PepsiCo to open research lab near Yale campus
December 9, 2009
by Eric Schroeder
NEW HAVEN, CONN. — PepsiCo, Inc. said it will open a long-term research laboratory in New Haven that will focus on the development of healthier food and beverage products. The lab will be adjacent to Yale University’s campus and is part of PepsiCo’s shift to fundamentally improve the nutritional profile of its portfolio of foods and beverages. Within the past two years, the company has added clinical scientists and experts in nutrition, food safety, epidemiology and health policy to its staff.
“Ultimately, we’re trying to make it easier for consumers to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s chief scientific officer and an endocrinologist. “We’re confident that the work we’ll be doing in New Haven, in collaboration with some of the world’s best scientists, will lead to advancements in nutrition and health for people across the globe.”
The laboratory will be PepsiCo’s ninth global regional research center. Currently, four centers are located in the United States with others in the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and India along with satellite centers in Thailand, Brazil and Australia.
In the past three years, PepsiCo has increased its investment in research and development by 40%, adopted new marketing practices and acquired companies that produce foods and beverages beyond soft drinks and chips, such as juices, dairy, hummus, and nuts and seeds. The company also was an early adopter regarding health commitments to its consumers by providing a spectrum of good choices, applying the best available science and promoting healthy children’s lifestyles.
In addition to the research the company is pursuing at the New Haven laboratory, PepsiCo also will support a fellowship in Yale School of Medicine's M.D.-Ph.D. Program. According to PepsiCo, the endowment specifically will fund work that focuses on nutritional research, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. PepsiCo Fellows will be chosen by the Yale program’s faculty based on academic performance and research interests in these relevant areas. The fellowship is expected to support a pipeline of new biomedical scholars who will progress to leadership positions in their fields.
“PepsiCo’s commitment to improving health through proper nutrition is of great importance to the well-being of people in this country and throughout the world,” said Robert Alpern, Dean and Ensign Professor at Yale School of Medicine. “We are delighted that they are expanding their research in this area and that they have chosen Yale as a partner for this endeavor. Extending this partnership to the M.D.-Ph.D. Program represents a visionary investment in one of the finest researcher training programs in the world and thus to the future of science.”