Harvesting the goodness of human milk for human infant for vulnerable babies
Human milk fortifier for human infants is derived from other mammals and plants. Although, the fortifier components have close homology to their human counterparts, other components from those species may also be present in the fortifier, and these components may influence growth, development and health of the infant. Thus, the best source for fortifier for the human preterm infant should therefore be derived from human milk.
This project provides an opportunity for the student to develop a unique and feasible method to concentrate human milk. Furthermore, biochemical approaches will be applied to determine the bioactivity of the human milk fortifier.
- Develop a simple rapid method to concentrate human milk
- Determine the bioactivity of the concentrated human milk before and after concentration
This PhD student project will involve the application of different methods to successfully concentrate human milk. Biochemical assays will be used to determine the composition and bioactivity before and after processing.
- Hair, A.B., Ferguson, J., Grogan, C. et al. Human milk fortification: the clinician and parent perspectives. Pediatr Res 88, 25–29 (2020).
- Cordova, E.G., Soldateli, B., Rosner, B., Drouin, K., Davitt, E., Pepin, H.L., Ellard, D.M., Yu, A., Bell, K. and Belfort, M.B. (2020), Growth and Clinical Outcomes of Very Low‐Birth‐Weight Infants Receiving Acidified vs Nonacidified Liquid Human Milk Fortifiers. Nutrition in Clinical Practice.
- Giribaldi, M.; Peila, C.; Coscia, A.; Cavallarin, L.; Antoniazzi, S.; Corbu, S.; Maiocco, G.; Sottemano, S.; Cresi, F.; Moro, G.E.; Bertino, E.; Fanos, V.; Cesare Marincola, F. Urinary Metabolomic Profile of Preterm Infants Receiving Human Milk with Either Bovine or Donkey Milk-Based Fortifiers. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2247.
- Herranz Barbero A, Rico N, Oller-Salvia B, Aldecoa-Bilbao V, Macías-Muñoz L, et al. (2020) Fortifier selection and dosage enables control of breast milk osmolarity. PLOS ONE 15(6): e0233924.
Prof Geddes is a lactation biologist, with a major focus on the mechanisms by which breastfeeding programme early and later life health outcomes. She is located at the School of Molecular Sciences at UWA where she measures milk composition in relation to infant outcomes. She leads a large group that works in the areas of human milk microbiome, metabolomics, biochemistry and physiology.
Funding and Collaborations
- This project is partially funded by an unrestricted research grant from Medela AG
How to Apply
- To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
- Requirements specific to this project:
- A minimum 2A Honours degree or Masters degree in a related field
- Undergraduate degree in science/ biomedical science/relevant degree
- Eligible to enrol in a PhD at UWA
- Excellent communication skills including oral presentation and writing
Submit enquiry to research team leader
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- After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to proceed with your application