ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, December 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Global Probiotics Council (GPC), a committee formed by Danone and YAKULT HONSHA CO., LTD., announced the launch of the fourth annual Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research (YIGPRO). This grant provides two awards, each in the amount of $50,000, to rising young stars. This year's grant focus is on the role of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota in health and wellness. Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2011.
"Our vision for creating the grant program is to foster scientific research in the United States in this emerging field and, in turn, contribute to building a global foundation of science that will lead to new insights on how probiotics benefit human health," said Sven Thormahlen, Executive Vice President R&D, Danone Research.
The grants are designed to advance probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota research in the United States and to attract promising, young researchers into this field of study. Danone and YAKULT HONSHA CO., LTD. are the leading global companies on the forefront of raising awareness about the health benefits of probiotics through science-based education.
"The success of the grant program over the past three years has confirmed young investigators are interested in the relationship between probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota, and the body," said Mr. Yoshihiro Kawabata, Senior Managing Director, YAKULT HONSHA CO., LTD. "We have been extremely impressed by the quality of applications received during the past three grant cycles, and hope to have similar results this year."
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that when consumed in adequate quantities provide a benefit to the host. The benefit of a probiotic is strain specific, which means that individual strains must be studied to determine their specific benefits. Research has shown that certain strains of probiotics can improve digestive health and support immune function. New research is uncovering the potential functions of these microorganisms, extending far beyond what was originally conceptualized. These grants will lead to scientific advancements that continue to add to the body of literature, and help uncover critical mechanisms by which probiotics promote health.
Application procedures and additional details on the Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research program can be found at http://www.probioticsresearch.com.