Meghan Azad

Meghan Azad


  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome


  • University of Manitoba & Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health


  • Canada


PhD (Biochemistry and Medical Genetics), University of Manitoba
MSc (Epidemiology), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Meghan Azad is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development, and resilience.

She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease and co-directs the new Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre MILC. She also co-leads the Manitoba site of the CHILD Cohort Study, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health to promote or protect against asthma, allergies and obesity.

Azad directs multiple projects related to infant feeding practices, human milk composition and the microbiome in the CHILD cohort and other populations, including preterm neonates receiving donor milk, and Bangladeshi infants at risk of malnutrition. She is leading the new International Milk Composition Consortium, which will comprehensively profile human milk from women in diverse low- and middle-income settings, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also leads collaborative projects examining perceptions of breastfeeding on social media, and developing methods to improve societal support for breastfeeding through school-based education programs. She serves on the ISRHML Executive Council, the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, and the joint US/Canada Human Milk Composition Initiative.


Terry G. Falconer Memorial Rh Institute Foundation Emerging Research Award

International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) Ehrlich-Koldovsky Award

University of London 150th Anniversary Prize

CBC Manitoba Future 40 Award

2014 Canadian Institutes of Health Research Lindau Prize

Relevant Publications

Moossavi S, AZAD MB. Origins of Human Milk Microbiota: New Evidence and Arising Questions. Gut Microbes 2019. In press. DOI:10.1080/19490976.2019.1667722 PMID: 31684806

Moossavi S, Sepehri S, Robertson B, Bode L, Goruk S, Field CJ, Lix LM, de Souza RJ, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Lefebvre DL, Sears MR, Khafipour E, AZAD MB. Composition and Variation of the Human Milk Microbiota Are Influenced by Maternal and Early-Life Factors. Cell Host & Microbe 2019. 25(2):324-335.e4. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2019.01.011 PMID: 30763539

AZAD MB, Robertson B, Atakora F, Becker AB, Subbarao P, Moraes TJ, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Lefebvre DL, Sears MR, Bode L. Human Milk Oligosaccharide Concentrations Are Associated with Multiple Fixed and Modifiable Maternal Characteristics, Environmental Factors, and Feeding Practices. Journal of Nutrition 2018. DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxy175 PMID: 30247646

Forbes J, AZAD MB, Vehling L, Tun HM, Konya TB, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Lefebvre D, Sears MR, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Moraes TJ, Subbarao P, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj; for the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study Investigators. Formula exposure in hospital and subsequent infant feeding practices: associations with gut microbiota and overweight risk in the first year of life. JAMA Pediatr 2018. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1161 PMID: 29868719

Miliku K, Duan QL, Moraes TJ, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Lefebvre DL, Sears MR, Subbarao P, Field CJ, AZAD MB. Human milk fatty acid composition is associated with dietary, genetic, sociodemographic, and environmental factors in the CHILD Cohort Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2019, In press. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz229 PMID: 31589250