Mother-Milk-Infant Research

2022 University California San Diego FLRF

Photo © University of California, San Diego

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) and FLRF jointly established the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (LRF MOMI CORE) at the UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2017 to learn how breastmilk can help treat and prevent some of the world’s most deadly diseases.

Recent evidence has repeatedly shown that breastmilk provides far more than just nutrition for infants. Breastmilk is emerging as a powerful tool fundamental to fighting global killers such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and infectious superbugs.

At LRF MOMI CORE and directed by Professor Lars Bode, basic researchers, clinical practitioners and educators are developing a comprehensive understanding of breastmilk and its mechanisms through long-term, interdisciplinary research. The center provides evidence-based insight into how genetic and environmental factors affect milk composition, and how breastmilk impacts health across the life span.

One way LRF MOMI CORE facilitates interdisciplinary exploration into breastmilk is through annual pilot grants: MOMI SEEDS. Since 2018, MOMI SEEDS have been awarded to UCSD researchers from all areas of study, helping fund early-stage projects that advance our understanding of breastmilk and its impact on infant gut health, neurodevelopment, immune system development, viral and bacterial infectious diseases, epigenetics, liver disease and more.

The work of the center will translate into benefits for long-term health and development by generating multidisciplinary research on how and why human milk promotes optimal health, growth and development.

By studying human milk to identify new prevention and treatment options to bring new advances in medicine and treatments, the center will ultimately decrease the population risk for certain diseases and improve health, contributing to SDGs 2, 3, 5 and 8:

FLRF donated USD 10.5 million to endow LRF MOMI CORE – read the press release

Kellman BP, Richelle A, Yang J-Y, Chapla D, Chiang AWT, Najera JA, et al. Elucidating Human Milk Oligosaccharide biosynthetic genes through network-based multi-omics integration. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):2455. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29867-4

Bode L, Donovan SM. Fructooligosaccharides are not the same as Fucosylated Human Milk Oligosaccharides. Adv Nutr. 2022;13(3):972–3. DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmac033

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Larsen JK, Bode L. Obesogenic programming effects during lactation: A narrative review and conceptual model focusing on underlying mechanisms and promising future research avenues. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):299. DOI: 10.3390/nu13020299

Lodge CJ, Lowe AJ, Milanzi E, Bowatte G, Abramson MJ, Tsimiklis H, et al. Human milk oligosaccharide profiles and allergic disease up to 18 years. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021;147(3):1041–8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.06.027

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Bode L, Raman AS, Murch SH, Rollins NC, Gordon JI. Understanding the mother-breastmilk-infant “triad.” Science. 2020;367(6482):1070–2. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw6147 

Larsson MW, Lind MV, Laursen RP, Yonemitsu C, Larnkjær A, Mølgaard C, et al. Corrigendum: Human milk oligosaccharide composition is associated with excessive weight gain during exclusive breastfeeding-an explorative study. Front Pediatr. 2019;7:521. DOI: 10.3389/fped.2019.00521

Moukarzel S, Abou Jaoudeh M, Farhat A, Saade M, Mamas C, Daly AJ. Exploring the latitude of attitude: Intentions to breastfeed among adolescents in Lebanese schools. Matern Child Nutr. 2020 Jan;16(1):e12888. DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12888. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Moukarzel S, Mamas C, Farhat A, Daly AJ. Getting schooled: teachers views on school-based breastfeeding education in Lebanon. Int Breastfeed J. 2019 Jan 8;14:3. DOI: 10.1186/s13006-019-0199-8. eCollection 2019.

Moukarzel S, Mamas C, Warstadt MF, Bode L, Farhat A, Abi Abboud A et al. A case study on breastfeeding education in Lebanon's public medical school: exploring the potential role of social networks in medical education. Med Educ Online. 2018 Dec;23(1):1527629. DOI: 10.1080/10872981.2018.1527629.

Ramani S, Stewart CJ, Laucirica DR, Ajami NJ, Robertson B, Autran CA et al. Human milk oligosaccharides, milk microbiome and infant gut microbiome modulate neonatal rotavirus infection. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 27;9(1):5010. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07476-4.

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Autran CA, Kellman BP, Kim JH, Asztalos E, Blood AB, Spence ECH et al. Human milk oligosaccharide composition predicts risk of necrotising enterocolitis in preterm infants. Gut. 2018 Jun;67(6):1064-1070. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-312819. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

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Milani C, Duranti S, Bottacini F, Casey E, Turroni F, Mahony J et al. The First Microbial Colonizers of the Human Gut: Composition, Activities, and Health Implications of the Infant Gut Microbiota. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2017 Nov 8;81(4). pii: e00036-17. DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.00036-17. Print 2017 Dec.

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Lin AE, Autran CA, Szyszka A, Escajadillo T, Huang M, Godula K et al. Human milk oligosaccharides inhibit growth of group B Streptococcus. J Biol Chem. 2017 Jul 7;292(27):11243-11249. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M117.789974. Epub 2017 Apr 17.

McGuire MK, Meehan CL, McGuire MA, Williams JE, Foster J, Sellen DW et al. What's normal? Oligosaccharide concentrations and profiles in milk produced by healthy women vary geographically. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 May;105(5):1086-1100. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.139980. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

Seppo AE, Autran CA, Bode L, Järvinen KM. Human milk oligosaccharides and development of cow's milk allergy in infants. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb;139(2):708-711.e5. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.08.031. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

Bender JM, Li F, Martelly S, Byrt E, Rouzier V, Leo M et al. Maternal HIV infection influences the microbiome of HIV-uninfected infants. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jul 27;8(349):349ra100. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf5103.

Alderete TL, Autran C, Brekke BE, Knight R, Bode L, Goran MI et al. Associations between human milk oligosaccharides and infant body composition in the first 6 mo of life. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1381-8. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.115.115451. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Bode L, Kuhn L, Kim HY, Hsiao L, Nissan C, Sinkala M et al. Human milk oligosaccharide concentration and risk of postnatal transmission of HIV through breastfeeding. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;96(4):831-9. Epub 2012 Aug 15.

Jantscher-Krenn E, Zherebtsov M, Nissan C, Goth K, Guner YS, Naidu N et al. The human milk oligosaccharide disialyllacto-N-tetraose prevents necrotising enterocolitis in neonatal rats. Gut. 2012 Oct;61(10):1417-25. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2011-301404. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology. 2012 Sep;22(9):1147-62. DOI: 10.1093/glycob/cws074. Epub 2012 Apr 18.


“014 The Milk Moonshot”, Interview with Lars Bode and Alan Daly, by Jennifer Grayson: see blog

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