Queen’s University Belfast student receives DWS Travel Grant

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Ranran with A35 Workstation

Ranran Li, a third-year PhD student in microbiology at Queen’s University Belfast recently used the Travel Grant from Don Whitley Scientific to travel from Belfast to Madrid, where she gave an oral presentation during the prestigious 7th International Congress of the European Milk Bank Association.

Ranran commented that, "human milk (HM) provides a source of microorganisms that seeds an infant’s gastrointestinal microbiota. Increasingly, research suggests that this can impact both early and life-long health. My research is focusing on isolating microbes from human milk, with a particular emphasis on identifying beneficial anaerobic microbes. The Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation has played a pivotal role in facilitating my work by providing an optimal environment for cultivating anaerobic microbes from breast milk. Throughout my research, we have optimized the culturomics methodology, allowing us to create an artificial microbial natural habitat. The culturomics atmosphere encompasses aerobic, anaerobic, and CO2 conditions. Employing the culturomics methodology within the A35 Workstation has resulted in the successful generation of 50 isolates from glycerol stocks of frozen human milk, including facultative and aerotolerant species.

Looking ahead, our goal is to extend Ranran at EMBA Congress 23the application of these refined methods to fresh human milk and non-pasteurized donor human milk, promising further advancements in our understanding of microbial dynamics.

I presented our findings through an oral presentation at the EMBA congress which was an exciting opportunity to interact with other scientists and clinicians from around the world."

We wish Ranran all the best and look forward to seeing her future work. If you are interested in seeing Ranran's presentation, follow the link: Oral presentation for EMBA congress.pptx

If you are interested in the DWS Travel Grant, please head over to our webpage to see if you may be eligible.


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