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".
Nominated by her graduate students, the Ed Kroeger Mentorship Award, presented 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.
The Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) is a student-run science policy group which provides a platform to learn more about and engage in science policy. As an invited speaker, Dr. Meghan Azad gave a special presentation on Science for Policy: Evidence to Drive Decision-Making, where she shared her experiences and unique insights on the processes of bridging science with policy.
Natalie Scime, PhD Candidate in Epidemiology and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Graduate Scholar specializing in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary is a 2021 recipient of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) Trainee Expansion Program Trainee Travel Fund award. With this funding support and while under Dr. Meghan Azad's mentorship, Natalie will lead a project investigating whether human milk composition is associated with mothers' long-term cardiometabolic health.
Dr. Meghan Azad was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Canadian Glycomics Symposium 2022, held May 11-13, 2022 in Banff, Alberta. Her presentation "7 Years of Human Milk Oligosaccharide Research in the CHILD Cohort: What have we learned and what's up next?" discusses the importance and complexities of human milk research with the CHILD Cohort Study.
Co-authored by Dr. Meghan Azad and collaborators from University of British Columbia, this review describes new findings and knowledge gaps regarding Secretory IgA and its role supporting healthy immune development during infancy. Aspects related to human milk and the infant microbiome are highlighted. Read the review here: "Secretory IgA: Linking microbes, maternal health, and infant health through human milk" [PDF]
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 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 was today's Canada's Top 40 Under 40 2021 honoree spotlight. Dr. Azad was a recipient of this award which recognizes the exceptional achievements of 40 outstanding Canadians under the age of 40. In an interview featured on the CHILD Cohort Study's website, Dr. Azad said "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 in the National Post's special feature here.
THRiVE Lab News