The discovery of stem cells in breast milk is one of many topics to be discussed at an international conference later this month at The University of Western Australia.
More than 20 leading international experts in lactation will join their Australian counterparts at the 14th International Conference of the Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation, from Thursday, January 31, 2008 to Tuesday, February 5, 2008.
Dr Mark Cregan, a lecturer in biochemistry and molecular biology at UWA, said his research was the first to indicate human breast milk contained stem cells.
“The presence of stem cells in breast milk demonstrates a more complex cellular component exists in human milk than previously appreciated,” Dr Cregan said.
“My research colleague Donna Geddes has also rewritten the textbook on the anatomy of the breast, which gives us a much better idea of how we can help women who experience problems with breastfeeding, such as low milk production, blocked ducts and mastitis, as well as those who have had breast surgery.”
Other topics to be covered include traditional and cultural breastfeeding, nutritional and developmental benefits of breastfeeding, milk ejection and removal, breastmilk for pre-term babies and origins of health and disease.
International speakers include W Allan Walker, Professor of Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Professor Kay Dewey, from the University of California Davis, Professor Katsumi Mizuno, from Showa University of Medicine in Japan and Dr Iqbal Kabir, from the International Centre for Research into Diarrhoeal Disease, Dakar, Bangladesh.
The Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in research and the dissemination of research findings in the field of human milk and lactation.
Dr Mark Cregan 0412 455 206