The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) and the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation are pleased to introduce the 2021 Trainee Expansion Program grant recipients.
The Trainee Expansion Program (TEP) is an international professional development initiative that offers two types of grants annually to scientists seeking to enter or advance a career in human milk and lactation.
• Trainee Bridge Fund grants provide up to USD $100,000 over approximately 12 months to support a research project that will bring recipients collaboration and networking opportunities and lead to an independent position.
• Trainee Travel Fund grants provide up to USD $10,000 over a period of up to three months so recipients can gain a new skill or acquire experience in a different setting.
Congratulations to these six 2021 TEP grant recipients:
Jordyn Tinka Wallenborn, PhD, MPH, Trainee Bridge Fund recipient, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Minnesota State University Moorhead, a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in infectious disease management from North Dakota State University, and a PhD in epidemiology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Wallenborn’s research focuses on the mother, infant, and human milk triad with a global perspective.
Dr. Wallenborn’s TEP Trainee Bridge Fund project will allow her to partner with internationally recognized researchers Drs. Christopher Stewart, Watcharin Loilome, and Günther Fink to assess the impact of human milk on child gut microbiota and growth through an integrative analysis of bioactive micro- and macro-nutrient factors. The project will draw from a community-centered pilot randomized control trial she is currently conducting that aims to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
Kelsey Cochrane, RD, BSc, Trainee Travel Fund recipient, is a registered dietitian currently working toward a PhD in Human Nutrition at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include developmental origins of disease, establishment of epigenetic marks, and optimization of maternal and infant diet, specifically in supplementation of folic acid vs folate in low-risk pregnant women.
With her TEP Trainee Travel Fund grant, Ms. Cochrane will work with Dr. Lars Bode, a renowned global expert and influential leader in human milk research, to obtain specialized training at the University of California San Diego, USA.
Alexandra Gogel, Trainee Travel Fund recipient, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Animal, Veterinary, and Food Sciences at the University of Idaho. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Washington State University. Her research is focused on exploring human milk collection methods and the associated variation on components including the milk microbiome and lipids. She also researches the association of the human milk microbiome to infant and maternal health.
Ms. Gogel’s TEP Trainee Travel Fund grant will enable her to learn the methods required for proteomic analysis and explore variations in the milk proteome over time by studying with Dr. David Dallas at the University of Oregon, USA.
Nina Juntereal, BSN, RN, Trainee Travel Fund recipient, is a PhD candidate in Nursing and Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on lactation related outcomes among diverse childbearing families and critically ill infants. Her dissertation research explores the role of antenatal milk expression, the expression of colostrum during the late third trimester of pregnancy and its relationship to the development of milk supply and secretory activation. She collaborates with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to advance the science of lactation for mothers of infants prenatally diagnosed with congenital anomalies.
The TEP Trainee Travel Fund grant will give Ms. Juntereal the opportunity to analyze collected samples and generate effect sizes to inform the feasibility of an experimental study. She will work alongside Dr. Donna Geddes and her team at the University of Western Australia.
Natalie Scime, Trainee Travel Fund recipient, is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Graduate Scholar specializing in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and a Master’s in Health Promotion from Western University. In her research, she uses diverse datasets to study the interrelationships between reproductive factors and women’s health across their lifespan.
With support from her TEP Trainee Travel Fund grant, Ms. Scime will lead a project investigating whether human milk composition is associated with mothers’ long-term cardiometabolic health under the mentorship of Dr. Meghan Azad at the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Johanne Spreckels, Trainee Travel Fund recipient, is a PhD candidate in the group of Alexandra Zhernakova at the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences from the Philipps University of Marburg, Germany, and from Linköping University, Sweden, respectively. Her research is focused on how maternal and environmental factors shape the breast milk microbiota and human milk oligosaccharide composition, and how breast milk components affect infant gut microbiota development and health.
Ms. Spreckels’s TEP Trainee Travel Fund grant will enable her to characterize the function of breastmilk components in infant gut organoid models and work with Dr. Christopher Stewart at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
For more information on the ISRHML – Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation TEP grants, visit the ISRHML website.
Applications for 2022 grants open 1 August.
The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of excellence in research and the dissemination of research findings in the field of human milk and lactation. These objectives are met through a biennial international meeting, annual symposia and mini symposia, awarding of trainee expansion grants, awards recognizing significant contributions to the field by established researchers, and communication among members and established liaisons with government agencies, public health authorities, industry, and other organizations interested in human lactation.