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Lush Young Researcher Prize awarded to HuMiX researcher

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Published on Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Last Friday, Lush, the British cosmetic company, awarded its Young Researcher Prize to Dr Pranjul Shah for HuMiX, an “organ-on-chip” technology he co-developed while a postdoc in the Eco-Systems Biology group of Associate Prof. Paul Wilmes at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg as well as in the Center for Applied Nanobioscience & Medicine led by Prof. Frederic Zenhausern at the University of Arizona.

HuMiX is an artificial digestive tract the size of a credit card, which reproduces the environmental conditions inside the gut and allows the study of the interactions between bacteria and human intestinal cells.

 

 

HuMiX is a model of the human gut which is helping scientists to understand the impact of specific bacteria on human health and their role in diseases such as obesity, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. Comparison with results from previous studies showed that HuMiX can portray very well the complex interactions taking place in the human gut and is a suitable tool to study the effect of probiotic therapy for example. “These results corroborate the promise of such in vitro systems widely termed as organs-on-chip to minimise the global dependence on animal testing for development of food, pharma and cosmetic products”, explained Dr Pranjul Shah when he received the prize. Together with Paul Wilmes and his team, he will continue to develop HuMiX further towards new scientific, clinical and industrial applications.

The Lush Prize

Now in its fourth year, the Lush Prize supports animal-free testing. The Young Researcher award aims to recognise and reward those working to eliminate animal testing in science and cosmetics through their research. It comes with a £10 000 money prize.

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Reference: A microfluidics-based in vitro model of the gastrointestinal human-microbe interface ; Pranjul Shah, Joëlle Fritz, Enrico Glaab, Mahesh S. Desai, Kacy Greenhalgh, Audrey Frachet Bour, Magdalena Niegowska, Matthew Estes, Christian Jäger, Carole Seguin-Devaux, Frederic Zenhausern & Paul Wilmes ; Nature Communications ; May 2016.
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11535
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