New Paper: Capturing the diversity of the human milk microbiota through culture-enriched molecular profiling
Azad Lab Trainee, Dr. Moossavi and co-authors optimized and applied culture-enriched molecular profiling to study culturable milk bacteria from human milk. The feasibility study was published in FEMS Microbiology Letters. This study was supported by the ISRHML Trainee Expansion Program and done in collaboration with the Surette Lab. Tweetorial here!
Azad Lab Trainees publish new framework to enhance repeatability and reproducibility in microbiome research
Azad Lab trainees, Dr. Shirin Moossavi and Kelsy Fehr, published "Repeatability and reproducibility assessment in a large-scale population based microbiota study: case study on human milk microbiota" in Microbiome. This case study demonstrates the importance of their proposed quality-control framework to enhance reproducibility and reliability in low biomass microbiome research. Tweetorial here!
Dr. Azad interviewed on the Evolutionary Parenting Podcast about non-nutritive sweetener use during pregnancy
Do you use artificial (non-nutritive) sweeteners? Did you use them while you were pregnant? Tracy Cassels, host of the Evolutionary Parenting Podcast, interviews Dr. Azad about her research in this field and the effects of non-nutritive sweetener use in pregnancy on babies. Listen to the interview on Soundcloud here!
Drs. Azad and Brockway co-author interdisciplinary perspectives article on breastfeeding in The Conversation
Drs. Azad and Brockway and others co-authored an article in The Conversation about the importance of breastfeeding research for advancing health and ultimately saving lives, and the counterproductive tensions that arise among researchers, advocates and industry in this field. This article stemmed from their experience co-writing a paper from a workshop about how researchers & stakeholders from different disciplines can collaborate to accelerate progress in the field of breastfeeding, lactation & human milk research. Follow the Tweetorial here!
Azad Lab and MILC members publish correspondence on messaging and methodological considerations when researching breastfeeding and obesity
Azad Lab and Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC) members published a correspondence in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled "Messaging and methodological considerations when researching breastfeeding and obesity." They addressed concerns about a potentially harmful message in a paper implying milk from mothers with an elevated BMI may predispose their infants to obesity, which is unsupported by the paper's data. Tweetorial coming soon!
Elle Canada asked Dr. Azad, who was awarded the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders Award – a category of the annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards – to share the most worthwhile insights they’ve gained from a mentor. Dr. Azad mentions that one of the most important benefits is a network, saying "This is so important. Personal introductions to key groups and colleagues can be priceless." To someone looking to find their ideal mentor, she says "Don’t feel shy about approaching someone, but also don’t take it personally if they are not able to commit. If you can be introduced through a mutual connection, that always helps. Also, I think the best mentorship is bidirectional, so think about what you can offer them too!” Read her other advice on essential career skills here!
Now in its 12th year, CHILD has produced over 100 scientific publications with breakthrough findings that have been featured by global media outlets. The Azad Lab's breastmilk research work has shown that the way breastmilk reaches the baby is important. “Pumped breastmilk gives baby many of the same health benefits as nursing – it’s just that nursing may have a slight edge,” says Dr. Azad. Read the full success story here!
Dr. Azad co-authors publication on the hygiene hypothesis, COVID, and microbiome with the CIFAR HMB group
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to affect the human microbiome in infected and uninfected individuals, having a substantial impact on human health over the long term. The CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome (HMB) group, including Dr. Azad and co-authors, share their perspectives on how COVID-19−induced societal changes could impact the microbiome, and discuss current and future challenges regarding the interplay between this pandemic and the microbiome. "The hygiene hypothesis, the COVID pandemic, and consequences for the human microbiome" was published in PNAS.
This year's Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS) Mini Virtual Conference Series will have a focus on pediatric nutrition - from the womb to the first 1,000 days of life. On February 25, Dr. Azad will be presenting on Milk & Microbes: Human milk oligosaccharides, infant gut microbiota and health trajectories in the CHILD Cohort Study. This talk will discuss CHILD research associations between human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), infant gut microbiota and atopic sensitization in breastfed infants.
A documentary based on the acclaimed book Let Them Eat Dirt by B. Brett Finlay, PhD & Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD features research by Dr. Azad and the CHILD Study. Dr. Azad explains her data on microbes in breastmilk and why the way infants receive breastmilk matters. She also sheds light on how perceptions of breastfeeding affect all of us society-wide – not just mothers and babies.
Azad Lab News