Bo Chawes receives ERC starting grant of 1.5 mill Euro
It is one of the prestigious Starting Grants from the EU, which is now helping to strengthen research into asthma and behavioral problems in children. Pediatrician Bo Chawes is the recipient of the grant and will lead the ambitious, international research project.
The purpose of the forthcoming international research project is to investigate how dietary supplements and diet during pregnancy and in early life shape the child’s metabolic profile, and how this is linked to asthma and neurological development.
Asthma and behavioral problems, such as ADHD, are two of the most common chronic disorders in childhood. At the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) translational research center, the researchers have previously conducted two clinical studies that have shown that supplements of fish oil and vitamin D during pregnancy reduces the risk of developing asthma, as well as especially improves the cognition of boys’ children and accelerates their motor development.
The upcoming project will use advanced analyzes that measure the amount of small molecules in the blood, such as amino acids, nucleotides, fatty acids and antioxidants, measured at different times in pregnancy and up through childhood. The measurements are linked to data on the mother’s and infant’s diet, a range of early environmental exposures, and genetic data. The goal is to identify biochemical processes that are important for asthma and neurological development, and ultimately to promote healthy lung and brain development through preventive diet in pregnancy.
“The ERC Starting Grant is the culmination of my research activities in early disease mechanisms and primary prevention of childhood asthma and behavioral problems over the past 10 years. The grant will contribute with important knowledge that can benefit many affected children and families, as well as consolidate our collaboration with Harvard Medical School “, says Bo Chawes, pediatrician and clinical associate professor, Ph.D. at COPSAC, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
The interdisciplinary study group behind the research project consists of physicians with pediatric and child psychiatric expertise, metabolomics experts and bioinformatics in a collaboration that will build bridge basic science disciplines and clinical research. The project is being carried out in collaboration with an American research group at Harvard Medical School, Boston, which has a similar mother-child cohort with vitamin D intervention during pregnancy, as well as with a research group from Cambridge, UK who are experts in pulmonary organoid studies.
Contact: Bo Chawes