Kathleen M. Rasmussen - (Chair)
Kathleen M. Rasmussen (Chair), is the Nancy Schlegel Meinig Professor of Maternal and Child Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences, at Cornell University. Dr. Rasmussen is internationally known for her research on maternal and child nutrition, particularly in the areas of pregnancy and lactation. She has served as program director for Cornell’s NIH-sponsored training grant in maternal and child nutrition since 1986 and has also directed a training grant in international maternal and child nutrition. Dr. Rasmussen has taught a nationally recognized course in maternal and child nutrition for graduate students since 1980 and has taught a unique course on public health nutrition for undergraduate students since 1998. As part of her commitment to mentoring future leaders in nutrition, Dr. Rasmussen served as the principal faculty member at the Dannon Nutrition Leadership Institute, which she helped to develop, from 1998 until the program ended in 2017. Dr. Rasmussen has served as president of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences and also as president of the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation. She has been associate dean and secretary of the university faculty and served on Cornell’s Board of Trustees as one of its faculty-elected members.
Meghan Azad is the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba and Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. Her research program is focused on the developmental origins of asthma, allergies, obesity and diabetes. With dual expertise in molecular biology and epidemiology, she uses a trans-disciplinary approach to bridge the traditional pillars of research. Dr. Azad incorporates administrative database studies, human birth cohorts, and collaboration with basic scientists to establish animal models and explore biological mechanisms. The ultimate goal of her research is disease prevention through intervention during critical periods of early development. Dr. Azad co-directs the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC) and co-leads the Manitoba site of the national Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort, where she is directing multiple projects to study how breastfeeding and human milk bioactives influence infant health and development. She receives partial support from Prolacta Biosciences for her research project, “Human-derived Human Milk Fortifiers (H2MF), Gut Microbiota and Oxidative Stress in Premature Infants”.
Lars Bode is Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology and the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research; and Director of the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Bode is currently leading a research program dedicated to investigating human milk oligosaccharide biosynthesis and functions with potential benefits for infant and adult health. Dr. Bode is the recipient of the 2012 Ehrlich-Koldovsky Award from the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation, the recipient of the 2013 Norman Kretchmer Memorial Award in Nutrition and Development from the American Society for Nutrition, and the 2014 Bio Service Award in Experimental Animal Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition.
Michelle McGuire is Director and Professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Idaho. Her research focuses primarily on understanding better how maternal diet and nutritional status influence human milk composition and maternal/infant health during breastfeeding. Of particular interest to her research is understanding the importance of dietary lipids to maternal and infant health. She has a long-standing interest in understanding the physiologic mechanisms driving the return of ovulatory function during the postpartum period. Recently, Dr. McGuire and her colleagues have become intrigued by the presence and variability of bacteria in human milk (known as the human milk microbiome). As an extension, they are also interested in how the milk microbiome impacts short- and long-term infant health both in the U.S. and globally. Her research has been funded by a variety of groups including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and commodity groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Idaho Dairy Commission. Dr. McGuire was the 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Nutrition Education Award from the American Society for Nutrition.
Laurie Nommsen-Rivers is an Associate Professor of Nutrition, and the Ruth Rosevear Endowed Chair of Maternal and Child Nutrition, at the University of Cincinnati. Her research is related to the breastfeeding dyad with a focus on barriers that impede lactation success. Her current work focuses on physiologic factors that influence milk production in lactating mothers. Laurie’s research experience also included serving as the lactation consultant/neonatal team supervisor for the US site of the World Health Organization Multi-Centre Growth Reference Study. Dr. Nommsen-Rivers is a Registered Dietitian since 1990 and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1993. She served as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Lactation from 1997- 2006.