Pepsi opens New Haven research lab

Yale scientists have a new colleague in PepsiCo.

The food and beverage giant opened a research laboratory last week at 25 Science Park. In New Haven, the corporation will also fund a graduate fellowship in the M.D.-Ph.D. program at the Yale School of Medicine to support research on nutrition and obesity-related diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, PepsiCo spokeswoman Michelle Naughton said.

The laboratory, which is PepsiCo’s ninth global research laboratory, is part of the corporation’s plan to improve the nutritional value of its foods and beverages, Naughton said She said that by funding the fellowship, PepsiCo hopes to encourage new biomedical researchers to focus on nutrition research.

While PepsiCo’s laboratory will not officially be affiliated with Yale, School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern said PepsiCo chose to have a laboratory in New Haven to collaborate with the school’s faculty, which Alpern said is known for its research in obesity and metabolism.

PepsiCo has funded research by School of Medicine researchers in the past, according to James Jamieson, director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program in the School of Medicine, which has 86 students this year.

Jamieson said six or seven researchers are currently working at the laboratory, which he said will be run by Mark Pirner, an endocrinologist who may eventually teach at the School of Medicine. Eventually, the laboratory hopes to employ 10 researchers, Naughton said. Students who receive the graduate fellowship, which is worth $250,000 over five years, may choose to work at the PepsiCo laboratory, Jamieson added.

PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer Indra Nooyi SOM ’80 is a fellow of the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.

Contact rachel gilmore at rachel.gilmore@yale.edu .

Comments