the next generation of researchers in nutrition and intestinal inflammatory diseases.


The interplay between nutrition, gut microbiota, and its large numberof metabolic and immune mediators plays an essential role in the development of gut immune homeostasis in early life. This interaction needs to be better understood because a disturbed immune function in the neonatal period is harmful for neonatal survival and enhances the risk of chronic inflammatory disease later in life. In particular, preterm infants have an immature gut and an associated intestinal state of dysbiosis, which limits the efficacy of nutritional interventions to 1) support early life nutrition, 2) prevent sepsis and conditions such as necrotizing enterocolitis and intestinal failure, and 3) reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases mediated by the gut. A major barrier to elucidating the critical nutritional-host-microbiome interactions and reducing neonatal mortality is the lack of expertise in this rapidly emerging area of metabolomics. We therefore proposes a multidisciplinary approach making use of a large-scale pre-existing clinical cohort of neonates, and state of the art analytical and bio-informatics tools. GROWTH is an Innovative Training Network focused on European Industrial Doctorates that aims to train young business-oriented researchers in developing pathological insights, biomarker diagnostics and personalized nutritional interventions for intestinal failure in neonates and preterm infants. As a multidisciplinary consortium that will involve the participation of 7 non-academic and 5 academic partners in the life sciences field and will attempt shortening the path from basic research to clinical applications.


Net EU contribution
€ 265 619,88
1101 AS Amsterdam

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 265 619,88

Participants (6)