A $1.7 million award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Research Manitoba will allow CHILD researchers to study how individuals and families across Canada have been impacted directly by COVID-19 infection and indirectly by pandemic-related social and economic upheaval. Funding was announced today by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, as part of a $109-million investment by CIHR and provincial partners to mobilize science to fight COVID-19. Research Manitoba contributed $100,000 to the $1.7-million CHILD award. Read the press release. (Artwork courtesy of CHILD participants.)
The CHILD Cohort Study released a new video featuring our research on breast milk and breastfeeding - including evidence that breastfed infants have higher levels of beneficial gut bacteria, healthier growth patterns, and lower rates of wheezing and asthma. Our research shows that HOW a baby is breastfed matters too – meaning, there is a difference between feeding directly from the breast and feeding pumped breastmilk from a bottle. And just like fingerprints, breastmilk is unique to each mom and baby. Watch the video to find out how these discoveries are helping parents, health professionals and communities to understand the role of breastmilk in child health and development, toward ensuring that all babies grow up healthy, however they are fed.
We are extremely proud to announce that our very own Sarah Turner has been named a 2020 Vanier Scholar! Sarah is one of 5 University of Manitoba recipients this year. Her doctoral research will explore the link between breastfeeding and child behaviour in the CHILD Cohort Study. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, valued at $150,000 over 3 years, recognize Canada's top graudate students on the basis of academic excellence, research potential and leadership. Congratulations Sarah!
Fungi constitute an important yet frequently neglected component of the human microbiota with a possible role in health and disease. In this study, led by Azad Lab PhD student Dr. Shirin Moossavi, we analyzed fungi in breast milk from mothers in the CHILD study. Results were published this week in BMC Microbiology.
Azad Lab members Merilee Brockway and Sarah Turner have published an article with The Conversation Canada, focused on raising awareness about how COVID-19 is changing breastfeeding practices, and what supports are available to families during this challenging time.
New paper from Azad lab & collaborators about artificial sweeteners during pregnancy and offspring adiposity
This new research builds on previous findings in the CHILD Cohort Study, showing that maternal consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of overweight at one year of age. In this study, we re-examined these associations in the CHILD Cohort at 3 years of age, and collaborated with Dr. Vern Dolinksy to perform new experiments in mice and cell culture models. This translational research showed that maternal NNS intake during pregnancy caused elevated body weight, an accumulation of body fat, and insulin resistance in the offspring. Dr. Azad posted a Tweetorial about the study, which was published this week in the International Journal of Obesity.
With a $6.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Azad is launching a new study that could enhance the health of infants around the world. The International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium will identify human milk components linked to infant growth and resilience to inform maternal, newborn and infant nutrition recommendations and interventions. The IMiC team will analyze milk from 1200 mother-infant dyads across 5 diverse settings (Tanzania, Pakistan, Nepal, Burkina Faso and Canada). Read more about IMiC in this interview with Research Manitoba.
Together with 20 fellow Canada Research Chairs, Dr. Azad co-authored an article published by The Conversation Canada, calling for scientific experts and political leaders to come together and bridge the gap between scientific research and policy making at the political level.
Azad Lab News