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The research groups form a strong consortium of national and international partners that are all vital in order to solve the objectives of the project. Read further descriptions of the consoritum partners below this list:

University of Copenhagen, Department of Human Nutrition

  • Professor Arne V. Astrup (grant holder)
  • Associate professor Lesli Hingstrup Larsen
  • PhD student Trine Blædel


University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology

  • Professor Karsten Kristiansen
  • Postdoc Si Brask Sonne
  • PhD student Jacob Bak Holm


Aarhus University, Department of Food Science


Aarhus University, Department of Animal Science

  • Head of Research Unit Hanne Damgaaard Poulsen


Aarhus University, MAPP – Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector

  • Professor Liisa Lähteenmäki
  • Assistant professor Natascha Loebnitz  


Beijing Genomics Institute at Shenzhen

  • Professor Jun Wang
  • Three PhD students  


The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research

  • Associate Professor Lise Madsen
  • Scientist Bjørn Liaset
  • PhD student Alexander Krokedal Rønnevik  


University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research

  • Associate Professor Fredrik Bäckhed
  • One Postdoc


Arla Foods

  • Senior Director Henrik J. Andersen
  • Head of Department Ulla Svensson
  • Research Scientist Janet Håkansson
  • Platform Manager Grith Mortensen


Arla Foods:
Arla Foods as a dairy company has a long-term experience in working with milk and milk components. The contribution to the project will be knowledge from this long-term experience in working with bioactive components in milk. Knowledge on metabolism and health properties and possibilities to study those issues in vitro and in intervention trials will be used in the project. Arla Foods will provide different milk products/components and assist with analyses of the milk products/components. Also, experience from work with consumer perceptions will be used in the project.


Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University:
The Department has the equipment (Ussing chambers) required to study the physiology of intestinal explants from various animals ex vivo. The research group has many years of experience with the Ussing chamber technique in relation to studies on pigs’ intestinal physiological function. A well established model involves the effect of dietary treatments in vivo in combination with different treatments ex vivo on changes in specific intestinal physiological mechanisms (e.g. nutrient absorption). This model will be further developed and applied to study the effect of FIAF-IMC on intestinal FIAF gene expression and lipid absorption.


Department of Food Science, Aarhus University:
The Department has advanced equipment (GC-MS, LC-MS/MS, Q-TOF, ion trap, and MALDI ToF-ToF) and experience in compound identification. AU-IFK also accommodates leading environments and advanced equipment for both NMR (600 MHz high-field NMR) and MS-based metabonomic studies. Extensive knowledge on dairy processing from own pilot plant facilities and close collaboration with the industry are available for the stability studies. Furthermore, specialized cell culture and pig experimental facilities exist and cell culturing and pig studies are well established areas of expertise at the department. For gene expression (RT-qPCR), advanced equipment of high capacity and throughput is available at the Faculty and experience on tissue and cell culture RT-qPCR analysis exists at the department. AU-IFK is responsible for WP1 and WP4, as well as the daily project management.


Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus Business School, University of Aarhus (AU-MAPP) has considerable expertise in analyzing consumer food choices and how these are affected by product attributes and information. AU-MAPP has several ongoing projects on consumer food choice and health, including projects on consumer perception of health-related information and health branding. AU-MAPP has published widely and is regarded as a world-class center of excellence on consumer science in the food area, with a long track record of participating in EU research projects as well as numerous collaborative projects with industry. AU-MAPP will be responsible for WP5, studying factors influencing consumers’ perception of possible new health benefits of milk and how these health effects should be communicated to the consumers.


Beijing Genomics Institute at Shenzhen: 
Beijing Genomics Institute at Shenzhen (BGI-Shenzhen) is the largest genomics institute in the world with an unsurpassed capacity for large scale genomics and metagenomics projects including 140 Solexa sequencers and several supercomputers. BGI-Shenzhen is a key partner in numerous international projects, among which several include Danish institutions, e.g. The European MetaHIT project and the The Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Applied Medical Genomics in Personalized Diseases Prediction, Prevention and Care. Together with the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, BGI-Shenzhen has formed the Sino-Danish Genomics Center to enable collaborative research projects and exchange of staff. The high-profile research at BGI-Shenzhen is reflected in the large number of publications published in journals like Science and Nature with an average of at least one publication per month in these journals. The institute has over 100 bioinformatics specialists (seven full professors and about 50 PhD students). BGI-Shenzhen will perform Solexa-based RNA-sequencing in the project.


Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen: 
The laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (KU-BIO) uses a combination of large-scale genomics/metagenomics and bioinformatics analyses with state-of-the-art molecular biology and animal models to unravel molecular mechanisms involved in common human diseases. Ongoing projects are focused on mechanisms controlling energy metabolism and homeostasis and the link between obesity and cancer. The laboratory is involved in several large-scale genomics and metagenomics projects. The laboratory is internationally recognized for its work on adipocyte development and function. Professor Jun Wang (BGI-Shenzhen) and Professor Karsten Kristiansen direct the laboratory, which in addition comprises two associate professors, six postdocs and ten PhD students. The group has a strong collaboration with BGI-Shenzhen. KU-BIO will be responsible for WP2.


Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen
The Department of Human Nutrition at University of Copenhagen (KU-IHE) is one of the leading Danish centers of research and development in the area of obesity, diet, physical activity and behavior modification for the prevention and treatment of one of the most prevalent and emerging global health treats, i.e. obesity and its complications. The department works primarily with experimental physiology and short- to long-term intervention studies, where a group of participants – usually healthy and obese adults – undergo one or more treatments during a certain study period. KU-IHE records a number of anthropometric measures (e.g. weight, height, body fat size and distribution) relevant for assessment of energy balance and possesses state-of-the-art equipment such as whole body indirect calorimetry and other tools to measure physical activity and energy expenditure in humans. The department has kitchen and laboratory facilities enabling fully controlled dietary intervention studies. The research is executed according to the guidelines prescribed by national law, including the Ethical Committees. Professor Arne V. Astrup is in charge of the department and has 20 years of expertise in this field with state-of-the-art methodologies. KU-IHE is responsible for WP3 and the overall project.


The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) is a research institute with administrative duties linked to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, however, working independently from the fishery industry. Research results are published in international scientific peer reviewed journals and made available to the general public via NIFES’ Web site. The institute educates scientists at Master and PhD levels for the University of Bergen. NIFES has 81 accredited methods, used in the surveillance by e.g. the EU in determining upper maximum limits for contaminants in feed and food. The institute provides research-based advice on risk management within its research areas to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal affairs. NIFES has extensive experience in animal feeding studies, including the metabolic effects of different types of proteins, the interaction between macronutrients, and their effects on the gut microbiota.  NIFES will perform animal feeding studies in WP 2. 


Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, University of Gothenburg:
Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, University of Gothenburg (UG-CMR) investigates how the gut microbiota affects host metabolism and physiology. The group is led by Associate Professor Fredrik Bäckhed (FB) and works in the field of understanding the molecular mechanisms for how the gut microbiota modulates host metabolism and physiology. UG-CMR consists of seven postdocs, two PhD students and five technicians. Furthermore, FB established and presently directs the gnotobiotic mouse unit at University of Gothenburg. UG-CMR will perform studies on germfree mice (WP 2) and contribute with their knowledge on FIAF.