MILC Club Members expressed their thoughts on breastfeeding to support World Breastfeeding Week 2023 (#WBW2023). This annual celebration takes place from August 1 to 7 each year since 1992, commemorating the 1990 Innocenti Declaration. Discover ways to #ProtectBreastfeeding by visiting worldbreastfeedingweek.org.
The IMiC Consortium, co-directed by Meghan Azad & Natalie Rodriguez, held its first in-person meeting from June 18-20, 2023, in Ghent, Belgium. After 3 years of virtual collaboration, researcher finally convened for three impactful days of brainstorming and knowledge exchange. The Yalo Boutique Hotel and Het Pand served as venues for a hackathon, discussions, and presentations, bring researchers closer to unraveling the secretes of breastmilk. Universiteit Gent graciously hosted the event, which marked a significant step forward in understanding complexities of breastmilk. With renewed enthusiasm, the consortium eagerly awaits the groundbreaking results to emerge from this collaborative effort. Stay tuned for more updates from IMiC as they continue their pioneering research in the field of breastmilk!
Congratulations to THRiVE Lab and MILC co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, on being announced as the 2023 Janet Rossant Lecturer at the Massey College. The Janet Rossant Lectureship was established in 2018 at Massey College in recognition of Dr. Rossant’s distinguished career as a scientist, scholar, builder and mentor of young scientists. Date to be determined.
MILC and THRiVE lab co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, speaks with CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press about the benefits of breast milk and how the research being conducted by Dr. Azad and colleagues, is focusing on examining breast milk as a biological system, understanding all of its components and how it can have implications for public policy that supports breastfeeding mothers and makes babies healthier. More information about the news coverage can be found on CTV News Winnipeg and Winnipeg Free Press websites.
MILC co-directors, Dr. Meghan Azad and Natalie Rodriguez, receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
MILC and THRiVE Discovery lab co-directors, Dr. Meghan Azad and Natalie Rodriguez, received a grant of US$2.5 million from the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH), the national medical research agency in the United States. Since NIH prioritizes research in the US, only uniquely qualified Canadian researchers are awarded this grant. This grant will fund the five-year Multi-omics Milk (MuMi) Study. This MuMi study aims to leverage and unite two well-established human milk research platforms: the International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium, a network of researchers and data scientists co-led by Dr. Azad and Rodriguez, and the CHILD Cohort Study, a project deputy-directed by Dr. Azad that is following a large cohort of Canadian children born in 2009-12, to investigate human milk, its determinants and health impacts among 1600 mother-infant dyads using a novel multi-omics approach. Read more about it in the news from the UM Today Network here.
MILC and THRiVE lab co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, was interviewed on the Australian Brodcast Corporation (ABC) radio Babytalk podcast in 2021. In this podcast, Dr. Azad highlighted the importance of breastmilk as an incredible source of nutrition for the baby and how her research on the developmental origins of chronic diseases is exploring the influence of breastmilk on the future health of the babies. Listen to the full podcast here.
MILC member and THRiVE lab masters student, Spencer Ames, and colleagues published "Comparing early life nutritional sources and human milk feeding practices: personalized and dynamic nutrition supports infant gut microbiome development and immune system maturation" in Gut Microbes. This review article synthesizes evidence from human studies and model systems to discuss the impact of different nutritional sources on co-development of gut microbiome, antigen tolerance and immunity via mechanisms including epigenetics and the "weaning reaction". Follow the link to the full article [PDF] and check out Dr. Azad's [Tweetorial] on Twitter.
Congratulations to MILC co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, on receiving the 2022 Steacie Prize, one of Canada's most coveted awards for early career researchers. The Steacie prize is named in honour of Edgar William Richard Steacie, a physical chemist and former president of the National Research Council of Canada. This prize is awarded to a person 40 years of age or younger who has made notable contributions to research in Canada. More about the Steacie Prize can be found here.
Congratulations to Dr. Katherine Kearns and Dr. Christina Raimondi, recipients of the Doctors Manitoba Medal of Excellence.
MILC Club members, Dr. Katherine Kearns and Dr. Christina Raimondi, received the Doctors Manitoba Medal of Excellence for their work in establishing The Winnipeg Breastfeeding Centre in 2017. Through this, they address challenges patients face in accessing help with lactation or infant feeding. By utilizing the latest scientific evidence on breastfeeding, human milk feeding and infant feeding practices, the clinic and its experts are now a trusted resource for patients and physicians. Read more on Doctors Manitoba website and watch their Medal of Excellence Gala video here.
Congratulations to MILC co-Director and Operations Director, Natalie Rodriguez, on being the winner of the 2023 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award! The award was created to honor the memory of Michelle Harkness, AllerGen’s Manager of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Training and Events. It recognizes and supports trainees, researchers and others working in airways and allergic disease who demonstrate a significant commitment to promoting capacity building, career enhancement and personal growth through mentorship.