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".
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.
Dr. Meghan Azad Presents "Mother's Milk & Baby's Bacteria" at Nutrition in Pregnancy Conference
As an invited speaker at the Nutrition in Pregnancy Conference, hosted by Oregon Health & Science University and held Jun 1-3, 2022 in Washington, DC, USA, Dr. Azad gave a presentation on "Mother's Milk & Baby's Bacteria: How Breastfeeding Shapes the Infant Microbiome and Child Health".
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.
THRiVE Lab News