MILC Club members, Sarah Turner, Dr. Christina Raimondi, Dr. Katherine Kearns, Dr. Meghan Azad and Karishma Hosein, MSc, have submitted a brief the House of Commons Standing Committee on Women's Health. The brief provides recommendations to government on how to improve maternal, child and population health by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that support innovation, discovery, knowledge mobilization and policy development focused on human milk and infant feeding. Download the full document here. Link to the Twitter thread [here].
Congratulations to MILC co-Director, Dr. Meghan Azad, on receiving the 2022 Steacie Price! The Steacie prize is annually awarded to a young scientist or engineer in Canada. It is named in the memory of E.W.R. Steacie, a physical chemist and former President of the National Research Council of Canada, to whom much is owed for the development of science in Canada.
MILC member and THRiVE Lab PhD student, Sarah Turner, and colleagues published "Breastfeeding in the pandemic: A qualitative analysis of breastfeeding experiences among mothers from Canada and the United Kingdom" in Women and Birth. Sarah received an award from the International Society for Research and Human Lactation and the Family Larsson Rosenquist Foundation to work with Dr. Amy Brown's research team in the UK on this project. This original research explored first-time mothers' breastfeeding experiences to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic affected breastfeeding journeys in Canada and the United Kingdom. Follow the link to the full article [PDF].
Led by MILC Club member Carol Dyck, this new program aims to provide support to families, who wish to feed their babies human milk, against barriers such as income and food security, racism, and social isolation. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MilkMentors.MB. The program was inspired by Breastfeeding Buddies Program in Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario and Ontario BestStart Peer Support Training Tool-kit.
The 18th Annual Child Health Research Days (CHRD) were hosted by Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) on October 26-27, 2022 in a hybrid format. THRiVE Discovery Lab Graduate Students, Spencer Ames, under the supervision of Dr. Meghan Azad, received bronze in the Masters students section for his poster titled "Investigating the relationship between infant feeding practices and immune biomarkers of one-year-old infants in the CHILD Cohort Study" and Sarah Turner, also under the supervision of Dr. Meghan Azad, received an honorable mention in the PhD students section for her poster titled "Maternal depression and parent-child relationship mediate the association between breastfeeding and child behaviour". Samira Seif, a MILC Club member in Dr. Ayesha Saleem's lab, received bronze in the non-trainees section and gold in the people's choice awards for her poster titled "Cellular uptake of breast milk-derived extracellular vesicles is higher in mothers with asthma in a transwell model of the gastrointestinal barrier".
MILC Members, Drs. Katherine Kearns and Christina Raimondi, along with other Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine Specialists, founded the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine (NABBLM). The NABBLM will set the standard in physician training, knowledge, skills, and certification in Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine for Canada and the USA. Congratulations to Drs. Kearns and Raimondi and the NABBLM team!
The recently published milk fortifier paper has created discussion in The Scientist Magazine. Dr. Meghan Azad was interviewed to discuss the research and its implications for feeding premature babies. She emphasized the importance of supporting mothers to pump and store their own breastmilk, and the need for more research in this area. Read the full article here.
Former MILC member, Dr. Shreyas Kumbhare, co-authored with Dr. Meghan Azad and collaborators have published a new research paper in Cell Reports Medicine: "Source of human milk (mother or donor) is more important than fortifier type (human or bovine) in shaping the preterm infant microbiome". This research highlights the importance of feeding mother's own milk to premature infants. Read the full article here [PDF]. A corresponding commentary by Dr. Paula Meier can also be viewed here, and the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba's press release here. Follow this link to read the Tweetorial.
Congratulations to MILC Co-Director, Natalie Rodriguez, for becoming a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP)! This certification process is designed to assess the knowledge and experience of diversity and inclusion professionals against the standard established by the CCIP Competency Framework. When asked how she feels to be the 2nd person in Manitoba to be certified, she said "I'm honoured to be counted amongst Canada's Certified Inclusion Professionals. This certification is part of my ongoing commitment to increasing health equity in research. We approach research through an inclusive lens with an aim to conduct equitable, well-rounded research that includes traditionally underrepresented or marginalized stakeholders. This begins with engagement, diverse and inclusive study design, recruitment strategies, questionnaire and protocol development through to knowledge translation and dissemination. I am excited to continue supporting our work in equitable health systems design."
On July 1st, 2022, Dr. Nathan Nickel will step into his new role as Director for the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) - one of MILC's strategic partner organizations. The MCHP is a centre of research excellence that is world renown for conducting whole-population research on the health and social determinants of health using linked clinical, administrative, and survey data from health and social services, education, the legal system, and health registries. The centre's 65 scientists, trainees, data analysts and managers, research coordinators, and research support staff work together to generate evidence to inform policies, programs, and services to improve Health and well-being. At MILC, we are excited for Dr. Nickel's appointment and look forward to the impactful research MILC and MCHP will do together.