The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) is a new research Institute focusing on health and aging-related diseases. The goal of this new research Institute is to conduct research on metabolic, gastro-intestinal and cognitive disorders and develop nutritional strategies to improve health and longevity. The Institute is part of Nestlé’s global Research & Development network. In particular, the NIHS is working closely with Nestlé Health Science S.A. to translate its research findings into new product concepts for personalised nutritional solutions that help to prevent chronic diseases and support a long life in good health. NIHS implements a state-of-the-art systems biology approach combining bioinformatics, cell biology, clinical studies and Omics-based technology platforms to better understand molecular mechanisms in health and disease as influenced by genetics, environment and lifestyle.
Partner 17 team leader:
Prof. E. Edward Baetge and his team will develop human cellular-, tissue- and organ-systems using (Epi) Genetics, Proteomics and Metabolomic (micronutrient) data integration to model metabolic syndrome and aging with emphasis on human pancreatic function. NIHS will employ standard pancreatic progenitor differentiation protocols (Viacyte Inc.) and produce glucose-responsive islet cells in vivo through the use of NIHS cell encapsulation technology in WP2 and WP3. NIHS will have the expertise and the platforms to participate in WP4, WP7 and WP8 and will more specifically fully characterise pancreatic cells. NIHS will share with the other consortium members the data resulting from the analysis of the cells in various stages (including fully differentiated) for further processing, mapping and integration; and extracts from glucose-responsive islet cells (not the live cells) for further testing and evaluation. These materials can be from explanted grafts or extracts made from in vitro glucose responsive cells. NIHS will also screen in vivo differentiated pancreatic cells for response profiles to various nutrients and metabolically active agents or substances for the purpose of discovering medical nutrition approaches to ameliorate pancreatic dysfunction.
The project will clearly benefit from the internal resources of the NIHS, and as well from the fact that the Institute is based on the university campus of the EPFL. This setup creates a perfect academic working environment while still being part of a international corporate organisation – a combination that bears competitive benefits such as joint academic affiliations, exchange of graduate students and scientific collaborations with the EPFL while at the same time providing access to shared infrastructures of other Nestlé units and the unique relationships and capacities of the world-wide R&D network of Nestlé.
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