THRiVE lab members, Sarah Turner, MSc., and Dr. Meghan Azad, contributed to a brief prepared by the MILC Club [brief] and submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Women's Health. The brief provides recommendations to the 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.
Congratulations to THRiVE lab MSc student, Rilwan Azeez, on successfully defending his thesis titled "Predictors of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels following two COVID-19 vaccine doses". It has been an absolute pleasure watching Rilwan grow and succeed as a researcher in the THRiVE Discovery Lab. A big thank you for everything RIlwan has brought to the lab and best of luck with his future endeavors!
Congratulations to THRiVE 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.
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].
Congratulations to the THRiVE Discovery lab members! 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, Sarah Turner and RIlwan Azeez, under the supervision of Dr. Meghan Azad, all received CHRD awards. Spencer Ames 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". Sarah Turner 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". RIlwan Azeez received silver in the Masters students section for his poster titled "Predictors of SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels following two COVID-19 vaccine doses: Results from the CHILD COVID-19 Add-on Study".
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 THRiVE Discovery Lab Post-Doctoral Fellow, 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 THRiVE Discovery Lab's Director of Operations, Diversity & Inclusion, 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. At THRiVE Discovery Lab, 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."
Published in the National Geographic magazine, "Many women struggle to breastfeed. Scientists are starting to ask why" shares personal breastfeeding stories and discusses the biology of breastfeeding, how it can go wrong, and the future of research - including the funding difficulties researchers have faced in this area. The article mentions the International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium, co-directed by THRiVE Discovery Lab and MILC leaders Meghan Azad & Natalie Rodriguez. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IMiC is uniting maternal-child health and human milk researchers with statistical experts to co-develop a harmonized approach to human milk analysis. Read the article here.
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".
THRiVE Lab News