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Ryan Baker

Ryan Baker
Project Title: 
New Moms Wellness Study
Program Year: 
Vet & Animal Sci
Kathleen Arcaro

The goal of the New Moms Wellness Study is to determine to what extent a diet rich in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables will reduce breast cancer risk, and help women achieve and maintain a healthy postpartum weight. The biomarkers chosen to analyze this risk include DNA methylation patterns and cytokine levels in breastmilk. We ask lactating women to consume between 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for 20 weeks and donate their breast milk on 5 different periods. We also record their weight and infant growth. The breastmilk allows us to assess the dietary intervention directly in the breast, and it also gives us access to many breast epithelial cells, and therefore DNA. This study is a randomized clinical trial, the gold standard of medical research in which the intervention group is compared to a control group in order to eliminate any non-experimental factors. Currently the majority of the work in this study involves processing the milk samples when they arrive in the lab and storing them at a temperature of -80℃ in an archival freezer system.