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

President's Message

By Daniel Sellen

As we begin 2023, I am pleased to share and highlight several successes achieved last year by our Society and to extend our appreciation to each of the members who contributed.

The Society website underwent a deep revamp, including addition of a new membership portal and access to several resources and valuable scientific content from accumulating ISRHML activities that can be digitally protected into the future. This transition was managed by our association management partners; check it out and share feedback to [email protected]! We also upgraded our banking arrangements, tax filing, legal support and insurance. Further improvements planned for 2023 include upgrades to email server, membership tracking and communications channels.

We adopted a new Strategic Plan: click here, with priorities that include discovery, knowledge sharing, inclusive and supportive scholarly international community and organizational sustainability. You may already have heard about it through one of several dissemination activities aimed at socializing and mobilizing, and you can find it at the website. I thank all of you who contributed ideas in the consultations, to the members who participated on the committee (Richmond Areetey, Michelle Asbury, Teresa Da Costa, Donna Geddes, Kim Michaelsen, Ryan Pace, Wei Wei Pang, Evette van Niekerk, Bridget Young and Berthold Koletzko [ex officio]) and Past-President Sharon Donovan for leading this important exercise so ably and with such clarity of vision. The plan aligns well with similar work by the Trainee Interest Group in the past year and will guide the Officers and executive Committee and work of all our subcommittees and ad hoc working groups for some years to come. I look forward to each of us finding ways to contribute to this exciting plan both collectively and as individual members. 

We held elections with an impressive and diverse slate of candidates for various positions, resulting in new Officers (Diane Spatz as Treasurer and Carol Wagner as President-Elect) new Executive Committee members (Richmond Aryeetey (Ghana), Katsumi Mizuno (Japan), Alecia-Jane Twigger (UK), Sonia Hernández-Cordero (Mexico)). Please check out the full list of current leaders, click here, make sure to make your vote count in the next set of annual elections about to launch, and please consider running (or re-running) for a position in future to guide our Society.

We received an impressive set of applications for awards available through the Trainee Expansion Program award made possible through our ongoing partnership with the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation. Stay tuned for details of a new cohort of awardees to be announced in early 2023, who will join the six trainees supported since 2021: click here. I am grateful for the time, expertise, experience and vision of the volunteer members ensuring the review process followed the highest standards: the TEP President Donna Geddes and review committee members Maria Carmen Collado, Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, Magnus Domellof, Wei Wei Pang, Alecia-Jane Twigger, Meghan Azad, Paula Meier, Briana Jegier, Teresa da Costa. 

ISRHML hosted its 21st biennial conference in Panama, with hybrid components, and attracted more than 100 posters, 150 in person attendees and over 50 speakers with a powerful program. The Society was proud to present Dr Paula Meier with this year’s Macy -Gyorgy Award. Much of the content is being made available online for those unable to attend during a difficult year globally; and many speakers have agreed to follow up with webinars and other activities. Abstracts will be published online by the Society, a repository of selected posters is under development, and a special topic issue of Frontiers in Nutrition is being edited. We are grateful to the sponsors and everyone who presented.

All of these successes were achieved in the face of the continuing effect of the ongoing pandemic; it is hard to recall that many of us remained under lockdown until well into 2022! As always in pre-pandemic years, the success of the Society is made possible by wonderful creativity and dedicated efforts across our membership, and effected by the volunteers who go above and beyond to be ambassadors for the work we are doing.

Looking forward, 2023 promises to be another great year of support for research in human milk and lactation as we implement the strategic plan and numerous activities to achieve our vision and mission. 

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead- wherever you may be- and looking forward to engaging with you all in the coming months.

Group photo from ISRHML conference in Panana, October 24-28, 2022

Spring 2023 TIG Governing Committee Elections

Keep an eye out for emails about nominations and voting in our upcoming TIG elections! The positions that are available include: Newsletter/TIG Blog Editor, Social Media Chair, and Membership Chair. If you would like to nominate yourself for a position or have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].

Trainees at the 21st ISRHML Conference

By Miranda Loutet - Trainee Mentorship Series Coordinator, TIG Governing Committee

There was a great turnout of trainee interest group (TIG) members at the conference in Panama City! It was so great to participate in the TIG events described in Noura’s letter and meet many mentors and trainees working in the field of human milk and lactation. We learned so much from the diverse and multidisciplinary presentations over the 5-day scientific programme. Two presentations that really stood-out were by recent Trainee Bridge Fund winners – Alexandra George (2020) and Yarden Golan (2019). Congratulations to both on their great work spearheading new fields of research within human milk and lactation.

ISRHML members and TIG trainees at the ISRHML Conference in Panama
Trainees after the Early Career Advice session

TIG President’s Update November 2022

By Noura El Habbal PhD, RD, President-Elect TIG Governing Committee

Hello ISRHML members and Milk Minutes readers! I am excited to share some updates from the Trainee Interest Group (TIG) over the past few months!

