The Bode Lab
The Bode Lab

News Blog - 2018 Part 1

October 8, 2018

Lars speaks at 19th ISRHML Conference in Japan

October 4, 2018

Lars speaks at GlycoCom Meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia

September 21, 2018

Manuscript accepted in JAMA Pediatrics

Our manuscript "Impact of maternal probiotic supplementation on human milk oligosaccharide composition" has been accepted for publication in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.


In collaboration with Dr. Kirsi Jarvonen-Seppo and Dr. Antti Seppo at the University of Rochester and the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, we discovered that probiotic use during late pregnancy impacts human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) composition after birth and during lactation.

September 17, 2018

Manuscript accepted in Medical Education Online

Our manuscript "A case study on breastfeeding education in Lebanon’s public medical school: Highlighting the potential role of social networks in medical education" has been accepted for publication in the journal Medical Education Online.


The project marks the first publication of UC San Diego's LRF MOMI CORE engaging a true interdisciplinary team of human milk researchers and education scientists.

September 13, 2018

Who is winning the upper hand in the host-microbial "arms race"?
Manuscript accepted in Nature Communications

Our manuscript "Complex Interplay between human milk oligosaccharides, milk microbiome and infant gut microbiome modulates neonatal rotavirus infection" has been accepted for publication in the journal Nature Communications.


In a paradigm shifting example of microbial success in the “arms race”, we demonstrate that HMOs are not decoy receptors for a rotavirus strain G10P[11] with an almost exclusive tropism for neonates. Validating in vitro findings, population studies showed significantly higher levels of specific human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in milk from mothers of rotavirus-positive neonates presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms, compared to mothers of asymptomatically infected or rotavirus-uninfected neonates. Further, HMO levels correlated with distinct differences in maternal milk and infant stool microbiome of the symptomatic group.


Of public health relevance, specific HMOs improved in vitro infectivity of a licensed, asymptomatic neonatal virus-derived rotavirus vaccine. The recognition of maternal factors that could promote the performance of live, attenuated vaccines provides innovative directions to improve vaccine responses, particularly in developing countries where underperformance of oral vaccines is a critical challenge. Thus, while rotavirus strains may start to take advantage of specific HMOs, new insights into the underlying mechanisms might help us gain the upper hand.


The project, led by Dr. Sasirekha Ramani, is a true multidisciplinary approach, including world experts in molecular virology, nuclear magnetic resonance, HMO and microbiome analyses from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, and the Bode lab in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California in La Jolla.

September 7, 2018

Pushing the frontiers of HMO knowledge: New manuscript accepted in Frontiers Pediatrics Neonatology shows infants are exposed to HMOs before birth

We are pushing the frontiers of knowledge with our new manuscript accepted in Frontiers Pediatrics Neonatology, showing that infants are exposed to human milk oligosaccharides already in utero, before birth and before receiving human milk.


We enrolled women during pregnancy and collected their urine and amniotic fluid at birth as well as their milk four days postpartum. We analysed the samples by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry and identified several HMOs to be present in different relative abundancies in all three tissues. This is the first report that HMOs appear in amniotic fluid and that the fetus is already exposed to HMOs in utero, warranting future research to investigate the immediate and long-term implications on fetal and infant health and development.


The project is a collaboration with the University of Turku in Finland and the GlycoAnalytics Core at the University of California, San Diego.

September 4, 2018

Lars co-chairs 6th Annual International Conference on Human Milk Science and Innovation

Lars once again co-chair the 6th Annual International Conference on Human Milk Science and Innovation together with Stanford University colleague Dr. William Rhine.


The conference takes place at the Langham Pasadena Hotel and explores new applications of human milk and its long-term clinical benefits in neonatal care.

August 31, 2018

Lab Outing... Commemorating the end of the summer on an evening cruise...

August 28, 2018

Lab Selfie... Who says research isn't fun...?!

August 7, 2018

Shams Al-Azzam successfully defends Master's thesis

Shams Al-Azzam successfully defended her Master's thesis "The Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Neglected Infectious Diseases".


The project is part of a collaboration with Dr. Conor Caffrey and Dr. Anjan Debnath at the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases (CDIPD) at the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy.


