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UC San Diego and Novonesis join forces to pioneer Human Milk Oligosaccharide research

Mrz 20. 2024 09:00 GTM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – March 20, 2024, 9 AM CET. University of California San Diego, among the world’s top-20 research universities, and the global leader in biosolutions Novonesis are excited to launch the establishment of a leading research consortium aimed at setting a new standard for collaboration and accelerating discoveries and knowledge in Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) science.

HMOs, which are complex milk sugars/carbohydrates, are the third most abundant component of human milk after lactose and lipids. They are associated with multiple health benefits in infants, but new studies indicate that they may also serve as biosolutions for people of other age groups. 

The shared vision of the new consortium is to revolutionize the study, understanding and application of HMOs and advance the field of synbiotics. This combination of HMOs and probiotics working synergistically helps to promote a balanced and healthy gut microbiota which positively influences various aspects of health, including digestion, immune function and overall well-being.

The research consortium will be anchored at UC San Diego’s Human Milk Institute (HMI) under the leadership of Lars Bode, PhD, founding director of HMI. In the initial phase of the partnership, Novonesis is providing start-up funding for five interconnected seed grants along with HMOs and probiotics for the research.   

“The five grantees will not work in isolation but interact closely together to leverage their complementary skills and expertise to generate the most meaningful and impactful results as a consortium,” said Bode.

A leap forward

The research consortium will empower scientific communities by facilitating collaboration between academia and industry, encouraging innovation and knowledge exchange to ultimately elevate the collective understanding and knowledge of how human milk and HMOs and probiotics impact human health and development. 

Amy Byrick, EVP, Human Health Biosolutions, Novonesis: "At Novonesis, we have a proud tradition of partnering up with top universities, and this consortium is a perfect fit with our purpose to better our world with biology. Joining forces with UC San Diego, a powerhouse in research and discovery, marks the beginning of a journey with far-reaching impacts shaping the future of HMOs and synbiotics and advancing global health through innovative biosolutions.”

UC San Diego HMI and Novonesis are committed to eventually bringing in other academic and industry partners to develop a strategic framework that identifies knowledge gaps and outlines a robust path to close them. “There are so many aspects we don’t fully understand yet,” said Bode, “Only together, with a strategic, robust, and synergistic approach, will we be able to uncover the immense potential of HMOs and synbiotics for human health and development”. 

About Lars Bode, PhD, University of California, San Diego
Professor Bode, holding the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research, is a pioneer in HMO research with almost 25 years of experience and more than 160 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals. Professor Bode joined UC San Diego in 2009, founded the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (LRF MOMI CORE) in 2017 and the Human Milk Institute in 2022. Moreover, Professor Bode is an esteemed conference organizer and collaboration facilitator. 

About UC San Diego and HMI
University of California San Diego, stands among the top 20 research universities globally according to U.S. News and World Report, and is ranked 7th in the world for most influential researchers. With over 3,800 faculty members and $1.76 billion in research funds, UC San Diego boasts a rich history of scientific achievements, including Nobel Prize and Fields Medal recipients.

The Human Milk Institute (HMI), launched in 2022 as the first of its kind, is UC San Diego’s central hub to advance human milk from molecular discoveries to local and global public health impact. HMI’s mission is to transform the approach to lifelong health for all people through human milk. HMI envisions a future where human milk is the first and critical foundation for human life and equitable access to better health for the global community.

About Novonesis 
Novonesis is a global company leading the era of biosolutions. By leveraging the power of microbiology with science, we transform the way the world produces, consumes and lives. In more than 30 industries, our biosolutions are already creating value for thousands of customers and benefiting the planet. Our 10,000 people worldwide work closely with our partners and customers to transform business with biology. Let’s better our world with biology. Learn more on


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