Research

Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository at UC San Diego is building a research database that will be used to evaluate human milk. As the first-ever human milk research biorepository in the nation, we are moving science forward through highly-trained researchers contributing to human milk breakthroughs and discoveries.

We’re currently enrolling breastfeeding individuals into the following studies:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are studying breast milk from individuals who have exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Much is unknown about COVID-19 and whether the virus and the medications used to treat it can be transmitted from mother to baby via breast milk. Please consider joining our study to help us better understand COVID-19 and its treatment during breastfeeding. Participation involves providing a breast milk, nasal, saliva, blood and stool sample from mom, and nasal, blood and stool sample from child. Not all samples are required. Download the study flyer (haga clic aquí para español). To join the study, visit our Participate page

COVID-19 Vaccines
We’re studying breast milk from people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Little is known about the use of this new vaccine by breastfeeding moms and whether the immunity that a mom develops is passed to her baby in breast milk. Please consider joining this study to help us gather this critical information. Participation involves providing up to 7 milk samples in the 45 days after receiving the vaccine, phone interviews, release of medical records for both mom and baby, and mailed or online questionnaires about baby’s development. For more information, download our Study Flyer. To join the study, visit our Participate page

Motegrity® (prucalopride) 
Our team is examining whether Motegrity® (prucalopride), a medication taken for the treatment of functional constipation in adults, can be found in breast milk. We’re looking for breastfeeding individuals who are currently taking Motegrity®. Participation in this research study includes phone interviews, self-collection of breast milk samples at different time points over a 24-hour period before and after taking a dose, questionnaires about baby’s growth and development, and releasing baby’s medical records. Volunteers receive up to $125 for completing the study. See if you qualify.  

Veklury® (remdesivir)
Our team is examining whether Veklury® (remdesivir), a medication taken for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults, can be found in breast milk. We’re looking for breastfeeding individuals who are currently taking Veklury®. Participation in this research study includes phone interviews and self-collection of breast milk samples, questionnaires about baby’s growth and development, and releasing baby’s medical records. The breast milk collection schedule includes providing a milk sample five times in a 24 hour period while taking Veklury®, and then providing one milk sample per day for 7 consecutive days following your last dose of Veklury®. See if you qualify.

OUR RESEARCH BIOREPOSITORY

Since we opened in 2014, we’ve been collecting breast milk samples and de-identified clinical data from breastfeeding individuals across the U.S. These samples and data can be accessed by researchers to answer critical questions about breast milk and its effects on infant and child health. Contact us to learn how you can get involved and request human milk samples for your research project.

Clinical data points that are collected include:

  • Maternal Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Education
  • Income
  • Primary Language
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Pregnancy History (Gravidity, Parity, SAB,TAB)
  • Breastfeeding History (Breastfeeding History and Duration)
  • Child Eating Habits (EBF, Formula, Solids)
  • Personal Medical History
  • Family Medical History
  • Child Age
  • Child Birth Weight, Length and Head Circumference
  • Child Apgar Scores
  • Preterm Birth
  • Delivery Mode
  • Child Current Weight, Length and Head Circumference (at the time of the milk sample)
  • Pediatric abnormalities
  • Maternal exposures (dose, frequency, dates for 7 days prior to collection)
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Maternal sleep habits
  • Maternal exercise habits
  • Milk sample collection conditions
  • EPDS score
  • STAI score
  • PSS-10 score
  • Food Frequency Questionnaire
  • ASQ
  • CDI
  • ITSEA
  • MCHAT

Sample Processing and Storage: Upon receipt, milk samples are aliquoted and transferred to the Altman Clinical and Translation Research Institute (ACTRI) Biorepository, where they are stored in -80 degree conditions. The ACTRI Biorepository was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Grant UL1TR000100 of CTSA funding prior to August 13, 2015 and is currently supported by Grant UL1TR001442 of CTSA funding beginning August 13, 2015 and beyond. For more information, visit the ACTRI Biorepository.

CURRENT RESEARCH ANALYSES USING MOMMY’S MILK DATA:

We support projects that are being performed by collaborating researchers who are utilizing human milk samples and clinical data from our biorepository. Current research projects that are analyzing Mommy’s Milk samples and data include:

Cannabinoids in Human Milk
We are measuring the quantity of cannabinoids (∆9-THC, 11-OH-THC, CBD, and CBN) in human milk samples provided by breastfeeding mothers who report recent marijuana use.
Brookie Best Lab
https://pharmacy.ucsd.edu/faculty/bios/best.shtm

Macronutrient Profiling
Jae Kim Lab

Microbiome Analysis
Rob Knight Lab
https://knightlab.ucsd.edu/

Oligosaccharide Analysis
Lars Bode
http://www.bodelab.com/

Untargeted Mass Spectrometry Analysis
Pieter Dorrestein Lab
http://dorresteinlab.ucsd.edu/Dorrestein_Lab/Welcome.html