The Awards Program

Most Valuable Presentation Award

The Most Valuable Presentation (MVP) Award is a cash prize allocated to a speaker whose presentation is rated by Symposium attendees as most cutting-edge, innovative, and impactful. In addition to a cash prize, MVP winners are invited to present an update of their work during the next symposium with all travel expenses reimbursed.

Ishita M. Shaw, Ph.D.
University of California Davis, USA
Most Valuable Presentation Award Recipient, 2018

Student Travel Award

The Student Travel Award is designed to encourage student participation in the Symposium by offsetting the cost of travel and lodging. This award is allocated to students whose abstracts are rated highest by the IMGC Scientific Advisory Board.

Pieter Dekker,
Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Student Travel Award Recipient, 2019
Vanessa Dunne-Castagna
University of California-Davis, CA, USA
Student Travel Award Recipient, 2019
Yarden Golan,
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Student Travel Award Recipient, 2019
Kajsa Nilsson
Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Student Travel Award Recipient, 2019
Anne Vuholm Sunds
University of Aarhus, Tjele, Denmark
Student Travel Award Recipient, 2019

Most Valuable Presentation Award Recipients


Ishita M. Shaw, University of California Davis, USA
Human Milk Oligosaccharides Directly Enhance Gut Barrier Integrity to Alter Infections


Benoit Lamarche, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
How Has Saturated Fat Become So Controversial?


Steven Frese, Evolve Biosystems, Inc.,USA
Rebuilding the Infant Gut Microbiome: Insights from Ecology and Evolution


Bing Wang, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, China
Molecular Determinants of Milk Lactoferrin as A Bioactive Compound in Early Neurodevelopment and Cognition


Per T. Sangild – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Animal Models for Early Infant Nutrition


Katie Hinde -Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Boy Milk & Girl Milk: Evolutionary Insights


Mark Thomas – University College London, UK
The co-evolution of lactase persistence and dairying

Student Travel Award Recipients


Lauren Brink,  University of California Davis, USA
Commercial Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane Fractions-Variations Among Sources

Apichaya Bunyatratchata, University of California Davis, USA
Evaluate the Effect of Industrial Thermal Treatments on the Enzymatic Release of N-Glycans from Milk Glycoprotein

Alok Kumar, CSIR-Centre For Cellular and Molecular Biology, India
Structural and Functional Insights into EchAMP, a Unique Monotreme Antimicrobial Protein Expressed During Lactation

Bartijn Pieters, Radoud University Medical Center, The Netherlands
The Therapeutic Potential of Bovine Milk-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Treatment of Osteoarthrits Patients



Andrea Zukowski, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sequencing the Bovine Milk Exosome miRNome – Can the Transcriptome Hint at Efficient Recovery from Mastitis?

Alma Ryskaliyeva, INRA, UMR GABI, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, France
Alternative Splicing, a Fortuitous or Genetically Programmed Event to Expand Molecular Diversity of Milk Proteins: Camel CSN1S2, a Relevant Model to Try to Provide Some Response Elements

Randall Robinson, University of California, Davis, USA
Comparative Analysis of Bioactive Oligosaccharide Production in Dairy Cows Using Novel Analytical Techniques

Léa Guinot, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
Identification of Parameters Involved in Disintegration of Commercial Cheese Matrix and Lipid Digestion by Using an In Vitro Static Digestion Model

Junai Gan, University of California, Davis, USA
Milk as a Protein-Protease Delivery System: Collaborative Approaches Inspire Inquiry into the Dynamics and Complexities of Human Milk


Valerie Weinborn- University of California, Davis USA
Enzymatic Modification of Bovine Milk Oligosaccharides and Their Functional Properties

Richard Heinz-University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA
Constitutive Expression of microRNA-150 in Mammary Epithelium Suppresses Secretory Activation and Impairs de novo Lipogenesis

Hannah S. Lyman- University of California, Davis USA
RNA-Seq of Mammary Epithelial Organoids from Virgin and Lactating Glands of 15 Holstein-Friesian Cows

Apichaya Bunyatratchata- University of California, Davis USA
Sialic Acid Release by Bacteroides Thetaiotaomicron from Milk Oligosaccharides May Facilitate the Growth of Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria

Janet Williams- University of Idaho USA
Use of the Milk Microbiome to Predict Infant Fecal Bacterial Community Composition

