Dr. Merilee Brockway (top) and Dr. Kozeta Miliku (bottom) presented their most recent work on breast milk and breastfeeding to their colleagues at the Canadian Perinatal Research Meeting, held last week in beautiful Banff.
Dr. Brockway presented a qualitative study on breastfeeding self-efficacy (shown above), as well as her latest research on maternal secretor status in relation to donor human milk in a separate presentation.
Dr. Miliku presented her recent work on the relationship between human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) profiles and asthma development. Congratulations to both on this great opportunity to share and network!
National representatives from DOHaD Canada, which advances understanding of the developmental origins of health and disease, met today at the beautiful Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (pictured above). This was the first DOHaD Canada Council meeting attended by Dr. Azad since it was announced she has been approved for a three-year term as Manitoba representative (2020-2023). Congratulations to Dr. Azad and DOHaD Canada on their newest Council member!
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding announcement and launch of the International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium
The University of Manitoba announced this week that Dr. Azad has received $6.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to assemble an international network for comprehensive description of the contents of human milk in relation to infant growth.
For the second time in a week, CTV hosted Dr. Azad to talk about her research on breast milk and breastfeeding, this time to introduce the IMiC Consortium (to see the clip, click here).
Dr. Azad was also interviewed by CBC and coverage of the announcement made the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press. (Please note: Subscription required to access article full-text. A scanned PDF of the article can be accessed by clicking here).
All in all a great week for breast milk research and breastfeeding awareness!
Meghan Azad and Sarah Turner hosted by Maralee Caruso on CTV to promote upcoming Café Scientifique "Got Breast Milk?" event
Promoting the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding while acknowledging challenges women face every day, Dr. Azad and PhD student Sarah Turner were interviewed about their upcoming Café Scientifique event with Dr. Nathan Nickel and Dr. Lauren Kelly. Event this Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 7pm at McNally Robinson, Grant Park location.
Thanks Maralee for helping get the word out! To see the full clip, click here.
New CHILD video about the importance of baby's microbiome wins national knowledge mobilization award from CIHR
The CHILD Cohort Study and a Baby’s Microbiome (see it on Youtube) takes us on a journey into the animated world of a baby’s gut microbiome. It shares CHILD research discoveries that are helping us to understand allergies, asthma, obesity and everyday health and wellbeing – especially during childhood.
The video won the Runner-Up Prize and $1,000 as part of the Canadian Institute of Health Research knowledge mobilization video competition "IHDCYH Talks". Illustrations and animation were designed by RichToons. Thanks to everyone who went online to vote for the video!
Join us for a FREE learning event on breast milk, called "Breast Milk Scientific", featuring 7 experts in human milk and breastfeeding, including Dr. Azad, from Feb. 3-7, 2020. Click here to register!
This event is part of the official launch for the Breast Milk & Microbiome online course, brought to you by the makers of the award-winning movie "Microbirth", which Dr. Azad was also part of. The course and movie are available for purchase here.
Congratulations Dr. Kozeta Miliku, Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Azad Lab, for winning this prestigious award, recognizing outstanding mentorship in the fields of airways and allergic diseases. Through her tireless support of students and fellow trainees, Kozeta has demonstrated the exceptional qualities of a mentor that Michelle Harkness embodied throughout her life and career.
Dr. Miliku will receive the award at the Canadian Respiratory Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on April 17, 2020. More information on the award can be accessed here.
The latest research on human milk fatty acids recently published by Dr. Miliku, Dr. Azad and colleagues has been profiled in the latest issue of "SPLASH! Milk Science Update", by the International Milk Genomics Consortium. The title of the piece is: "Genes, Diet, Environment: A Host of Factors Influence Human Milk Fatty Acids", and features extensive discussion of our research and an interview with Dr. Azad.
From the article, which can be accessed here: "Fatty acids are the most variable macronutrient in human milk. So variable, in fact, that researchers believe each mother produces her own unique milk fatty acid signature. Unfortunately, not all fatty acid signatures are optimal for infant growth and development. Decades of research have demonstrated that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA), is necessary to optimize the growth and development of infant neural functions. DHA also happens to be one of the most variable fatty acids in human milk, which means many mothers produce milk with concentrations that might not meet infant developmental requirements."
Enhanced exchange of knowledge and skills at the Azad Lab, thanks to the ISRHML Trainee Expansion Program - next deadline Dec. 15th!
The Azad Lab is currently participating in two exciting exchange visits sponsored by the Trainee Expansion Program (TEP) of the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML),
Dr. Kozeta Miliku, post-doctoral fellow in the Azad Lab, has recently had the opportunity to advance her genetic/genomic research skills in the lab of Dr. Qingling Duan at Queen's University (Kingston, ON).
Dr. Anuradha Ravi, researcher at the Quadram Institute (Norfolk, UK), is currently spending time in the Azad Lab learning about human milk research and sharing her expertise in metagenomics of microbial communities. As part of her visit, she has been invited to present her work at the National Microbiology Laboratory Bioinformatics Working Group.
Many thanks to the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation, ISHRML and TEP for creating these exciting opportunities for knowledge exchange, trainee development and lab cross-fertilization! The next deadline for TEP is coming up December 15th. Check out this link to apply!
Dr. Azad contributes expertise to invited panel in Washington DC, scanning evidence on nutrient content and health benefits of breast milk
As part of the activity "Scanning for New Evidence on the Nutrient Content of Human Milk: A Model for the Derivation of Age-Specific Nutrient Requirements", Dr, Meghan Azad contributed expertise as part of a committee formed at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, DC (November 7, 2019).
The goals of this activity are: "To conduct a literature search and evidence scan of the peer-reviewed published literature on the nutrient content and volume of human milk as an indicator of infant nutritional requirements. The committee will develop pre-specified criteria to characterize nutrient levels in human milk and to identify characteristics of the nutritional quality of human milk in relation to infant requirements to support normal growth and development."
More information about this meeting can be found by clicking HERE.
Azad Lab News