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.
The Canadian Student Health Research Forum (CSHRF) and Gairdner Symposium were held jointly June 13-20, 2022 at the University of Manitoba. This annual event offered a venue for networking, research exposure, and recognized some of Canada's most promising research trainees in the health sciences. THRiVE Discovery Lab Graduate Student, Spencer Ames, under the supervision of Dr. Meghan Azad, received an honourable mention from the Manitoba Poster Competition for his poster presentation "Investigating the relationship between infant feeding practices and immune biomarkers of one-year-old infants in the CHILD Cohort Study".
Congratulations, Dr. Meghan Azad! Nominated by her graduate students, the Ed Kroeger Mentorship Award (awarded by the Health Sciences Graduate Students' Association) recognized Dr. Azad for her excellence and distinction in mentorship, teaching, and research. Noting that "mentorship is a team effort in the THRiVE Discovery Lab", Dr. Azad invited her co-director, Natalie Rodriguez, and Research Associate, Larisa Lotoski, to join her on stage and receive the award.
Congratulations! Under Dr. Lauren Kelly's supervision, Uma defended her Master's thesis Medications in Milk. Dr. Kelly's Clinical Pharmacology Lab studies the use of medications during breastfeeding, and played an integral role in the launch of MILC. Visit this link for Dr. Kelly's Tweetorial on Uma's presentation.
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.