Maximizing Infant Nutrition Through Human Milk Oligosaccharides

Program Date: 17 July 2017
Publication Date: 27 April 2017
Continuing Education Units: 1.0 Nurse Contact Hours, 1.0 Dietitian CPEU

Course Objectives:

  • Define the role of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in infant development
  • Identify the multifunctional benefits of 2’-Fucosyllactose (2’-FL) HMO
  • Review the clinical impact of 2’-FL HMO on immune development
  • CDR Level: 2
  • Suggested Learning Codes: 2060,4150,2000
  • Performance Indicators: 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.3.7
  • Media Format(s): Video (English)
  • Run Time: 42 Minutes

Course Instructor Bio(s)

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Rachael H. Buck, PhD

Associate Research Fellow
Abbott Nutrition

Rachael is an expert in the field of immune health. In her role as a Discovery scientist she studies the components of breast milk to develop infant formulas closer to the benefits of breast milk. She also helps design clinical trials to study the effects of these nutrients on babies’ development in the first year of life.

Currently, Rachael is leading the pioneering research program for human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs are beneficial, prebiotic- like nutrients found in a mother’s breast milk that support intestinal and overall health. Abbott has driven the clinical research behind HMOs paving the way for a breakthrough ingredient to be added to infant formulas. The research on HMOs has demonstrated improved immunity benefits similar to breast fed infants. Preclinical research also shows HMOs reduce intestinal discomfort, reduce food allergy symptoms, and enhance cognition, which may lead to diverse health benefits for infants.

Rachael joined Abbott in 1995 and over her career has been awarded a President’s Award for research on nucleotides and pediatric immunity, a Global Discover Luminary Award and an Outstanding Researcher Award for HMO research. She was also named an Associate Research Fellow for her pioneering work. She has authored over 50 articles and filed over 50 patents. Rachael received her Ph.D. degree in immunology from the University of Cambridge, U.K..

A headshot of Dr Ardythe Morrow

Ardythe Morrow, PhD, MSc

Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition Director, Center for Interdisciplinary
Research in Human Milk and Lactation Global Heath Center University of Cincinnati

Ardythe L. Morrow, PhD is Professor of Pediatrics, Nutrition and Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati, and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Milk and Lactation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She co-chairs the campus Nutrition Hot Topics grand rounds and is a founding member of the Global Health Center at Cincinnati Children’s.

Trained in epidemiology, nutrition, and infectious disease, the primary focus of her career is has been in human milk protection against infectious and inflammatory gut disorders, growth retardation and the bioactive components of human milk that offer protection. She has been particularly focused on the role of human milk and gut oligosaccharide in infant and child health. She is known for publishing the first functional studies of human milk oligosaccharide protection in human infants. She served as the founder and director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology from 2001 to 2011 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

She has achieved more than $25 million dollars in total research funding from NIH, CDC, foundations and industry. She has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and 15 chapters, monographs or books. She has served as a reviewer and scientific adviser to NIH, CDC, PAHO and WHO and major nutrition companies, and often sought as an invited speaker. She serves on the editorial board of multiple journals. She loves to mentor and has many former trainees in academia and industry leadership positions. She has ongoing projects in several countries.

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Maria Ramirez, PhD

Associate Research Fellow Abbott Nutrition R&D

María Ramírez obtained a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Granada, Spain in 1987. She earned a doctorate degree in Pharmacy at the same University in 1992. She worked at the R&D Department of PULEVA, a Spanish Nutritional Company from 1988 to 1994. She joined Abbott in 1994. Since then, she has been working in different positions at R&D in Abbott Nutrition. Currently, she is Nutrition Science Manager and Associate Volwiler Fellow at the R&D Department at Abbott Nutrition in Granada.

During her professional career, she has led strategic research projects related to the effects of key ingredients and/or functional food both in infants and adults. Namely, she has worked on the influence of nucleotides on lipid metabolism, the absorption of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from different dietary sources, and the influence of HMOs on cognitive performance.

She is author of 26 scientific publications, 4 reviews papers, 2 book chapters and 14 patent applications, and she has supervised 5 Doctoral thesis.


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