Kathleen M. Rasmussen, Sc.D. (Chair) is the Nancy Schlegel Meinig Professor of Maternal and Child Nutrition in the 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 the program director for Cornell’s National Institutes of Health–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. She has received the Excellence in Nutrition Education Award and also the Mentorship Award from the American Society for Nutrition. The American Public Health Association honored her for her research accomplishments related to maternal–fetal nutrition with their Agnes Higgins Award in 2012. The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation honored her for her research accomplishments related to lactation in 2016. Dr. Rasmussen has served as the president of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and also as the president of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation. She has been the associate dean and the secretary of the university faculty and served a 4-year term on Cornell’s Board of Trustees as one of its faculty-elected members. Dr. Rasmussen has been a member of several expert committees at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) with a focus on pregnancy, lactation, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). She served as the chair of the Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines and then as the chair of a committee to disseminate these new guidelines. Most recently, she served as the chair of the Committee to Review the WIC Food Packages. She received her A.B. from Brown University in molecular biology and both her Sc.M. and Sc.D. from Harvard University in nutrition.
Meghan Azad, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics and child health at the University of Manitoba and a research scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease and co-directs the new Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC, www.milcresearch.com). Her research program (www.azadlab.ca) is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development, and resilience. Dr. Azad is directing the new International Milk Composition Consortium that will comprehensively profile human milk from women in diverse low- and middle-income settings, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also co-leads the Manitoba site of the CHILD Cohort Study (www.childstudy.ca), a national pregnancy cohort following 3,500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health to promote or protect against asthma, allergies, and obesity. Dr. Azad directs multiple projects
related to infant feeding practices, human milk composition, and the microbiome in the CHILD cohort and other populations, including preterm neonates receiving donor milk, and Bangladeshi infants at risk of malnutrition. She also leads collaborative projects examining perceptions of breastfeeding on social media and developing methods to improve societal support for breastfeeding through school-based education programs. Dr. Azad received the 2018 International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) Ehrlich-Koldovsky Award. She serves on the ISRHML Executive Council, the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, and the joint U.S./Canada Human Milk Composition Initiative.
Lars Bode, Ph.D., is a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology and the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (http://www.bodelab.com), the Larsson-Rosenquist Chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research, and the director of the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (MOMI CORE, http://milk.ucsd.edu) at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Bode received both his M.S. and Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and completed a predoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Child Health at the University College London in the United Kingdom. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California, Dr. Bode joined the University of California, San Diego, where he is now 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 Serv Award in Experimental Animal Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition.
Michelle McGuire, Ph.D., is the director and a professor of nutrition in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Idaho. Dr. McGuire received her M.S. in nutritional sciences from the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. in human nutrition from Cornell University. She has a background in human physiology and nutrition, with specific training and expertise in maternal/infant nutrition, human milk composition, nutritional assessment, milk and fecal microbiomes, and lactation physiology. Dr. McGuire has conducted studies related to myriad human milk components, including minerals, hormones, lipids, pesticides, and most recently microbes. She also has a keen interest in understanding the physiologic mechanisms regulating duration of postpartum amenorrhea. Dr. McGuire has overseen a variety of projects related to human nutrition and lactation funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as a variety of industry sources such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and United Dairymen of Idaho. She has twice served on the executive committee of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML), including the roles of secretary and treasurer; and has also served on the executive board of the American Society for Nutrition during which time she was the director of the Research Interest Sections. A seasoned science writer, Dr. McGuire is the author of two college-level introductory nutrition textbooks. In 2002 she received the Ehrlich-Koldovsky Award from ISRHML, and in 2018 she received the Excellence in Nutrition Education Award from the American Society for Nutrition.
Laurie Nommsen-Rivers, Ph.D., R.D., IBCLC, is an associate professor of nutrition and the Ruth Rosevear Endowed Chair of Maternal and Child Nutrition at the University of Cincinnati. 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 to 2006. After receiving her master’s degree in nutrition from the University of California (UC), Davis, she spent 18 years working with hundreds of mother–infant dyads as a research associate at UC Davis. Between 2009 and 2016 Dr. Nommsen-Rivers was an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Nommsen-Rivers has co-authored more than 70 research publications 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.
Ian J. Saldanha, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of health services, policy, and practice and an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health at the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Saldanha has expertise conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses, developing and advancing methods to improve their conduct, and teaching methods for their conduct. He has also conducted research into the use of outcomes in clinical research. Dr. Saldanha was the co-principal investigator (PI) of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine contract to conduct a systematic review of public health emergency preparedness activities. He is the PI of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded systematic reviews of the management of primary headaches during pregnancy and breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Additionally, he is the PI of an AHRQ contract for the development, advancement, and support of the Systematic Review Data Repository. He has been the PI of two subcontracts to Brown University: the National Eye Institute–funded Cochrane Eyes and Vision U.S. Satellite, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute–funded Data Abstraction Assistant project. Dr. Saldanha is an elected member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology and serves as the associate editor for two journals (Systematic Reviews and Journal of Glaucoma) and for the AHRQ Effective Healthcare Program. Dr. Saldanha has taught multiple courses and workshops related to systematic reviews, meta-analysis, clinical trials, and epidemiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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