Breastfeeding is the normative standard for infant nutrition, and clinical and epidemiological data support clear health benefits for the mother and infant. Public policies have focused on improving rates of breastfeeding globally, however, our understanding of the molecular, chemical, and cellular composition of human milk and its effect on the infant is incomplete. Milk contains more than 700 potentially bioactive constituents comprised of carbohydrates (lactose and human milk oligosaccharides- HMO), proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals and others. Technological advancements have made it possible to study many of these milk bioactives that are isolated from bovine milk or synthesized in vitro in human clinical trials and in preclinical animal models, leading to a greater understanding of the functional benefits of these components in human infants. The 2017 SRC is the second on this topic and the first outside of the U.S. The 2015 program focused on HMO and microbiota.
The 2017 program will include these topics, but will expand to include bioactive proteins and lipids, with an emphasis on their effects on cognitive and immune outcomes to the neonate. In addition, sessions will address the interplay between maternal and environmental factors that influence nutrient delivery to the infant pre- and postnatally, as well as developmental programming of infant outcomes during the first 1000 days of life. The conference is specifically designed to foster interactions among established and emerging investigators from academia, government and industry conducting research related to human milk bioactives, their origins and biosynthesis in the mammary gland, and their benefits for the mother and infant.
The conference will bring together over 30 invited speakers from across the globe with broad ranges of expertise to share their latest research findings. The keynote lecture will set the stage by reviewing the most recent epidemiological evidence for the health benefits of breastfeeding and current research gaps. Additional oral presentations and posters will be selected from the submitted abstracts. The poster presentations, meet the expert sessions and social and recreational activities will provide trainees with multiple opportunities to interact with established researchers from universities, research institutes and industries to exchange ideas, discuss training opportunities and establish research collaborations.