Zhengyao Xue-University of California, Davis USA
Accurate Monitoring of Living and Total Bacterial Populations in Milks for Improved Microbial Management

Randall C. Robinson- University of California, Davis USA
A Novel Method for High-Throughput Analysis of Bovine Milk Oligosaccharides & Discovering Natural Bioactive Peptides in Cheese with Mass Spectrometry

Joshua Cohen- University of California, Davis USA
Pilot scale isolation of bioactive glycans from dairy co-products: capturing the whey glycome


Mary Abdelsayed – The University of Sydney, Camden, Australia
Collection of Data for the Genetic Improvement of Health Traits in Australian Dairy Cattle

Melanie Rae Simpson – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
Human Breast Milk miRNA, Maternal Probiotic Supplementation and Atopic Dermatitis in Offspring

Jessica Elswood – Texas A&M University
A Role for Sim2s in Elongation Regulation of Milk Protein Gene Transcription in the Mammary Gland

Véronique Demers-Mathieu – Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) and Laval University, Quebec City, Canada
Survival of New Probiotic Strains with Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Obesity Effects Used in Non-Fat Yogurt and Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese Making

Megan Sanctuary – University of California, Davis
Supplementation with Bifidobacterium Infantis in Combination with Bioactive Milk Components to Alter Microbial Composition in Children with Autism


Duc Ninh Nguyen – University of Copenhagen
TGF-Β2 Protects Intestinal Epithelial Cells by Regulation of Proteins Associated with Stress and Endotoxin Responses

Maria Lisson – Justus-Liebig University, Gießen, Germany
Epitope Mapping of αS1-Casein by Microarray Immunoassay Reveals Differences in Ige Binding within Dairy Breeds and Between Water Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats

Sugeetha Ramakrishnan – School of Medicine, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia
The Relationship Between Milk Proteins and Extracellular Matrix in Regulating Murine Mammary Gland Involution

Lenha Mobuchon – INRA, Saint Genès Champanelle, France
Effect of A 48h Food Deprivation on the Lactating Goat Mammary MiRNome Obtained by Deep Sequencing

Kristen Beck – University of California Davis
Comparative Proteomics of Human And Macaque Milks: Humans Get a Helping Hand During Post-Natal Development

Mina Popovic – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
Consumption of Fucosyllactose by Infant Borne Bifidobacteria


Zachery Lewis – University of California, Davis
Maternal FUT2 Polymorphisms Influence the Gut Microbial Communities of Breastfed Infants

Bokyung Lee – University of California, Davis
Milk Promotes Probiotic Efficacy in the Intestine

Daylan Tzompa-Sosa – Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Regiospecific Analysis of Bovine Milk Fat Triacylglycerols: Variability Within a Dairy Cattle Population

Zuzana Krupova – Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France
A Novel LC-MS Protein Profiling Method to Characterize and Quantify Individual Milk Proteins and Multiple Isoforms

Vengama Naidu Modepalli – Deakin University, Australia
Developmental Role of Milk in Lung Maturation of Marsupial Pouch Young (Tammar Wallaby)

Sanjana Kuruppath, Deakin University, Australia
Tammar Wallaby: A Marsupial Model to Understand the Role of Milk in Regulating Stomach Development


David Dallas – University of California, Davis, USA:
Digestomics of human milk proteins in term and premature infants: towards improved infant feeding

Stephen Wanyonyi – Deakin University, Australia:
The extracellular matrix modulates asynchronous concurrent lactation in tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

Kristen Beck – University of California, Davis, USA:
Transcriptional modulation by abundant milk protein genes in the bovine mammary gland

Ulrik Sundekilde – Aarhus University, Denmark:
Milk metabolite composition and its relation to nutritional and technological quality – A NMR metabolomic approach

Aniek Bouwman – Wageningen University, The Netherlands:
Genomic regions associated with both summer and winter bovine milk fatty acids

Swathi Bisana – Deakin University, Australia:
Identification and functional characterization of a novel monotreme-specific antibacterial protein expressed during lactation


Emmanuelle Koch – UVSQ:
Long-term effects of nutrition on mammary gland development and milk composition leading to offspring predisposition to obesity

Grace Berryhill – University of California, Davis USA:
Effects of in utero exposure to dietary conjugated linoleic acid on mammary gland development in Balb/cJ mice