Congratulations Shams!

August 3, 2018

Bode lab is searching for outstanding Staff Research Associate

The Bode lab is seeking enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals with expertise in biomedical sciences, physiology, biochemistry, and/or nutrition to join the group as Staff Research Associate.


Successful applicants will join a multidisciplinary team working in one of the most vibrant research environments in the world.


Strong analytical skills as well as verbal and written communication are required. 


Experience with human milk research and biostatistics is a plus.

July 11, 2018

Manuscript accepted for publication in Journal of Nutrition

Our manuscript "Human milk oligosaccharide concentrations are associated with multiple fixed and modifiable maternal characteristics, environmental factors and feeding practices" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nutrition.


The project is a collaboration with Dr. Meghan Azad's group at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and levereged samples and metadata that were collected as part of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study. We used our analytical platform to determine HMO composition in over 400 milk samples. Associations with maternal, infant and environmental factors were explored using multivariable regression.

72% of mothers were Secretors and the mean duration of any breastfeeding was 12.8±5.7 months. HMO profiles were highly variable; total HMO concentrations varied 3.7-fold and individual HMOs varied 20 to >100-fold. Secretor mothers had higher total HMO concentrations than non-Secretors (mean 15.91±2.80 vs. 8.94±1.51 mol/mL, p<0.001) and all individual HMOs differed by Secretor status, except for disialyllacto-N-tetraose (DSLNT). Most HMO concentrations were lower in milk collected later in lactation, although some were higher including DSLNT and 3’-sialyllactose. Independent of Secretor status and lactation stage, seasonal and geographic variation was observed for several HMOs. Parity, ethnicity, and breastfeeding exclusivity also emerged as independent factors associated with some HMOs, while diet quality and mode of delivery did not. Together, these factors explained between 14% (for 6’-sialyllactose) and 92% (for 2’-fucosyllactose) of the observed variation in HMO concentrations. Lower concentrations of lacto-N-hexaose or fucodisialyllacto-N-hexaose were associated with earlier breastfeeding cessation.


Further research is warranted to determine how these associations impact infant health.

June 21, 2018

MOMI CORE launches second round of MOMI Seeds pilot grants

UC San Diego's Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (MOMI CORE) just opened the application process for their 2nd annual MOMI Seeds pilot grant program. UC San Diego faculty and postdoctoral trainees are eligible to apply for one of the seed grants of up $50,000 to enable innovative human milk research.


Clich Here for more information about the program and how to apply.

June 11, 2018

Lars speaks at Nutrition 2018 conference

Lars opens the Nutrition 2018 conference symposium "The Role of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) in Health and Development in the First 1,000 Days" with his talk "Basic Science and Complex Biology of HMOs".


The Nutrition 2018 conference is the new annual conference of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) held in Boston, MA, June 9-12.

June 8, 2018

Manuscript accepted in Frontiers in Pediatrics

Our manuscript "Immunological Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides” has been accepted for publication in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics.

May 21, 2018

Lars honored at UC San Diego Inaugural Endowed Chair Investiture Celebration

UC San Diego’s School of Medicine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. A special investiture ceremony was held recently for the UC San Diego health sciences faculty endowed chair holders.  Chancellor Khosla presented the faculty members with commemorative medals and thanked them for shaping a new era in healthcare and strengthening the power of academic medicine at UC San Diego.

Lars was presented with the commemorative medal as the inaugural Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research. 

May 19, 2018

UC San Diego Program for Career Development in Glycoscience

- Training Fellowships available in Bode lab -

The UC SAN DIEGO PROGRAM FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT IN GLYCOSCIENCE, coordinated by the Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC), is requesting applications for NHLBI Training Fellowships for physician-scientists and postdoctoral fellows.


The Bode Lab is interested in studying biosynthesis and functions of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and is part of the program. Contact Dr. Lars Bode via email ( if you would like to explore opportunities to join this outstanding training program at one of the best glycobiology centers in the world.


Carefully review the RFA and eligibility criteria (pdf below) before contacting Dr. Bode. The Boe Lab is looking to hire outstanding candidates with high motivation to succeed.

