The Bode Lab
The Bode Lab

Research Approach

Our lab uses a multidisciplinary collaborative research approach that combines preclinical studies and human cohort studies with the goal to identify structure-function relationships in a variety of clinical contexts related to maternal and infant health.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a prime example of how this approach led us to identify one specific HMO with great potential benefits for infant health.


Clinical observations led to the hypothesis that HMO contribute to a lower risk for preterm infants to develop NEC when they are given human milk. The combined results from preclinical studies and human cohort studies identified one specific HMO that is likely responsible for the protective effect and informed clinical intervention studies. Synthesis of a structurally defined HMO is going to enable these intervention studies. Continued work in the preclinical model is going to help elucidate the underlying mechanism. 


Click Here to learn more about our project on Necrotizing Enterocolitis.


Using the entire spectrum from tissue culture and in vivo preclinical models to human cohort and intervention studies allows us to identify individual, structurally defined HMO with the potential to benefit infant health.

Besides NEC, the approach can be applied to a variety of other clinical contexts related to maternal and infant health, including infectious diseases, allergies, asthma, growth and obesity, cognitive development, and many more.

Dedicated to Research on Human Milk Oligosaccharides

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