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U of I-WSU Team Leads Conference Focused on Improving Composition of Milk

March 08, 2018

A team of researchers from Washington State University and the University of Idaho received a $50,000 grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program to organize a national conference on the compositions of bovine and human milk.

Made up of experts in human nutrition, dairy science and lactation at both schools, the team will organize and lead the “Conference on Dairy Foods: Management, Production, Bioactive Compounds to Enhance Health” in November 2018 in Washington, D.C.

“Understanding the factors that cause variation in the nutrient and bioactive components of bovine milk will aid in our understanding of the optimal intake of dairy products for the human consumer,” said Mark McGuire, associate dean in the and director of the .

The conference will address the factors regulating the bioactive components in bovine and human milk. By understanding how these factors are regulated, researchers will be able to improve concentrations in milk, which will ultimately lead to better health – such as reductions in inflammation and improved gastrointestinal health in consumers.

“Human milk is the only food ever designed by nature to feed humans, but cows’ milk comes close,” said Michelle “Shelley” McGuire, professor in the . “The more we can learn about both kinds of milk, the better we’ll be able to understand human nutritional needs.”

The team includes Mark McGuire; Shelley McGuire; Naomi Fukagawa, director of the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland; and John Finley, WSU alumnus and national program leader for Human Nutrition at USDA-ARS in Maryland.

“This project exemplifies the benefits of interdisciplinary research,” said Janet E. Nelson, U of I vice president for Research and Economic Development. “It brings together researchers from anthropology, genomics, proteomics, microbiology and data sciences in a way that can make a positive and significant impact on human health.”

The grant builds on dairy and human milk research at both universities and will focus on linking agricultural practices to human health.

“Through this partnership between WSU and U of I, we will build the foundation for this research to have a broad societal impact on human health and agricultural practices,” said Chris Keane, WSU vice president for Research.

This project, “Conference on Dairy Foods: Management, Production, Bioactive Compounds to Enhance Health,” was funded under USDA NIFA grant No. 2018-67018-27514. The total amount of federal funds for the project is $49,974, which amounts to 100 percent of the total cost of the project.

 

Media Contact:

Brad Gary

Communications Coordinator

University of Idaho

111-111-7725

[email protected]

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at divinedestinations.info