EpiGen to collaborate with Nestl- Research Center in Switzerland

The EpiGen Consortium, an international alliance of the world's leading epigenetics researchers (Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore, University of Southampton, Medical Research Council - Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, AgResearch Limited, Auckland UniServices Limited) are pleased to announce the creation of a research collaboration with Nestl- Research Center in Switzerland.

The partnership brings together scientists from both the public and private sectors to improve human health through the application of epigenetic tools and technologies.

EpiGen will collaborate with Nestl- Research Center and Nestl- Nutrition to undertake a research program to understand and substantiate optimal nutrition for mothers during pregnancy and for infants to promote metabolic health throughout life. The ultimate goal of the program is to make recommendations, supported by robust science, for the best maternal and infant nutrition strategies.

These studies will rely on epigenetics, the biology of understanding how gene function is regulated by environmental factors, such as maternal nutrition, during the very early stages of development. EpiGen will contribute its expertise in this emerging scientific field, while Nestl- will contribute its outstanding knowledge of maternal and infant nutrition.

"This important collaboration will build on the ongoing research conducted by Nestl- scientists in the field of metabolic programming to formulate the best nutritional products for mothers and their infants," said Prof Peter van Bladeren, Vice President of Nestl- Science & Research. "The comprehensive knowledge of EpiGen researchers combined with Nestl-'s scientific expertise will bring epigenetics to the forefront in the understanding of early nutrition for the promotion of health throughout life."

"If we are to improve the health of women and children we need effective partnerships between academia and the private sector, as it is clear that good nutrition at the beginning of life is a key factor in determining metabolic health. This international partnership is based on cutting edge science of the highest quality with each party bringing unique expertise to focus on this important subject," added Prof Sir Peter Gluckman, Director of the Growth, Development and Metabolism Programme at A*STAR's Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences and Managing Scientist for the EpiGen Consortium.

"This collaboration is an excellent platform for the public and private sectors to work closely together to translate clinical research findings into innovative products that meet societal needs. Together with our international partners, we can achieve greater impact for the improvement of global health and nutrition," said Professor Judith Swain, Executive Director of A*STAR's Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences.

"We are pleased to be part of this international, multidisciplinary partnership. The combination of clinical, academic and commercial expertise and resources will help us push the boundaries of developmental epigenetics," added Associate Professor Chong Yap Seng, from the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

This synergistic partnership is the culmination of mutual scientific interest and positive exchanges between EpiGen, the Nestl- Research Center and Nestl- Nutrition. The combined strengths of these public and private sector research institutions will accelerate learning and discovery in this important area of human nutrition.

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