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Human Milk Institute Symposium 2024

A Shared Vision for Human Milk: Synergizing Research, Clinical Care, and Equitable Access

March 18/19, 2024

Scripps Seaside Forum
8610 Kennel Way
La Jolla, CA 92037


BRN logo

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP55, for 6 contact hours per day.



DAY 1 - March 18, 2024

9:00 AM

Check-in opens

9:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

Mitra Hooshmand, PhD
Executive Director, Human Milk Institute
UC San Diego

Lars Bode, PhD
Director, Human Milk Institute
UC San Diego

Pradeep K. Khosla, PhD
UC San Diego

10:00 AM

Morning sessions begin

Keynote Lecture

10:00 AM

Opening Keynote Lecture
The breastfeeding paradox: Evolving science, competing values and conflicting interests

Nigel Rollins, MD
Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing
World Health Organization (WHO)

The Power of Human Milk: Lifesaving Support for Small Vulnerable Newborns

Session Chair: Karen Mestan, MD, MS, UC San Diego

10:30 AM

Patient Family Perspective
When mother's milk was all I had to give

Jennifer Canvasser, MSW
Founder and Executive Director
NEC Society


10:45 AM

Small vulnerable newborns: A new conceptual framework

Stephen Kennedy, MD
Co-lead, INTERGROWTH-21st
University of Oxford


11:10 AM

The balancing act: How to feed preterm infants to promote health and avoid harm

Sarah N. Taylor, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Chief Neonatal Perinatal Medicine
Yale University


11:35 AM

Human milk and preterm infant brain development: Insights from MRI

Mandy Brown Belfort, MD, MPH
Associate Chief of Research, Department of Pediatrics
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School

12:00 PM


1:15 PM

Afternoon sessions begin

Milk Demystified: Genes, Microbes, and Immunity

Session Chair: Maria Carmen Collado Amores, PhD, IATA-CSIC, Valencia, Spain

1:15 PM

Maternal milk antibodies regulate the infant intestinal microbiota and immunity

Timothy Hand, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology
Director, Gnotobiotic Animal Core Facility
University of Pittsburgh


1:40 PM

Human milk immune responses to simulated respiratory infection and vaccination

Pia S. Pannaraj, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics
UC San Diego
Infectious Disease Specialist
Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego


2:05 PM

Nourishing commensals: Human milk oligosaccharides enable infant gut colonization

Hiutung Chu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
UC San Diego


2:30 PM

Leveraging natural variation to learn about human milk

Kelsey Johnson, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Minnesota

3:00 PM


Human Milk at the Intersection of Maternal and Pediatric Therapeutics (MPRINT Session)

Session Chair: Christina Chambers, PhD, UC San Diego

3:30 PM

Regulatory considerations for lactation studies

Leyla Sahin, MD
Deputy Director for Safety
Division of Pediatrics and Maternal Health
Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)


3:55 PM

Oxycodone in human milk: Leveraging physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling and opportunistic studies to evaluate infant exposure

Kevin Watt, MD, PhD
Robert M. Ward Presidential Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacology
Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology
Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine
University of Utah


4:20 PM

Human milk transfer and infant exposure to maternal sertraline

Elizabeth J. Thompson, MD
Pediatric Cardiology and Critical Care Fellow
Duke University


This session is supported by the MPRINT Hub, a center network funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

4:45 PM

Sunset Cocktail Reception


DAY 2 - March 19, 2024

9:00 AM

Check-in opens

9:30 AM

Morning sessions begin

Breastfeeding and HIV: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities

Session Chair: Nigel, Rollins, MD, World Health Organization (WHO)

9:30 AM

Clinical Perspective
UC San Diego HIV and patient-centered infant feeding initiative: A clinical perspective on new guideline implementation

Karen Deutsch
Family Nurse Practitioner
UC San Diego Mother Child Adolescent HIV Program


9:50 AM

Community Perspective
Nurturing health & hope: Community strategies for clinical providers to empower HIV+ breastfeeding parents through whole person centered lactation support & resources

Chardá Bell, IBCLC
Melanin Milk SD Doula & Lactation


10:10 AM

Research Perspective
Maternal-to-infant transfer of antiretroviral drugs through human milk: Clinical pharmacology considerations and perspectives

Jeremiah Momper, PharmD, PhD
Professor, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
UC San Diego 

10:30 AM


Innovations in Human Milk-Inspired Therapeutics and Diagnostics

Session Chair: Lars Bode, PhD, UC San Diego

11:00 AM

Human milk-based therapeutics and diagnostics to protect preterm infants from necrotizing enterocolitis

Lars Bode, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (MOMI CORE)
Director, Human Milk Institute


11:25 AM

Human Milk Oligosaccharides in energy metabolism: Implications for lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic health

Philip Gordts, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
UC San Diego


11:50 PM

Human Milk Oligosaccharides as therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders

Richard Daneman, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience
UC San Diego

12:15 PM


1:30 PM

Afternoon sessions begin

Bridging Care with Donor Human Milk: NICUs and Milk Banks in Sync

Session Chair: Alison Wolf, NP, UC San Diego

1:30 PM

Patient Family Perspective
Milk Matters: A Full Circle Journey of Milk Donation

Christina Toedtman, BSN, RN, IBCLC
Clinical Nurse II, Lactation Consultant
Postpartum Lactation
UC San Diego Health


1:40 PM

Setting the standard in non-profit milk banking

Kim Updegrove, MSN
Executive Director
Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin


2:05 PM

The global donor human milk study: Preliminary findings on macro- and micronutrients

Maryanne Perrin, PhD, MBA, RDN
Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition
University of North Carolina Greensboro


2:30 PM

Pooling practices impact on nutrient and biologic targets

Sydney McCune, PhD, RD
LRF MOMI CORE Clinical Translational Research Fellow
UC San Diego


2:45 PM

Collective Impact Donor Milk Project in California

Lisa Stellwagen, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Executive Director, University of California Health Milk Bank
UC San Diego


3:00 PM


Breastfeeding Together: Closing Gaps, Training the Future, Impacting Communities

Session Chair: Christopher A. Longhurst, MD, MS, UC San Diego

3:30 PM

The Future of Lactation Education: Ensuring Access to All

Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC, PMH-C
Clinical Director and Lead Faculty
UC San Diego


3:50 PM

Building Bridges in Human Milk Research: Collaborating with Community Partners through Collective Impact

Shana Wright Bruno, MPH, CHES
Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
Human Milk Institute
Director of the San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative
Center for Community Health
UC San Diego


4:10 PM

Panel Discussion
Charting the Course: Synthesizing Insights and Forging Pathways for Advancement in Human Milk Research and Equitable Access

Moderator: Christopher A. Longhurst, MD, MS, UC San Diego


  • Mandy Belfort, MD, MPH - Clinical Perspective
  • Chardá Bell, IBCLC - Community Perspective
  • Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC, PMH-C - Education Perspective
  • Maryanne Perrin, PhD, MBA, RDN - Donor Human Milk Perspective
  • Leyla Sahin, MD - Regulatory Perspective

5:00 PM

Closing Remarks


Sunset Pier