GROWTH Network

The GROWTH consortium, funded by the European Commission (2019-2023), is made up to train a new generation of researchers working on new pathological insights, biomarker diagnostics and personalized nutritional interventions for intestinal failure in neonates and preterm infants.


Academic and industry partners, covering various disciplines ranging from fundamental research to clinical paediatrics and analytical chemistry to organoid and gut-on-chip applications, have teamed up in the European Union.

Research Programme

GROWTH aims to set-up a new European platform that trains young scientists in the industry-led exploration of innovative routes to fully exploit the potential of early life nutrition to prevent inflammatory disease. GROWTH coordinates 8 individual research projects.


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Interesting report published by the AMC group on the effects of exclusive enteral nutrition on gut microbiota and metabolome in paediatric Crohn's Disease patients.

A nutritional intervention, exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) can induce remission in patients with paediatric Crohn’s disease (CD). The AMC group characterized changes in the fecal microbiota and metabolome to identify the mechanism of EEN therapy. Therefore, feces of 43 children were collected prior, during and after EEN.

Among other results, it was shown that fecal microbiota and metabolome of responders and non-responders differ before the start of EEN therapy. Microbial differences between responders and non-responders to immunomodulators or nutrition have been reported before. This could indicate that there might be as yet unidentified subtypes of Crohn's disease and open the possibility to identify non-responders before treatment. This approach seems feasible as a recent study identifies microbial signatures that could predict long term responders to EEN. Overall, patients responding to EEN therapy have different microbiota and metabolomes prior to therapy than patients that do not respond. This may allow for future prediction of EEN response. The mechanism by which EEN induces remission is complex, several metabolites (TMA, cadaverine, amino acids and bile salts) possibly have a causal role in the development of Crohn's disease.

The study report was published in November 2020:

Diederen, K., Li, J.V., Donachie, G.E. et al. Exclusive enteral nutrition mediates gut microbial and metabolic changes that are associated with remission in children with Crohn’s disease. Sci Rep 10, 18879 (2020).

Full article can be found HERE.