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.
Dr. Azad has teamed up with CIFAR to share her expertise in Microbiome research. The researchers met virtually on March 11, 2020 to discuss laying the foundation for new microbiome curriculum for Public Health. The discussion focused on how the human microbiome shapes health and disease across the lifespan, its relevance to issues being taught across public health school programs and why integrating this knowledge into public health curricula is so essential at this time.
Despite challenges due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Shirin Moossavi (top left) successfully defended her PhD thesis online, apparently from the ruins of Persepolis! The external examiner was Dr. Jayne Danska from the University of Toronto. Examiners from the University of Manitoba included Dr. John Wylie, Dr. Meaghan Jones, Dr. Denice Bay, and thesis supervisor Dr. Meghan Azad. Thanks to the many friends, colleagues, family members and supporters who turned into the presentation on Zoom and on Youtube! The online format allowed for more people to see the defense than would likely have been possible in person, contributing to the overall success of the event. Congratulations, Dr. Moossavi, on this major accomplishment!
Dr. Azad's new International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium was profiled in the article, "A sizeable contribution to breast milk research" published in The Manitoban. From the article: "It’s an exciting time for breast milk research at the U of M, thanks to a $6.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Meghan Azad, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and child health at the U of M, was awarded the grant to establish the International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium that will analyze breast milk to better inform maternal and infant nutrition." Thanks to Jennifer Carneiro and The Manitoban, U of M's student newspaper, for helping to spread the word about this exciting project!
As a new Fellow in the CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome Program, Dr. Azad will have the opportunity to advance research in this exciting field with national and international colleagues. CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.
Dr. Azad was interviewed for a recent article in The Antlantic entitled "A Bold and Controversial Idea for Making Breast Milk", about a startup company seeking to create a lab-grown alternative to breast milk. Dr. Azad and other human milk researchers urged cautioun about this approach, indicating that support to facilitate breastfeeding should remain an important priority.
Azad Lab postdoctoral fellows Dr. Merilee Brockway (top) and Dr. Kozeta Miliku (bottom) presented their research at the Canadian Perinatal Research Meeting, held last week in 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). Dr. Azad was elected to a three-year term as Manitoba representative on the DOHaD Canada Council (2020-2023).
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding announcement & 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. The International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium will analyze milk from 1200 mother-infant dyads across 5 diverse settings (Tanzania, Pakistan, Nepal, Burkina Faso and Canada).
Dr. Azad was interviewed on CTV Morning Live and interviewed by CBC. Coverage of the announcement also made the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press! (Subscription required for access; a scanned copy can be accessed here).
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.
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