The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Cellular Components of Human Milk: An Examination of their Role in Infant Health and Development

Date Funded: 
Jul 1, 2020
Funding Organization: 
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dr Carrie-Ellen Briere, with co-investigators Dr Joseph Jerry and Dr Kathleen Arcaro from the Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences and Dr David Sela from the Department of Food Science, has received a University of Massachusetts Amherst Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Award to fund a study designed  to address a critical health need for preterm infants. The project aims to develop preliminary data to support a change in how premature infants are fed. These infants are high-risk with long-term complications and human milk is known to improve their growth and development, yet how we provide milk now (e.g. frozen 1st) may deplete critical components. With 15 million preterm infants born yearly, this is a large-scale problem and this proposal can create significant societal impact. 

This project will use the varying lens' of the practices and research of each investigator to answer a clinical question which will have a direct impact on infant health and development. This interdisciplinary collaboration provides a novel approach to answer a research question that could not be done without the experiences and knowledge of each team member.