Wai Yuen Cheah – Macquarie University:
Sialic acid is involved in the differential binding of streptococcal species to milk and salivary glycoproteins

Christy Vander Jagt – Melbourne University, Australia:
Combining gene expression data with SNP association studies to identify genes effecting bovine milk production traits

Laurine Buscara – Deakin University, Australia:
Matrigel signals abnormal development of Cape fur seal primary mammary cells, possibly through the activation of the TGFß pathway


Palaniappan Ramanathan – USDA, ARS:
Characterization of MicroRNA Expression in Secretory Activation

Pauline Brenaut – INRA-France:
The Milk Fat Globule to Unravel Mammary Epithelial Cell Defense Elicited in Response to Intramammary Infection

Vinuthan Melakote Kodappa – University of Sydney:
Investigation of Milk Protein Bioactivity

Saumya Wickramasinghe – University of California, Davis:
Analysis of the milk transcriptome of transition and late lactation Holstein cows by Next Generation Sequencing Technology

Daniel Garrido – University of California, Davis:
Preference for Milk and Host Glycans in Bifidobacterium infantis


Riccardo G. LoCascio – Comparative genomics of Bifidobacterium longum strains identifies genes relevant for human and bovine milk oligosaccharides utilization

David Sela – Coevolution with milk has influenced innovation in the Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis genome to utilize sialylated and fucosylated milk oligosaccharides

Laurine Buscara -Rspo1 is essential to normal mammary gland development

Ghyslaine Schopen – Quantitative trait locus (QTL) detection for milk protein composition in dairy cattle

Elizabeth Thomas – Epithelial stem cells endogenous to human breast-milk give rise to three-dimensional differentiated milk-secreting units in vitro


Arun Sondur Jayappa – Transcriptome analysis of the liver during lactation.

Jovana Maksimovic – Sialyllactose in Milk. Transcriptional regulation of the B-galactose a-2,6 sialyltransferase 1 gene in the bovine mammmary gland

Karensa Menzies – Comparative genomics. The folate receptor alpha gene: a potential key regulator of milk protein synthesis

Christy VanderJagt – Comparative analysis of marsupial and eutherian genomes to identify genes critical in bovine milk production

Riccardo G. LoCascio – Gut epithelial cells transcriptional response to Bifidobacteria and Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), a focus on synergistic changes in surface glycosilation patterns

Mille Felicie Faucon – During pregnancy, the goat mammary tissue first express genes representative of the immune function before the acquisition of its complete secretory phenotype

Portal Content Development Award Recipients

These awards are designed to increase IMGC portal content development efforts to accelerate the understanding of the biological processes underlying the genomics of mammalian milk.  The areas covered by this call for proposals are: mammary-specific functional gene annotation, curation of lactation microarray, proteome and oligosaccharides data sets.


Will Spencer, University of Ottawa
Human milk microbiome, annotation of sequencing data

Marleen Visker, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Livestock milkgenomics

Jerry Wei, University of Sydney, Australia
Biological pathways associated with lactation performance

Christophe Lefevre, Deakin University, Australia
MamExp (MammoXpressionist): an interactive gene expression browser interface for collaborative comparative lactation genomics

Daniela Barile, University of California, Davis, USA
Annotation and curation of the first goat milk oligosaccharides library: from analytical characterization to health benefits


Daniela Barile, University of California, Davis, USA
Annotation and curation of the bovine milk oligosaccharides library by advances mass spectrometry

Christophe Lefevre, Deakin University, Australia
MamoExp(MammoXpressionist): and interactive gene expression browser interface for collaborative lactation genomics

Francina Sagaya – Agroscope Liebefeld-Poiseux Research Station ALP, Switzerland
Enrichment analysis of transcription factors in blood  cells in response to ingestion of bovine milk by healthy adult humans

Palaniappan Ramanathan – University of Colorado, USA
Role of miRNAs in mammary gland development and lactation


David Sela, University of California, Davis, USA
Dissemination of the genomic links between the model probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis and milk

Peter Williamson, University of Sydney, Australia
An integrated lactome dataset

Christophe Lefevre, Deakin University, Australia
MamExp (MammoXpressionist): an interactive gene expression browser interface for collaborative comparative lactation genomics

Danielle Lemay, University of California, Davis, USA
Organization and visualization of bovine lactation genome data

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