Past TEP grant recipient Larisse Melo, MSc, currently a Nutrition Research Technician and Sessional Lecturer at The University of British Columbia received a Trainee Travel Fund (TTF) grant in 2017. The grant enabled the native of Brazil to travel to the Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC) – one of six human nutrition centers funded by the United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Center (USDA/ARS) – located on the University of California, Davis campus in the USA. During her short-term work in California, Ms. Melo completed laboratory safety training and learned the process for detecting different vitamin content in colostrum via ultraviolet detection, fluorescence detection, and mass spectrometry analysis. She also learned to detect iron, copper, and zinc in plasma by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).
About her experience, Ms. Melo said:
“It is unquestionable that the TEP gave me a unique opportunity to deepen my knowledge in the study of vitamins in human milk in addition to growing my professional network in the field and enhancing my lab skills and self-confidence. Having the opportunity to be part of an international scientific network between professors in New Zealand, the United States, and Canada showed me how global the study of nutrition in human milk can be.”
Her TTF journey gave Ms. Melo a unique opportunity to deepen her knowledge in the study of vitamins in human milk, grow her professional network in the field, and enhance her lab skill and self-confidence as a result of the exchange experience.
Ms. Melo’s TTF-enabled work is reflected in the study Vitamin A nutritional status in high- and low-income postpartum women and its effect on colostrum and the requirements of the term newborn originally published in Portuguese in the Jornal de Pediatria.
Note: English-language PDF was Google translated from the original Portuguese.
If you are an early career researcher with a focus on human milk and lactation like Larisse Melo, consider applying for a Trainee Expansion Program grant when applications open 1 August 2021.