Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition

Pediatrics is concerned with health and disease during early development. In many species, morbidity and mortality are very high in the first period of life, particularly if development is compromised (e.g. by preterm birth, growth restriction or infections). We study pediatrics in a comparative manner, from cells to animals (mainly from newborn pigs) and humans, and investigate how nutritional interventions, gut microbiota and infections affect development, disease and survival in the first phase of life.

For this, we work closely with Danish and international university partners and industry to study effects of (milk) diets, nutrients or pharmacological interventions in cell/tissue models and newborn pigs. To secure that the research on cells and animals get translated into solutions for animal and human patients, we have established a collaborative network with Danish and international hospital units (e.g. pediatrics, neonatology, surgery, intensive care, clinical chemistry).

Our section is organized into three research groups, Animal Models in Pediatrics (AMP), Cellular Models in Pediatrics (CMP) and Pediatric Clinical Research (PCR) that closely collaborate to gain fundamental understanding within the following areas:

  • Growth and uptake of nutrients in fetuses, in newborns and during the first critical phase of life
  • Effects of diet and gut microbiota on intestinal infection and inflammation after birth and weaning
  • Effects of diet and gut microbiota on immunity, gut and brain development after preterm birth, pre- or postnatal infections, surgical interventions, chemotherapy or undernutrition
  • Effects of total parenteral (intravenous) nutrition versus enteral (oral) nutrition