Dr. Azad speaks with CHRIM about leveraging the CHILD study to understand COVID-19's impact on Canadian families
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted Canadian families. Dr. Azad hopes to understand this impact with a new research project, profiled by the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM). This $1.7M project involves families already enrolled in the CHILD Cohort Study to better understand the social and physical impacts of the pandemic on children and their parents.
In 2018 Dr. Meghan Azad, Dr. Lars Bode and colleagues published the seminal paper, "Human Milk Oligosaccharide Concentrations Are Associated with Multiple Fixed and Modifiable Maternal Characteristics, Environmental Factors, and Feeding Practices," describing how human milk oligosaccharide concentrations are impacted by multiple fixed and modifiable maternal characteristics, environmental factors and feeding practices. This foundational paper is now named among the Most Cited articles from 2018 in The Journal of Nutrition, with 45 citations and counting! Congratulations, Meghan and collaborators!
The Grand Challenges Meeting aims to solve global health and development problems for those most in need. Two Azad lab projects, the IMiC and iPOP studies, were presented this year. Both projects study perinatal health outcomes in low, middle and high income countries, with the aim of improving child outcomes for all.
Dr. Sarah Reyes, post-doctoral fellow in the Azad Lab, was interviewed for a recent article in Future Human on new biotechnology that would grow breastmilk in a lab. This technology is hoping to harness the power of breastmilk in a reproducible way, however, Dr. Reyes reminds us that we are ‘miles away from understanding the science of breastmilk’, making it difficult to replicate at this point. She states that our first priority should be making better social and professional support for breastfeeding so more women can produce their own milk for their babies.
MSc student, Rilwan Azeez, created an animated short film to capture his passion for human milk science. This video was created to promote National Breastfeeding Week and is a great visualization for why human milk science is important. Great job using your skills and talents to communicate the wonders of breastmilk, Rilwan!
Dr. Azad contributes to a new report: Scanning for New Evidence on the Nutrient Content of Human Milk
Dr. Meghan Azad contributed to a newly-published evidence scan describing the nutrient content and milk volume consumed by infants to help inform reference standards for infant nutrition intake. The report was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.D. Department of Health and Human Services for the National Academies of Science. This report uncovers the importance of researching the complexity of human milk to optimize infant health and will be used to help improve policies and infant nutrition guidelines. See the Twitter Tutorial here.
National Breastfeeding Week (NBW) is celebrated in Canada from October 1-7, 2020 as a way to support and promote breastfeeding. Azad Lab members celebrated NBW by sharing what breastfeeding and human milk research means to them in short videos. Video participants listed in order of appearance.
Dr. Azad presented CHILD research at two virtual conferences this week: The International Milk Genomics Consortium virtual symposium and the Microbiome Movement Maternal & Infant Health Summit. The presentations focused on the milk, nose and gut bacteria collected from CHILD study samples and how these different bacteria can help shape infant health. It is amazing what we are discovering about bacteria from the rich data available in the CHILD cohort!
Sarah Turner, PhD candidate, received honorable mention in the PhD category for her poster abstract entitled “Infant feeding, human milk components and child behavior at age 5 years: Preliminary results from the longitudinal CHILD Cohort Study” at Child Health Research Days. At this year’s virtual conference, all abstract authors gave five-minute short talks with accompanying slides on their research project.
Although children often avoid the worst physical effects of the COVID-19 virus, what could be the long-term effects of the pandemic on child health, development and resilience? Dr. Meghan Azad will join Drs. Candice Odgers and Micheal Kobor in an upcoming CIFAR webinar to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on child health.
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