Career Development in Glycoscience Fellowship RFA
K12 Information Packet Final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [352.3 KB]

May 17, 2018

Janneiry Garcia joins Milk Gang

Janneiry Garcia joins the Milk Gang as Lab Volunteer.


Janneiry is a 2nd year UC San Diego undergraduate student majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Global Health. Her hobbies include listening to broadway musicals, watching Marvel movies, and reading. In the future, she hopes to become a Pediatrician and help underprivileged communities all over the world. 


Welcome to the Milk Gang, Janneiry!

May 15, 2018

Madison Tenney joins Milk Gang

Madison Tenney joins the Milk Gang as Lab Volunteer.


Madison is an undergraduate student at UCSD, earning her degree in Biochemistry: Cell Biology. She is currently exploring opportunities in clinical research and medicine.


Welcome to the Milk Gang, Madison!

May 11, 2018

Lars speaks at San Diego Midwifery Conference

As part of our educational outreach, Lars speaks at the 2018 "Midwives, Mamas and More" conference in San Diego.


While it is critical to generate top quality research data and publish them in high-impact scientific journals, we strongly believe that the impact of our work will be close to zero if we fail to communicate our research to professionals and multipliers that interact with parents and families on a daily basis. That's where the real impact occurs.


Based on scientific evidence rather than believes, we  provide examples on why human milk is more than just food - it is a combination of functional food, personalized medicine, and a live tissue. 

May 10, 2018

Lars speaks at UCSD Department of Pediatrics/Rady Children’s Hospital 9th Annual Pediatric Research Symposium

Lars gives a lecture on "Immediate and Potential Long-Term Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides" at the UCSD Department of Pediatrics/Rady Children’s Hospital 9th Annual Pediatric Research Symposium, "Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Epigenetic Mechanisms" at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, May 10-11, 2018.

May 7, 2018

Manuscript accepted in Allergy

Our manuscript "Human milk oligosaccharide profiles and food sensitization among infants in the CHILD Study” has been accepted for publication in the journal Allergy.


The manuscript marks the first publication from our collaboration with Dr. Meghan Azad at the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort study.


Allergy, which currently has an impact factor of 7.36, is the official journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and aims to promote and maintain contact between basic and clinical allergy and immunology.

May 6, 2018

Lars speaks at PAS

Invited by Dr. Sarah Taylor and Dr. Maya Bunik, Lars gives a "Milk Club" lecture on "Human Milk Oligosaccharides at the Interface of Maternal-Infant Health" at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in Toronto, Canada, May 4-8.


In addition, former graduate student Bianca Robertson co-authored a poster presented by Dr. Kozeta Miliku, postdoctoral trainee with Dr. Meghan Azad, our CHILD cohort study collaborator at the University of Manitoba.

April 26, 2018

Milk Gang part of microbiome documentary

Lights, Camera, Action!


The Bode lab, the LRF Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (MoMI CoRE), and the Center of Microbiome Innovation (CMI), all part of UC San Diego, participate in filming for a microbiome documentary scheduled to be screened in early 2019.


Interviews included Lars Bode (Associate Professor and MoMI CoRE Center Director), Meghan Azad (Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba and MoMI CoRE Visiting Scholar), and Rob Knight (Professor and CMI Director).

April 24, 2018

New UC San Diego Program on Career Development in Glycoscience

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has funded a National Consortium of K12 training grants focused on career development of the next generation of biomedical investigators who have a knowledge base in glycoscience.


The goal is to transform and democratize glycoscience from a specialized research domain into the mainstream of biology and clinical translation, such that glycans become an integral component of these young investigators' scientific thinking.


The UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC) was selected as one of the four Consortium sites (the others are Harvard, Johns Hopkins / Cleveland Clinic, and University of Wisconsin). The GRTC will be creating the UC San Diego Program for  Career Development in Glycoscience, and will have training slots to fill this year starting July 1.


Click Here to visit the GRTC program for Career Development in Glycoscience website.

April 23, 2018

Annalee Loeffler joins Milk Gang

Annalee Loeffler joins the Milk Gang as Lab Volunteer.


Annalee grew up in Minnesota and has called California her home for nine years. She has a passion for human health and development, nutrition, and scientific research. She enjoys spending her spare time dabbling in art and photography, backpacking, and traveling the globe. 


