Past TEP grant recipient Sarah Reyes, PhD, MSc, MSL-cert, currently a regulatory affairs specialist and human milk scientist at Prolacta Bioscience in the USA, received a Trainee Travel Fund (TTF) grant in 2017. Her TTF grant enabled Dr. Reyes to travel to the University of Idaho and gain hands-on experience in microbiome analysis, bioinformatics, and computational techniques needed to study the human milk microbiome.
During her short-term work in Idaho, Dr. Reyes learned protocols for extracting DNA, Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) analysis, amplicon quantification, and pooling. She credits the experience as helping her realize there is no right way to analyze microbiome data, but there are multiple wrong ways to avoid.
About her experience, Dr. Miliku said:
“Working at the University of Idaho as a PhD candidate, my role felt more like that of a collaborator than that of a student. The Trainee Travel Fund experience has led to a productive collaboration from which we expect multiple manuscripts.”
Dr. Reyes’s TTF-enabled work culminated in her doctoral dissertation Bacterial composition of human milk pumped and stored in real-life conditions: A randomized, controlled investigation, published by Cornell University in December 2019.
(Link to PDF or online full-text dissertation: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/70093/ReyesParedes_cornellgrad_0058F_11828.pdf?sequence=1)
If you are an early career researcher with a focus on human milk and lactation like Alexandra George, consider applying for a Trainee Expansion Program grant when applications open 1 August 2022.