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


Past TEP grant recipient Alecia-Jane Twigger, PhD, BSc (Hons), currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, received a Trainee Bridge Fund (TBF) grant in 2017. The grant enabled her to further her cellular research in human lactation. During her project, which was completed at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Dr. Twigger learned to cultivate three-dimensional organoids from resting breast cells and process them for confocal imaging. She also learned to prepare and sort those cells using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS).

About her research, Dr. Twigger said:

“Interestingly the FACS profiles of the milk cells are very different to the resting breast cells, despite their ability to generate organoids. Moving forward it will be important to determine novel surface markers for the milk cells that will enable us to discern the population of cells producing milk (lactocytes) and the cells that are able to generate organoids in culture.”

Through her TBF-enabled journey, Dr. Twigger was able to significantly expand her research knowledge and laboratory proficiency. It is clear from her record of published studies that she has continued to utilize the skills she developed in further human lactation research.

Some of Dr. Twigger’s TBF-enabled work is reflected in these two studies:

Transcriptional changes in the mammary gland during lactation revealed by single cell sequencing of cells from human milk, obtained from bioRxiv

Mammary gland development from a single cell ‘omics view, published in Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology

Access all of Dr. Twigger’s research works through Google Scholar here.

If you are an early career researcher with a focus on human milk and lactation like Dr. Alecia-Jane Twigger, consider applying for a Trainee Expansion Program grant when applications open 1 August 2022.