The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation
The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation

President Elect

Carol Wagner (USA)

Professor, with Tenure Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Carol Wagner is an attending neonatologist and tenured Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has been a member of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) since 1995 and was the conference organizer for the ISRHML conference on Kiawah Island, South Carolina held in 2014. She has been an active member of ISRHML. She also is an inaugural Fellow in the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, a member of AAP’s Breastfeeding and Perinatal sections, and has been elected to the Society of Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society, and the American Society for Nutritional Sciences. Her clinical activities as a neonatologist dovetail with her strong research interests in human milk, lactation and vitamin D. Dr. Wagner has written extensively about breastfeeding, growth factors and structure in human milk, and vitamin D requirements and its function in pregnant and lactating women. She has been PI and co-investigator on several grants involving vitamin D supplementation of pregnant and lactating women and their infants. Dr. Wagner is committed to promoting innovative and collaborative research efforts in the areas of maternal and neonatal/infant nutrition and optimal nutrition throughout the lifespan, with a special interest in maternal requirements during lactation. As a member of ISRHML, Dr. Wagner works to honor the Society’s history as a vital catalyst of visionary ideas in the field through her collaborative research with many ISRHML members. Link to publications:


Diane Spatz (USA)

Professor of Perinatal Nursing & Nutrition
University of Pennsylvania

Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN is a Professor of Perinatal Nursing & the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing sharing a joint appointment as a nurse scientist in lactation the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice. Dr. Spatz is the Founder of the CHOP Lactation Program & Mothers’ Milk Bank. Dr. Spatz is an active researcher, clinician, and educator who is internationally recognized for her work surrounding the use of human milk and breastfeeding particularly in vulnerable populations. Dr. Spatz has been PI or co-investigator on over 60 research grants, included several from the NIH.  She has authored and co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and written numerous book chapters related to human milk and breastfeeding. Dr. Spatz has authored or co-authored position statements for the International Lactation Consultant Association, the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric & Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN), the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She has also written the clinical practice guidelines on human milk and breastfeeding for AHWONN and SPN as well as a technical brief for the USAID on human milk and breastfeeding in developing countries. In 2004, Dr. Spatz develop her 10-step model for human milk and breastfeeding in vulnerable infants.  This model has been implemented in NICUs throughout the United States and other countries worldwide (Thailand, India, China, Mexico, Japan, Chile). Dr. Spatz has been named a prestigious “Edge Runner” for the American Academy of Nursing related to the outcomes of her model.  Her nurse driven models of care are critical in improving human milk & breastfeeding outcomes and thus the health of women and children globally.  Dr. Spatz is the only PhD prepared nurse appointed to the Congressional Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women.  Dr. Spatz has also been appointed to a World Health Organization Task Force on human milk and milk banking globally. Dr. Spatz was elected to the Executive Committee of International Society of Research in Human Milk and Lactation in April 2020. Dr. Spatz is also the recipient of numerous awards including: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Research Utilization Award from Sigma Theta Tau International and from the University of Pennsylvania: the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice, the Expert Alumni Award and the Family and Community Department’s Academic Practice Award   She is also the recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Spatz received the Distinguished Lang Award for her impact on scholarship, policy & practice. In 2019, Dr. Spatz received AWHONN’s Distinguished Researcher Award and was named Nurse of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the university portion of her job, she teaches an entire semester course on breastfeeding and human lactation to undergraduate nursing students and in the hospital portion of her job, she developed the Breastfeeding Resource Nurse program.  Dr. Spatz is Past Chair of the American Academy of Nursing’s Expert Panel on Breastfeeding and their representative to the United States Breastfeeding Committee.