I first want to thank all the trainees who have helped make our events a huge success! We were glad to see many of you during these events. I would also like to thank the TIG governing committee: Dr. Michelle Asbury (TIG President) who has been a huge support in coordinating TIG events and supporting the TIG governing committee members in their roles, Kristin Elgersma (TIG Secretary) who has ensured all our governing committee meetings are planned and documented, Miranda Loutet (TIG Professional Development Coordinator) who has led efforts in hosting our TIG webinar series, Margaret Butler (Newsletter and Blog Editor) who has managed the quarterly Milk Minutes newsletter and the TIG blog with the most up-to-date news from our trainee membership, Dr. Nurul Husna M Shukri (Trainee Membership Chair) who has helped manage our TIG memberships and led efforts to welcome our new trainee members, Alex Gogel (Trainee Outreach Chair) who has led our trainee outreach efforts, and Nina Juntreal (Social Media and Communications Chair) who has kept our social media feed up-to-date with the latest trainee achievements and news. I would also like to extend my thanks to the supportive TIG advisors, Drs. Jimi Francis and Meghan Azad who support the TIG initiatives and events. Dr. Jimi Francis recently joined the TIG governing committee and the TIG is excited to learn from her expertise and work with her.

The TIG events have been a great success, and I would like to take a minute to give a brief update on all the hard work the TIGers have been doing. Special thanks to Miranda Loutet and Sara Shama for organizing two webinars in the past months. “Advice for Trainee Expansion Program (TEP) Applications” was hosted virtually in August 2022 and was presented by Dr. Donna Geddes, Dr. Maria Carmen Collado, Nina Juntereal, and myself providing invaluable advice regarding the TEP application process, selection criteria, and eligibility. Another webinar hosted virtually by the TIG was “Creating Powerful Presentations” in October 2022 and was presented by Dr. Katie Hinde and Dr. Nurul Husna M Shukri who provided tangible tips on creating impactful presentations. Thank you to each of you for your time and advice. To access recordings of the webinars hosted by the TIG, kindly visit our webinar recording page here (member login required).

I want to thank all the trainees who participated in-person and virtually at the 21st ISRHML 2022 conference in Panama. We hope that you got a chance to meet our in-person TIG governing committee representatives, Alex Gogel and Miranda Loutet, and our virtual representatives, Kristin Elgersma and Michelle Asbury. As part of the TIG programming at the conference, we hosted TIG “Meet the Mentors” events to provide an opportunity for trainees to meet different speakers at the conference. Our “Meet The Mentors” in-person lunch on Tuesday, October 25th was a great success! Thank you to the mentors who participated in this in-person event: Dr. Meghan Azad, Natalie Rodriguez, Dr. Sharon Donovan, Dr. Shelley McGuire, Dr. Paula Meier, Dr. Rebecca Hoban, Dr. Deborah O’Connor, Dr. Mireya Vilar-Compte, Dr. Katherine Semrau, Dr. Rebecca Powell, Dr. Carrie-Ellen Briere, and Dr. Janet Williams. To further accommodate networking events over Zoom and across all time zones, the TIG further hosted two “Meet The Mentors” events on Tuesday, October 25th and Thursday, October 27th which were attended by Dr. Berthold Koletzko, Dr. Donna Geddes, Dr. Lisa Stinson, Dr. Bridget Young, Dr. Laurie Nommsen-Rivers, Dr. Ardythe Morrow, and Dr. Ma del Carmen Casanovas. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all our mentors who shared their expertise with us and made these events informative and helpful to trainees. The TIG also hosted an Early Career Advice session which was held in-person and virtually on Tuesday, October 25th, presented by Dr. Bridget Young and Dr. Christopher Stewart who shared their experiences as new faculty members. A sincere thank you to both of you for your insight and advice! A recording of this session will be available shortly, if you missed it live.

If you have any news you would like ISRHML to share on our social media platforms or in future Milk Minutes newsletters, please let us know by emailing [email protected]! We also follow our trainees’ Google Scholar profiles to help showcase their work. We encourage you to make a Google Scholar profile and share it with us at [email protected] so we can highlight your newest publications!

If you are interested in getting involved with the TIG, you can fill out this form and one of our TIG Governing Committee members will contact you with more information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for future events.

Lastly, if your membership has expired, we hope you will consider renewing and continue being a part of the ISRHML community, as well as connect with other trainees on our Slack channel and receive emails regarding our upcoming events! Thank you to all the trainees for being the most integral part of this journey and at the heart of all the work we do!


Noura El Habbal, PhD, RD

ISRHML TIG President-Elect

Dr. Katie Hinde and Dr. Nurul Husna M Shukri presenting the TIG Webinar “Creating Powerful Presentations” in October 2022

Note, the figure pictured in Dr. Hinde’s presentation is from the article “Integrative approaches to dispersing science: A case study of March Mammal Madness” ( Check it out for more information!

ISRHML Newsletter | Editorial Board

Janet Williams

University of Idaho

Carrie-Ellen Briere

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Margaret Butler

Northwestern University

Omobolaji Adewuyi

University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Jimi Francis

University of Texas San Antonio

Laura Galante

University of Turku, Finland

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