News Blog


MOMI CORE’s Dr. Sara Moukarzel live on national television in Lebanon

MOMI CORE’s Dr. Sara Moukarzel and our collaborator Dr. Antoine Farhat, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences at Notre Dame University, were live on national television MTVAlive to talk about our project on breastfeeding education in schools and universities and the benefits of breastfeeding in general.

This is a wonderful example how MOMI CORE’s work spans from tissue culture to television, and how projects initiated at UC San Diego eventually reach millions of people at primetime in different locations around the world.

Watch the 10 min segment on YouTube and read the Arabic-English transcript.


MOMI CORE and Center for Microbiome Innovation launch MOMI Biome

MOMI Biome, a new partnership made from the joining of two world-renowned centers from the University of California San Diego will allow researchers to join forces and take a deeper look at how human milk components and the microbiome can impact human health and development – in both infants and adults.
Visit the MOMI Biome website
Read the full press release


Congratulations to MOMI CORE's first graduate, Dr. Jennifer Farace

The Director of Undergraduate Medical Education at UC San Diego, Jennifer Farace, successfully completed her Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership under the outstanding mentorship of Dr. Alan Daly.
Jennifer’s dissertation study - “Breastfeeding: A Case Study in Organizational Change of One Medical School’s Curriculum” - provides an examination of the existing values and structures which underpin curricular decision-making at a medical school, and how they impact the inclusion of preventive medicine practices in the curriculum. Specifically, the case study utilizes an organizational learning framework to explore ways in which curricular decisions are made regarding the implementation of preventive medicine training, using breastfeeding as an exemplar case.
Jennifer’s exceptional work has created a dynamic research-to-practice partnership at UC San Diego that facilitates effective translation of biomedical and social research into positive change in education practices. Stay tuned for more updates as together we re-shape breastfeeding education on campus and beyond!



MOMI CORE and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Collaborate on Elephant Project



LRF MOMI CORE awards 2019 MOMI Seeds pilot grants

The second request for MOMI Seeds pilot grant proposals closed on October 15, 2018, and we are excited to announce the 2019 awardees! (Explore what projects were selected for funding...)


2nd round of MOMI Seeds now open for application 

We know that getting started can be one of the most challenging parts of research, that’s why we created MOMI Seeds - an annual grant program that serves as a launch pad for researchers from across the sciences to study human milk from their unique perspectives. The MOMI Seeds program serves to fuel the engine of ongoing discovery in human milk and lactation. 2019 MOMI Seeds are now open for application! (Read More)


Composition of Complex Sugars in Breast Milk May Prevent Future Food Allergies

LRF MOMI CORE and collaborators in Canada report that the unique composition of mother's milk may help reduce food sensitization in her infant. (Read More)


LRF MOMI CORE has a new logo

LRF MOMI CORE is connecting the dots and filling the void -  this philosophy is now represented in our new logo designed by Russell Creative.


LRF MOMI CORE highlighted in "The Milk Moonshot" episode of "The Uncivilize Podcast"  

Award-winning author Jennifer Grayson, who published the very successful book “Unlatched” a couple of years ago, just released the latest episode of her new project “The Uncivilize Podcast. In the episode called “The Milk Moonshot”, Jennifer highlights LRF MOMI CORE, explains why human milk is more than just food, and why breastfeeding not only improves health, but also contributes to social equity. (Listen to the Podcast)


LRF MOMI CORE awards first 2018 MOMI Seeds pilot grants  

The first request for MOMI Seeds pilot grant proposals closed on October 15, 2017, and we received a total of 27 applications​ from UC San Diego investigators, highlighting the immense interest in and potential for human milk and lactation research at UC San Diego and emphasizing the high demand for additional funding in this critical line of research. Click Here to learn more about the 2018 MOMI Seeds program, the 2018 Research Priority Areas, who applied, and which projects were selected for funding!

MOMI Seeds are supported by the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Research and Collaboration Fund and a generous anonymous donor.


LRF MOMI CORE launches MOMI Seeds, a pilot project seed funding mechanism with the goal to stimulate and enable innovative and multidisciplinary human milk research 

LRF MOMI CORE announces the first round of its pilot project seed funding mechanism called MOMI Seeds. UC San Diego faculty members as well as postdoctoral trainees, medical fellows, and residents are eligible to submit applications for one-year grants of up to $50,000 in one of three specific Research Priority Areas defined by the Scientific Advisory Board based on the short- and long-term strategic goals of the center. In addition, the center requests grant applications for the "Milk Moonshot", innovative and creative ideas for a project related to human milk and breastfeeding that do not fit in any of the other Research Priority Areas.

MOMI Seeds are supported by the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Research and Collaboration Fund and a generous anonymous donor.


LRF MOMI CORE investigators to lead Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported project to identify human milk components that prevent environmental enteric dysfunction and diarrheal disease

LRF MOMI CORE Director Dr. Lars Bode is leading a new project to identify and synthesize human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) to prevent environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) and diarrheal disease. EED and diarrheal disease have far-reaching impacts on child growth, health, and development in low- and middle-income country settings. Diarrhea remains to be one of the major causes of death in children under the age of 5. 
The two-year project is funded with over $1.7M in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and uses a collaborative, multi-dimensional approach to assess in vitro and in vivo efficacy of HMOs and identify specific HMO structures responsible for the beneficial effects.


LRF MOMI CORE investigators part of NIH-funded project to study the impact of human milk components on infant microbiome and obesity

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards an R01 research grant to study the "Impact of Sugars and Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Infant Microbiome and Obesity". Dr. Michael Goran at the University of Southern California (USC) serves as primary Principal Investigator, with LRF MOMI CORE investigators Dr. Lars Bode and Dr. Rob Knight as award subrecipients for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).


UC San Diego Health hosts March 1 Milk Drive

Help us address a statewide milk shortage and help NICU babies in California! In collaboration with the Mothers' Milk Bank of San Jose and the San Diego Blood Bank, UC San Diego Health hosts a Milk Drive on Wednesday, March 1. View flyer for more information.


$10.5 Million Gift Funds Center for Human Milk Research at UC San Diego

Breast milk is known to provide the best source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and for premature babies, it can be life-saving. Yet much about the composition of human milk and what makes it so beneficial is still a mystery. To help scientists bridge this knowledge gap, the Switzerland-based Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation has made a $10.5 million grant to the University of California San Diego, home to one of the world’s only centers dedicated to human milk research.  (Read More)


Gift to UC San Diego will establish San Diego's first Mother's Milk Bank

The new UC San Diego Mother's Milk Bank will collect and provide donor milk to local hospitals for optimal care of infants who need the milk most. The bank will also work with community partners to improve breastfeeding education and awareness. This is yet another initiative at UC San Diego Health that will help save lives through the power of human milk. (Read More)
Studio microphone for recording podcasts and computer tablet on a white background.


UC San Diego Podcast: Interview with the "Milk Man"

Michelle and Melanie learn the science behind the saying “breast is best” from Lars Bode, PhD, MoMI CoRE Director. They talk about the benefits of breast milk and how lactating mothers could actually hold the key to future drug development for chronic, adult diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. (Listen to the Podcast)


Mommy's Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository launches Website 

This is the first-ever breast milk bank for research in the nation! The staff at UC San Diego Center for Better Beginnings are organizing the collection of and safe storage of breast milk samples, and is asking for your generous support. Check out their website to learn how you can donate two ounces of breast milk, and they'll keep it safe for a role in future research projects. (Visit Mommy's Milk Website)