Dr. Meghan Azad presents Research Approach for the Breastmilk Ecology: Genesis of Infant Nutrition Project
The Breastmilk Ecology: Genesis of Infant Nutrition (BEGIN) Project webinar was held virtually earlier this week and MILC Co-Director, Dr. Meghan Azad, presented on the "Research Approach for Investigating Human Milk as a Biological System". The BEGIN Project looks at the ecological approach to analyzing human milk by studying it as a complex biological system and examining its interactions with its internal (parental biology) and external (infant interactions) environments. Follow these links to read more about BEGIN and view the webinar.
Dr. Meghan Azad, a Fellow of the CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome program, was featured in CIFAR's REACH magazine in their winter 2022 "The Next Generation" issue. Dr. Azad used the opportunity to highlight the importance of studying breastmilk, and acknowledged The Manitoba Interdisciplinary Centre (MILC) as a support for her research. "People have been studying breast milk for a long time. But to be honest, not that many people. It’s surprising when you think about it, given how important breast milk is to our species", stated Dr. Azad. "We look for various nutrients, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, immune factors, microbes, metabolites, and so on. The idea is, if we analyze everything in the milk and then look at it all together, we can understand how breast milk influences the microbiome, gut health, immunity and growth. It’s the new way of thinking about human milk as a ‘biological system".
CHILD's video New Scientific insights into breastfeeding, developed with the help of MILC Club members, won first place in the 2021 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) "IHDCYH Talks" knowledge mobilization video competition. This video shares important discoveries about the role of breastmilk in child health and development through research done with MILC members from the Azad Lab in collaboration with other CHILD Cohort Study investigators. Important findings include a higher level of beneficial gut bacteria and healthier growth patterns in babies who are breastfed compared to babies who are not breastfed, as well as a lower rate of wheezing and risk of developing asthma as they get older. To view all of the 2021 video submissions on the IHDCYH Talks Video Competition YouTube Channel, click here.
Dr. Meghan Azad has been named one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" for 2021, an annual recognition of the exceptional achievements of 40 outstanding Canadians under the age of 40. "To receive this award is such an honor," said Dr. Azad in an interview featured on the CHILD Cohort Study's website. "It’s gratifying to see, through this celebration of the work I am doing with others, breastfeeding and human milk recognized as an important field. This work depends on the dedication and talents of many colleagues, trainees and research participants. I continue to be grateful to them all, and I’m excited about the new projects we are planning together." Read more about this award here.
MILC co-Director, Dr. Azad interviewed by CTV News to celebrate CHILD Cohort Study's 10 year anniversary
MILC co-Director, Dr. Azad was interviewed by CTV News Winnipeg about the CHILD Cohort Study in celebration of it's tenth anniversary. "The CHILD database is something that really could never be replicated and we are only at the tip of the iceberg", states Dr. Azad, "There are so many [breastmilk] samples still in the freezer that will probably hold secrets that will cure diseases or answer big questions using technologies that don't even exist yet today." Watch the full video here.
MILC experts shared key discoveries on current human milk and lactation research at The Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) Child Health Research Days (CHRD) Public Event on October 5 to support National Breastfeeding Week. Attendees engaged in a discussion about the role of infant nutrition in development, health and wellbeing; health-equity challenges and support for breastfeeding; breastfeeding/chestfeeding trends and lactation education; and more. The event had 179 registrants from 15 countries! View the recording here.
MILC Co-Director Dr. Meghan Azad and co-authors published "Breastfeeding and the developmental origins of mucosal immunity: how human milk shapes the innate and adaptive mucosal immune systems" in Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Their review explains how different components of human milk influence development of the innate and adaptive mucosal immune systems in breastfed infants. [PDF] Read the Tweetorial here.
The CHILD Cohort Study has developed infographics & lay summaries of Key Discoveries including those focused on Breastfeeding; each of these infographics received input by MILC Club Members. All infographics accompany a full web story and JPG or PDF for download and sharing. Check them out at Key Discoveries – CHILD Cohort Study (childstudy.ca)!
MILC Club Member, Dr. Ayesha Saleem received a 2020 University of Manitoba Merit Award for her combination of outstanding teaching, research, scholarly work and creative activities, and service in the Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering category. The full list of recipients can be found here. Well-deserved and congratulations, Ayesha!