Lactation researcher named one of top 5 science minds in Australia

31/07/2020 | 2 mins

A molecular scientist from The University of Western Australia has been selected as one of Australia’s top science researchers in this year’s ABC Top 5 Science media residency program.

Dr Lisa Stinson from UWA’s School of Molecular Sciences studies human breast milk and its function in passing on bacteria to infants. These bacteria contribute to the infant’s microbiome, which is immensely important for the health and immune system of babies and for their health as they grow up.

ABC’s Top 5 enables Australia’s brightest minds to share their knowledge and expertise with a wide audience.

The annual program trains PhD-qualified early-career researchers in the craft of communicating with the nation, with recipients working alongside some of Australia’s best broadcasters at ABC Radio.

Dr Stinson said in early life, breast milk was highly influential in shaping the microbiome and programming life-long health.

“I study the bacteria present in breast milk, and their importance for our health. I also examine the effects of maternal health and lifestyle factors on the human milk and infant gut microbiomes,” Dr Stinson said.

Dr Stinson said she was delighted to be recognised in the ABC’s top 5 minds program for her research.

“Every parent wants to give their child the best start to life, and I’m privileged to be able to do research that can empower parents to make the best choices for their children,” she said.

“The ABC Top 5 Science residency will help me to learn how to better translate my research findings to parents and the community. Ultimately, the point of the work that I do is to improve health outcomes for infants by improving early-life microbial exposure.

“Exposure to world-class science reporting at the ABC will allow me to more effectively interact with the media and science communicators to ensure accurate and engaging dissemination of information to parents and the public.”

The ABC Top 5 Science media residency is scheduled to take place in Sydney in November, pending COVID-19 restrictions.

Further information on the ABC Top 5 is available at

Media references

Dr Lisa Stinson, UWA School of Molecular Sciences, 0468 676 189
Jess Reid, UWA Media Adviser, 08 6488 6876

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