Bioactive Components of Breast Milk and Postnatal Infant Programming
Dr. Bridget Young’s research group studies how bioactive components in human milk (such as hormones and growth factors) differ by maternal characteristics. They are also very interested in learning how differences in these components help the infant to develop and may impact the infant’s future health outcomes.
Dr. Young’s research team conducts clinical studies with breastfeeding mothers and their infants. Their study investigates how hormones, particularly insulin, varies in breast milk depending on maternal insulin sensitivity and mothers’ feeding patterns. Their current study also investigates how varying concentrations of insulin in breast milk may impact infant health outcomes, such as intestinal gene expression and maturation and pancreatic function. Both Dr. Young the team study coordinator are Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) and work with the mothers enrolled in the study to support them in their breastfeeding goals.
In related studies, Dr. Young’s team is also studying how nutrient and bioactive composition of donor milk is impacted depending on how the milk is processed. Dr Young has many collaborators throughout the country, assisting in the study of breast milk composition and breastfed infant outcomes.
Dr. Young is actively accepting new undergraduate and graduate research students.