Annalee worked as a Lab Manager in Dr. Christie Fowler's group at UC Irvine prior to moving to San Diego.


Welcome to the Milk Gang, Annalee!

April 22, 2018

Alice presents at Experimental Biology

Alice Drobny, graduate student in the Bode lab visiting from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, presents her project "Protective Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Intestinal Epithelial Function Assessed in Enteroid-Derived Monolayers" during the "Featured Topic - John Forte GIL Plenary Session" of The American Physiological Society at the Experimental Biology (EB) conference in San Diego. Alice is also going to present a poster highlighting her work on Tuesday, April 24.

April 16, 2018

Lars speaks at International Donor Human Milk Congress

Lars has been invited to speak at the 7th International Congress on Donor Human Milk Banking, organized by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) in Denver, April 16-17, 2018.

April 11, 2018

Chloe now Dr. Autran

Chloe Autran has successfully defended her PhD thesis "Therapeutic Potential of Human Milk Components in the Context of Chronic Inflammation" at the Technical University Munich, Germany, and is now Dr. Autran.


Chloe started working with the Bode lab in September 2011 as Staff Research Associate and shortly after decided to shoot for the stars and obtain a PhD in parallel to working as the Lab Manager.


Congratulations, Chloe! The Milk Gang is very proud of you!

April 5, 2018

Lars speaks at inFLAME conference 

Invited by Dr. Susan Prescott and Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj, Lars opens the LactoActive session at the 7th Annual Workshop of the inFLAME Global Network in Canmore, Canada. 


Founded in 2012, inFLAME  was established through the Worldwide Universities Network by Dr. Susan Prescott of the University of Western Australia to address the risk factors, pathways and strategies to overcome the rising propensity for chronic inflammatory disorders, with a focus on early effects on the developing immune system.

March 23, 2018

Chloe and Lars give CMI seminar talk

Chloe Autran and Lars have been invited to give a talk at the monthly research seminar of the Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) at UC San Diego.


The talk "Human Milk Oligosaccharides at the host-microbial interface and beyond" focused on the effects of HMOs as prebiotics, antimicrobials, and antiadhesives and the potential short- and long-term consequences of shaping the composition of microbial communities in the infant gut. Chloe presented "the beyond", showcasing some of the new and exciting results from her PhD thesis that she is going to defend on April 11... - stay tuned!

March 23, 2018

Manuscript accepted in Frontiers in Pediatrics

Our manuscript "Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Associations with Immune-Mediated Disease and Infection in Childhood: A Systematic Review” has been accepted for publication in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics. It marks the first publication from Lars' 2016 mini-sabbatical with the Melbourne Atopic Cohort Study (MACS) in Australia.


Click Here for a complete list of our publications.

March 19, 2018

Lars invited to deliver 13th Annual Founders' Lecture at ABM International Conference

Lars has been invited to deliver the 13th Annual Founders’ Lecture at the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Annual International Meeting in San Francisco on Friday, November 16, 2018.

In 2005, the Founders of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, chose to recognize the scientific accomplishments in the field of breastfeeding medicine by helping to fund a lecture that would be presented each year at the Annual Meeting of ABM. The lecture is given by a renowned, accomplished scientist in the field of human milk and lactation, who is continuing to work and publish in his/her field. The Founders’ Lecture will be published in the peer-reviewed journal, Breastfeeding Medicine.

March 13, 2018

Lars on speaker tour in Hong Kong

Lars gives several lectures, seminars, and expert interviews on human milk oligosaccharides to pediatricians and obstetrician-gynecologists in Hong Kong.

March 5, 2018

Bode lab out for lunch to celebrate a bunch

The Bode lab celebrates our current lab manager Chloe Autran keeping us safe, a new lab manager Julia Najera joining the gang, Alice Drobny being selected to present her work at Experimental Biology, Chloe Yonemitsu and Bianca Robertson being part of an abstract being selected for presentation at PAS, Julia Gupta and Chloe Yonemitsu analyzing HMO composition in more human milk samples than ever before, and Melinda Chang and Ivy Nguyen isolating more HMO from pooled human milk than ever before... The Milk Gang rocks!

