Asst Prof Meghan B. Azad
Breastfeeding, human milk composition and the developmental origins of asthma in the CHILD cohort
Dr. Meghan Azad is Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba, Canada. She serves on the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada and is an Executive Councillor for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation. Asst. Prof. Azad co-leads the Manitoba site of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences and gene-environment interactions shape lifelong health (www.childstudy.ca). She co-leads the Population Health Pillar for the Manitoba Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease Network (DEVOTION), and the Maternal, Fetal and Child Health Working Group for the new Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE). She also leads collaborative projects examining perceptions of breastfeeding on social media and developing school-based educational methods to improve societal support for breastfeeding.
With dual expertise in basic science (biochemistry and genetics) and clinical research (epidemiology and paediatrics), Asst. Prof. Azad is especially concerned with translational (interdisciplinary) research on the developmental origins of chronic disease. In fact, for her study on breastfeeding and the infant gut microbiome, she received the Canadian Medical Association Journal Bruce Squires Award for research "most likely to impact clinical practice". Dr. Azad's research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Lung Association, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease, and is a recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Banting Fellowship, the CIHR Lindau Prize, the Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research, and the American Society for Nutrition Knowledge Translation Award.
At the symposium, Asst. Prof. Azad will present her most recent study on maternal nutrition, breastfeeding, and breast milk composition in the development and prevention of childhood obesity, asthma and allergic disease.