Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition – University of Copenhagen

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Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition

Research profile

Pediatrics is concerned with health and disease during early development. We study this topic in a comparative manner, from animals to humans. In many species, morbidity and mortality are very high in the first period of life, particularly if development is compromised.  We focus on nutritional interventions that affect survival, disease and development. Basic studies on cells and tissues from animals (mainly pigs) are coupled with collaborative studies with hospitals on infants.

Which specific questions do we try to answer?

  • Uptake of nutrients in fetuses, in newborns and during the first phase of life.
  • Diet (milk) effects on infection and inflammation in the intestine after birth and weaning.
  • Effects of diet and gut microbiota on immunity, gut and brain development after preterm birth, surgical interventions, chemotherapy or undernutrition.
  • Effects of total parenteral (intravenous) nutrition versus enteral (oral) nutrition.

How do we work?

The group members have many different educational backgrounds (medicine, veterinary medicine, animal science, nutrition, biology, chemistry, cell biology) and we encourage cross-disciplinary science. We work closely with international partners and have a large proportion of non-Danish in the group. We work closely with industries that may support studies on new (milk) diets or pharmacological interventions. Collaborative studies with both human and animal hospital units (e.g. pediatrics, neonatology, surgery, intensive care, clinical chemistry) secure that the research on cells and tissues in animals get translated into solutions for animal and human patients.

Central research activities: