Duc Ninh Nguyen

Duc Ninh Nguyen

Assistant professor

Research profile

Nutrition, gastroenterology and infectious diseases in early life. I have worked extensively with animal and cell models for newborn infants, including preterm pig models of perinatal infectious diseases (prenatal infection, neonatal sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis), ex vivo intestinal tissue explant cultures, and in vitro intestinal epithelial cell models. Core analytical techniques include immune assays (flow cytometry, immune cell function), proteomics, transcriptomics, and milk protein analyses. My research also includes design and planning of clinical trials in preterm infants, data management and sample analysis. Main research focuses are:

  • Immune development and immunity against infectious diseases in early life.
  • Short and long-term outcomes of perinatal infection.
  • Interaction among early life diet, gut microbiota and functions and immunity.
  • Mechanisms and biomarkers of perinatal infections and gut failure.



2011-2014: PhD in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2009-2011: MSc in Food Science and Technology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2003-2008: BSc in Food Science and Technology, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam



2019- present: Research group leader, Cellular & Molecular Pediatrics, Comparative Pediatrics & Nutrition, Univ. Copenhagen

2017-present: Assistant Professor, Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition, IVH, SUND, University of Copenhagen

2015-2016: Postdoc, Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition, IKVH, SUND, University of Copenhagen


Academic research network

  • Core member of NEOMUNE and NEOCOL research consortiums
  • Extensive collaboration with experts in the industry (Arla Foods, Medela, Glycom, Danone).
  • Wide collaborative network with academic institutions: Maastricht University (immune assays, sheep models), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (transcriptomics, epigenomics), Statens Serum Institute (transcriptomics), Havard Medical school (neonatal infection), Aalborg University (proteomics), Newcastle Clinical Service and hospitals in China (clinical trials).


Teaching and supervision

  • Lecturer in MSc courses (Milk processing, 2013-2014; Experimental Animal Nutrition and Physiology, from 2017), and BSc courses (Dairy Internship, 2014; Pathology and Pharmacology, from 2016)
  • Co-supervisor (daily supervision) of 3 PhD students (ongoing), 2 MSc students (2014 and 2017).

Research leadership and management

  • Formal leadership training courses at University of Copenhagen (2018-2019)
  • Project manager of STIMMUNE project (2016-2019) funded by Arla Foods for Health
  • Member of central management and steering groups of NEOMUNE (2013-2018) and NEOCOL (2017-2021) research consortiums, funded by Innovation Foundation Denmark


Research funding

2018-2022    Co-PI “Fecal microbiota transplantation to support gut colonization and to prevent infection and antimicrobial resistance in newborn pigs”, Independent Research Fund Denmark, 5.5 mio. DKK.

2017- 2021   Co-PI and work package leader, management group member, “Colostrum for newborn infants, NEOCOL”, Innovation Foundation Denmark, 18.8 mio. DKK

2016- 2019   PI, “Bioactive milk to stimulate gut immune defense in infants born with perinatal inflammation, STIMMUNE”, Arla Foods for Health + co-sponsors, 10.2 mio. DKK

2011-2014    Project participant, “Bioactive milk proteins against gut inflammation”, Danish Dairy Research Foundation (MFF), 2.7 mio DKK


Other research activities and qualifications

  • Completed “Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Program” (Universitetspædagogikum)-2019
  • Certified in Laboratory Animal Science Category B
  • Member of Danish Proteomic Society.
  • Peer-reviewer for scientific journals: The ISME journal, Ebiomedicine, Scientific reports, ILAR journal, Innate Immunity, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Molecular Medicine, and British Journal of Nutrition.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Bovine lactoferrin regulates cell survival, apoptosis and imflammation in intestinal epithelial cells and preterm pig intestine

    Nguyen, D. N., Jiang, P., Stensballe, A., Bendixen, E., Sangild, P. T. & Chatterton, D. E. W., 2016, In : Journal of Proteomics. 139, p. 95-102 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Enteral but not parenteral antibiotics enhance gut function and prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in formula-fed newborn preterm pigs

    Birck, M. M., Nguyen, D. N., Cilieborg, M. S., Bin Shamzir Kamal, S., Nielsen, D. S., Damborg, P. P., Olsen, J. E., Lauridsen, C., Sangild, P. T. & Thymann, T., 2016, In : American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 310, 5, p. G323-G333 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    Oral antibiotics increase blood neutrophil maturation and reduce bacteremia and necrotizing enterocolitis in the immediate postnatal period of preterm pigs

    Nguyen, D. N., Fuglsang, E., Jiang, P., Birck, M. M., Pan, X., Bin Shamzir Kamal, S., Pors, S. E., Gammelgaard, P. L., Nielsen, D. S., Thymann, T., Levy, O., Frøkiær, H. & Sangild, P. T., 2016, In : Innate Immunity. 22, 1, p. 51-62 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 34453716