International grant success for human gut research
Grants and Awards | December 8, 2020

CI Professor Ben Boyd accepts prestigious Laureate Research Grant from the Denmark-based Novo Nordisk Foundation to work at the University of Copenhagen.

The seven-year Laureate Research Grants are awarded to outstanding international researchers who want to establish a research group in Denmark. Only 16 have been awarded since the establishment of the scheme in 2012.

Professor Boyd’s research seeks to understand which properties of the surface of nanoparticles give them their functions in the human gut. Examples are particles in food or medicines.

When these particles reach the gut, they encounter many bacteria, other particles, the mucous membrane, the gut wall and much more. Here the particles interact with their environment, and this interaction is influenced by the surface chemistry of the particles.

One of his areas of focus is milk and what happens when we drink it. This research shows that fat particles in milk change from being oily when we drink them to becoming more like sponges when they arrive in our gut. The changes in the surface chemistry of the particles can cause them to interact differently with enzymes and potentially also the immune system. This may strongly affect our health.

You can read more here and here.