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Connecticut Human Milk
Research Center

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The Connecticut Human Milk Research Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary research team, sponsored by the Connecticut Children’s Division of Neonatology. The primary research objective is to further understand the relationship between human milk intake in premature newborns and their growth, development and health status.

Research Initiatives

The Connecticut Human Milk Research Center’s efforts are focused on three umbrella research initiatives:

  1. A NICU-specific nutrition and clinical database
    Researchers are creating a database to evaluate at least 15 clinical epidemiologic questions related to human milk use and clinical, growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Learn more about NICU-specific nutrition and clinical database »
  2. A human milk analyzer measuring the macronutrient composition of a mother’s own milk and donor human milk
    These results will be analyzed with the clinical research database to explore clinical and growth outcomes. This research initiative will ultimately provide personalized nutrition regimes to at-risk infants through the individualized fortification of mother’s own milk or human donor milk.
  3. A wet lab dedicated to biochemical analysis of human milk

Published Research

The Connecticut Human Milk Research Center has published several studies evaluating the effects of human milk in premature newborns. Learn more about our Research »

Meet Elizabeth Brownell, PhD, MA

Dr. Brownell is a perinatal epidemiologist specializing in human milk research and the Director of the Connecticut Human Milk Research Center. Dr. Brownell has significant expertise in study design, research methods, data analysis and dissemination of study results. Current areas of inquiry include the effect of donor milk, the macronutrient content of human milk, and the microbiome of human milk as they relate to clinical, growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes among preterm infants. In addition to leading her own research studies, she frequently collaborates with Neonatology faculty and actively mentors Neonatal-Perinatal Fellows.

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