The Research Group has two main focus areas; gut microbiology and food allergy.
A core activity of the group comprises studies of effects of diet and dietary components on the microbial population of the gut and derived effects on the host metabolism and immune system. An example is the strategic research center for ‘Gut, Grain and Greens’, in which the research group plays an active and coordinating role. Another example is the new initiative of novel ingredients with putative probiotic or prebiotic effects, reflecting the group’s role in the National Ingredients Center.
The group is part of a number of big consortia within microbiome research, and contributes with sequencing-based analyses of the gut microbial community, cultivation-based experiments, designed gut microbiota in originally germ-free animals, and trials that elucidate the physiological state of intestinal bacteria in situ.
Another core activity of the group comprises studies on the relationship between different chemical characteristics of food proteins, such as protein structure and sizes, and their capacity to induce either allergy or tolerance. An example is the Innovation Fund Denmark project ALLEVIATE concerning development of products for prevention and treatment of food allergy. Another example is projects on skin sensitization, concerning how and why food proteins may induce allergy through the skin.
The group is part of a number of international projects concerning:
- Hypoallergenic infant formulas
- Identification of antibody-binding epitopes
- Development of animal models for food allergy, and
- Development of risk assessment methods in food allergy.