March 2, 2018

Bode lab welcomes Dr. Julia Najera as new Lab Manager

Dr. Julia Najera is joining the Bode lab as the team's new Lab Manager.


Julia received her PhD in Neuroscience from Brown University and postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute and the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research.


Welcome on board, Julia!

February 22, 2018

Lars speaks at NEO 2018

Lars has been invited to speak at NEO 2018, the neonatology conference in Orlando, Florida.


Lars presented on "Oligosaccharides and reducing the rate of NEC", introducing human milk oligosaccharides, summarizing their potential effects on host-microbial interactions, and outlining their potential benefits in the context of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which remains to be one of the most frequent and often fatal intestinal disorders in preterm infants.


Click Here to visit the NEO conference website.

February 16, 2018

Alice's abstract selected for oral presentation at Experimental Biology

Alice Drobny, graduate student in the Bode lab visiting from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, has been selected to present her project "Protective Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Intestinal Epithelial Function Assessed in Enteroid-Derived Monolayers" during the "Featured Topic - John Forte GIL Plenary Session" of The American Physiological Society at the Experimental Biology (EB) conference in San Diego, April 21-25, 2018. Alice is also going to present a poster highlighting her work.


Congratulations, Alice!

February 16, 2018

Lars to co-chair 6th International Conference Human Milk Science and Innovation

Together with Dr. William Rhine, Professor at Stanford University, Lars is going to co-chair the 6th International Conference Human Milk Science and Innovation at The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California, September 5-8, 2018.

February 16, 2018

"Milky Way Constellation" presents at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego Grand Rounds 

Drs. Jae Kim, Lisa Stellwagen, Christina Chambers, and Lars Bode present at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego Grand Rounds and introduce the individual components of the "Milky Way Constellation" at UC San Diego and outline the combined and synergistic efforts around human milk clinical application, research, and eduction.

Dr. Jae Kim, MD PhD, talked about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) program. Dr. Lisa Stellwagen, MD, introduced the developing San Diego Mothers' Milk Bank. Dr. Christina Chambers, PhD, presents concept and first data from Mommy's Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository. Dr. Lars Bode, PhD, introduced the work of the newly launched Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (LRF MoMI CoRE).


The "Milky Way Constellation" at UC San Diego aims to

  1. Improve breastfeeding outcomes for mother, child, and society 
  2. Standardize nutritional care in the NICU
  3. Develop clinical and research milk bank capabilities
  4. Add to the evidence-based understanding of human milk biology, physiology, and pathology
  5. Expand research networks investigating human milk – locally and on a global scale 

January 29, 2018

Human milk research highlighted in episode of "The Civilize Podcast"  

UC San Diego’s LRF MoMI CoRE has officially gone “uncivilize(d)”!


Award-winning author Jennifer Grayson, who published the 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.

Click Here to a link to the podcast landing page.


Click Here to the podcast on itunes.

January 19, 2018

Bode lab searching for Lab Manager

ACTIVE RECRUITMENT  (Filing Deadline: Friday 2/2/2018)


The Bode lab is actively seeking to fill a Lab Manager position .


Under supervision of academic supervisor, the candidate will manage all aspects of the Bode research laboratory, which is dedicated to studying the biosynthesis and effects of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). The candidate is expected to ensure smooth and safe functioning of the laboratory, as well as contribute to the execution of research projects and propose possible changes or new directions when appropriate.


Highly skilled and motivated candidates are encouraged to apply online: 


UCSD Position #91787 Lab Manager

January 11, 2018

Lars speaks at San Diego Microbiology Group research seminar

Lars has been invited to speak at the San Diego Microbiology Group seminar hosted at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. 


Lars presented on "Human Milk Oligosaccharides shape microbial communities early in life with potential health implications throughout the life cycle."


The San Diego Microbiology Group (SDMG) is a graduate student-led organization that proudly represents a student and postdoctoral chapter for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Founded in 1996, SDMG promotes scientific and collegial interaction among microbiology researchers in San Diego and Southern California. The major focus of the group, since its inception, is to promote the communication of current microbiology research in the local scientific community through monthly evening seminars and an annual one-day symposium.

Dedicated to Research on Human Milk Oligosaccharides

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