Past TEP grant recipient Adriana Gaitán, PhD, currently a scientist and human safety toxicologist at Procter & Gamble in the USA, received a Trainee Travel Fund (TTF) grant in 2017. The grant enabled Dr. Gaitan, a Guatemalan native, to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, and collaborate with colleagues at the Center for Drug Discovery at Northeastern University. During her short-term work in Boston, Dr. Gaitán learned the methodology for extracting and processing breast milk samples, and she participated in the endocannabinoid purity check of standards and analysis of standard curves prior to sample analysis. She also was able to observe plasma extraction, process data, and calculate different concentrations of the endocannabinoid metabolome.
About her experience, Dr. Gaitán said:
“Having the opportunity to visit another laboratory has expanded my knowledge and broadened my research experiences. The data generated in this project will contribute to a better understanding of how the endocannabinoid metabolome might be affected by maternal nutrition status and how it might modulate infant health.”
Through her TTF journey, Dr. Gaitán was able to experience first-hand how different disciplines work together to gain a better understanding of biological compounds. Her efforts supported reestablishment of collaborative work between the Center for Drug Discovery at Northeastern University and Louisiana State University that continued into future projects.
Dr. Gaitán’s TTF-enabled work culminated in the study Endocannabinoid Metabolome Characterization of Transition and Mature Human Milk, published in Nutrients in September 2018.
If you are an early career researcher with a focus on human milk and lactation like Adriana Gaitán, consider applying for a Trainee Expansion Program grant when applications open 1 August 2021.