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Our Food Expertise

We envision a world where anyone has access to affordable and effective disease treatment.

AIMMS works towards discovering drugs for currently incurable diseases, or to replace current therapies with more affordable or efficient alternatives. AIMMS accommodates world leading experts across the whole drug development pipeline up until clinical trials. Our work spans from molecular and systems understanding of disease pathology to drug target identification, drug discovery and synthesis, and drug safety. One aspect that makes AIMMS unique is the strong knowhow of both computational tools within drug development as well as cutting-edge innovation of new diagnostics and compounds.

With a growing world population and the need to feed 8 billion people, it is more important than ever to find sustainable solutions for nutritional food production and consider the burden that certain food production processes have on our planet.

We are at the forefront of helping the much-needed transition from animal-based to plant-based protein [link to NWO perspective project]. AIMMS houses world leading experts on metabolism and metabolic modeling that work to finetune fermentation processes to improve nutritional value and consumer experience of novel foods. We combine this expertise with our molecular knowledge to thoroughly understand the biochemistry of fermentation processes. Food after all is a high tech product!

AIMMS’ researchers also have a strong focus on improving health effects of food. Examples are understanding how functional foods influence human health, testing and understanding human microbiome intervention, and understanding how fermentation can lead to healthier and more affordable food. Furthermore, AIMMS’ long standing expertise in microbiology and toxicology is used to understand molecular aspects of food safety and spoilage.

01. Fermantation

Fermentation of food or ingredients enhances flavour, texture and safety (shelf life), and fermented products are a key ingredient in human nutrition. Fermentation is the product of microbial growth and metabolism, key expertise areas within AIMMS. Unique for AIMMS is the combination of practical knowledge on strain improvement, analytical methods to monitor fermentation processes, and deep theoretical understanding of microbial fitness strategies.

02. Microbiomes & microbial ecology

The impact of communities of microbes (microbiomes) on human health and the environment can hardly be overestimated. We study the impact of microbiomes in food fermentations, gut and vaginal health, and study generic principles of community composition and function in model microbiomes. We use genome-scale metabolic models to map genotype (metagenomics data) to phenotype (functional data).

03. Human health & food

Now more than ever, people are paying attention to how to increase their quality of life and do so via an increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as dietary supplements. We use a range of models to explore the impact of such “functional foods” on health outcomes at the cellular, tissue and whole organism levels. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, it is also possible to phenocopy the loss of physiological integrity and function that increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity as a model for the impact on human lifestyle.


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