Richmond Aryeetey (Ghana)

Professor of Public Health Nutrition
University of Ghana, Ghana

In the last few months, I have been privileged to serve on a committee to develop a strategic plan for ISRHML. In this plan, it is recognized Richmond Aryeetey is a Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Ghana, School of Public Health, where he has been on the faculty for 15 years. Prior to taking this position, he worked in various research roles in Ghana with the Ghana Health Service and other agencies. He holds a PhD in Human Nutritional Sciences from Iowa State University of Science and Technology as well as a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Ghana. During the past 22 years of his research career, he worked on multiple public health issues targeting the nutrition of women, infants and young children. An important part of his work has been focused on breastfeeding, which remains a major component of his research program since his postgraduate studies. In addition to this,  he is active in research on Food systems, and nutrition systems research that directly focuses on optimizing nutrition policy through policy and political economy analysis. I has authored more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles and books/book chapters. He had the opportunity to consult for multiple partners whose work intersect with these aspects of his research including the FAO, UNICEF, GAIN WFP, IFPRI and several others. His work has been graciously funded by multiple agencies and donors around the world including the European Commission, Global Affairs Canada, International Development Research Centre, UK Medical Research Centre, New York Population Council, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Family, Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation, and the International Food Policy Research Institute among others. During the course of his career, he has built important networks across the African Continent in various institutions of Higher Education, and research centers. He is a member of various professional societies on the African Continent and globally, including the African Nutrition Society, and the American Society for Nutrition and served in leadership positions in some of these societies. In Ghana, he was Public Relations Officer of the Nutrition Association. At the continental level, he served for four years as the Vice President and of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies and subsequently as Acting President for one year during a Leadership transition period. Currently, he serves on various National Committees including the Salt Iodization Committee, and the SUN movement Capacity working group in Ghana. He also convenes the Academic Platform on SUN in Ghana and serves on the Executive Committee Global SUN movement.

Katsumi Mizuno (Japan)

Chief Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Showa University School of Medicine, Japan

I have done research on human milk for decades, because as a neonatologist and pediatrician I would like to improve prognosis of preterm infants through research findings of human milk and to support lactating mothers to be able to enjoy breastfeeding. I have established three human milk bank (the first one has been closed due to COVID-19 pandemic) and deliver donor milk to all over Japan. Currently, I have tried to find the safe use of microwave heating. I have been practicing neonatology since 1987 and I am chief professor of Department of Pediatrics, Showa University School of Medicine. I have managed the Japan Human Milk Bank Association since 2017. The 2nd human milk bank, which has laboratory functions, will be established in March. We have been working on lactation physiology, biochemistry especially in milk fat/protein, and on sucking behavior of preterm infants.

Alecia-Jane Twigger (UK)

Research Associate
University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Alecia-Jane Twigger is a research associate at the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge. She began her career at the University of Western Australia, where she gained her PhD examining cells in human milk. Upon completion of her studies, she received the inaugural trainee bridge fund to enable her to cross the globe to work at the Helmholtz Centre in Munich. Here she was further accepted into the Helmholtz Postdoctoral Fellowship program, working in the human mammary cell research group led by Dr. Christina Scheel. At the end of 2019 she was invited to join Dr. Walid Khaled’s research group in Cambridge where she continues her work in mammary gland biology and lactation to better understand the mechanisms of breast maturation and milk production. She is currently moving towards independence, where she hopes to build a research program that utilises scRNA-seq analysis, cell culture and human milk cells to improve our understanding of human lactation and therefore support the long-term health outcomes for the breastfeeding dyad. Alecia-Jane has been an active member of ISRHML since 2015, is a member of the ISRHML TEP scientific review board since 2019 and is on the ISRHML social media committee since 2021.

Sonia Hernández-Cordero (Mexico)

Universidad Iberoamericana, México

Sonia Hernandez-Cordero’s experience in the field of Nutrition has been on Public Health Nutrition, mainly as a researcher and professor at undergraduate and graduate level. In the research area, both as a principal investigator and coinvestigator, she developed a research program for the translation of knowledge into evidence-based public health food and nutrition policies. Her main interest is on maternal and child nutrition, particularly breastfeeding. As such, she has collaborated with multidisciplinary national and international teams on best evidence-based approaches to develop national policies to promote breastfeeding in Mexico, that are helpful to decision makers. Other interest area in public health nutrition has been the design and evaluation of evidence-based strategies to prevent obesity, particularly in women and children. She has experience leading important research projects, including randomized clinical trials, case control and cross-sectional studies. She has an active role in the Master and Doctoral programs in Nutrition in several educational institutions.

One Response

  1. Carol & Diane & Katsumi:
    Congratulations for your new position in ISRHML!
    Best wishes.
    Riccardo Davanzo (Trieste, Italy)

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