Welcome to ISRHML

The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of excellence in research and the dissemination of research findings in the field of human milk and lactation. Learn More.


ISRHML Award Nominations

ISRHML is now soliciting nominations for the 2020 Macy-Gyorgy and Erhlich-Koldovsky Awards, which will be given at the 2020 Conference. More information on the awards and the nomination process can be found at ISRHML Awards. Application are due no later than April 15, 2020 and should be sent to sdonovan@illinois.edu and cc info@isrhml.com.

Upcoming ISRHML Regional Webinars

Professor Valerie Verhasselt
Chair in Human Lactology, School of Molecular Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA)

Antigen shedding in human milk: key for long term immune health?
In addition of being a source of nutrients for the developing newborn, human milk contains thousands of bioactive compounds, which influence infant health in the short-term as exemplified by its major benefits on infectious disease prevention. Many of the human milk compounds also have the required characteristics to instruct immune development and guide long-term health. Prebiotics, probiotics, varied antimicrobial molecules, all have the potential to shape the composition and function of the establishing gut microbiota, which is known to be a major determinant of proper immune function. Another and less explored way human milk can instruct long-term immunity, is through antigen shedding. Here, we will review the evidence that antigens from maternal environment and more specifically from allergen sources and pathogens, are found in human milk. We will gather the data that provide clues on how antigens in human milk may be especially suitable to elicit an immune response in early life and educate the infant immunity towards tolerance or defense as needed. We propose this understanding is fundamental to guide maternal interventions leading to child-tailored vaccination, harmonious microbiota commensalism and lifelong allergen tolerance.

11:00 AWST on January 27, 2021

Dr. Steven Townsend
Vanderbilt University

Human Milk Oligosaccharides as Therapeutics
Carbohydrates are the most abundant organic molecules on earth and are critical to a myriad of biological processes. The Vanderbilt Laboratory for Glycoscience uses a blend of synthetic organic chemistry and microbiology to elucidate the biological roles of carbohydrates, with a foci on advances in chemical synthesis and learning new mechanistic concepts. Our discussion will focus on the application of the host defense properties of human milk.

18:00 CET on February 2, 2021

Dr. Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Professor of Public Health, Director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and Director of the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health

Lactancia materna y COVID-19 en América Latina: Lecciones aprendidas y como avanzar (Hosted in Spanish)
Basado en la evidencia acumulada hasta ahora, la Organización Mundial de la Salud sigue indicando que mujeres con COVID-19 pueden amamantar de forma segura a sus bebés y que es muy deseable que lo hagan. Sin embargo, un estudio de monitoreo en México que es nacionalmente representativo muestra que la mayoría de las personas en hogares con niños pequeños piensan que las mujeres con COVID-19 no deben amamantar ya que pueden transmitir el virus SARS-CoV-2 a sus hijos. Esta presentación va a discutir las implicaciones de esto hallazgos para mejorar la diseminación basada en evidencia, utilizando principios de teoría y análisis de redes sociales, sobre la lactancia materna en tiempos de COVID-19 en el contexto de América Latina. También va a presentar hallazgos sobre como programas de consejería de lactancia materna fueron adaptados de forma remota durante la pandemia utilizando métodos de la ciencia de implementación. 


1:00pm EST on February 3, 2021

Mary Frances Picciano Gradulate Scholarship

The Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois is proud to announce the recent creation and endowment of the Mary Frances Picciano Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship was created by a former student to show appreciation for the impact Mary Frances made on shaping her professional career path.  Mary Frances was one of the ISRHML founders and a former President of the society.  Many ISRHML members were her dear friends, colleagues and former trainees.   She was a faculty member at the University of Illinois and Penn State University and finished her career in the Office of Dietary Supplements at NIH.  She passed away in 2001 after a long battle with lung cancer. A tribute was published in AJCN:  View

Currently in the Division of Nutritional Sciences approximately 64% of enrolled students are female, this graduate scholarship will provide valuable financial assistance to a future female scientist. Furthermore, the Division of Nutritional Science is thrilled to announce an opportunity for those impacted by Mary Frances to show their appreciation. A donor that has chosen to remain anonymous will directly match any gift made to this scholarship up to a total of $25,000. This is an opportunity to make a huge impact in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and to ensure future generations of strong female scientists know the impact Mary Frances had on this landscape.

For more information or to make a gift please contact Matt Smith at 217-300-6113 or msmi@illinois.edu or to make a secure gift online visit https://uif.uillinois.edu/give/ and in the “other” row at the bottom of the page enter Mary Frances Picciano Scholarship Fund – 11776398

ISRHML 2021 Conference

The 20th International Congress of ISRHML will be held on 16 – 20 August 2021 at the same venue; Aula Medica, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. 

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