EARLYFIT: Early life for immune fitness

The Earlyfit study aims to investigate the effect of infant formula with synbiotics on immune fitness.


Synbiotics are a combination of pre- and pro-biotics. They have shown to be effective in the intestine by promotion of specific microbes and microbial activity. Because our microbiota is directly responsible for immune signaling in the gut, the addition and stimulation of beneficial bacteria can contribute to systemic immune fitness.


We will investigate the effect of infant formula with synbiotics on immune fitness. Our approach will be to combine multi-omics analyses and systems biology on several microbiological and host parameters. We will use samples derived from two clinical trials that performed placebo controlled nutrition interventions on children with allergy or who are at high risk of allergy development. Our results will unravel the connection between microbiota composition, microbial metabolome and the immune system.


Bioinformatics analysis like ordination, machine learning (supervised learning – classification, unsupervised learning – clustering). Statistical analysis and interpretation of the results.

BSc/MSc theses

Thesis projects are available for BSc or MSc students with interest in

- nutrition interventions in children with allergy

- the relationship between gut microbiota and infant immune fitness

- learning how to apply bioinformatics within the field of microbiology

This project doesn’t include wet lab experiments. Experience with scripting in R is appreciated, but not necessary. It can also be learned during the BSc/MSc project.