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Lab News and Highlights

July 2023

Congratulations to Elizabeth Holdsworth who was lead author on our first he Mother-Infant Microbiomes, Behavior, and Ecology Study (MIMBES) paper to come out. The paper, Breastfeeding patterns are associated with human milk microbiome composition: The Mother-Infant Microbiomes, Behavior, and Ecology Study (MIMBES), was published in PLOSOne.

June 2023

Congratulations to Beatrice Caffé (Ph.D student) who published her thesis research, Human milk immune factors, maternal nutritional status,and infant sex: The INSPIRE study, in AJHB this month.

November 2022

Beatrice Caffé (Ph.D. student in the Meehan lab) presented her thesis research and Elizabeth Holdsworth presented research on understanding the connections between maternal/infant microbiomes at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Seattle.

February 11, 2021

A new INSPIRE study paper on multipathogen analysis of IgA and IgG antigen specificity in human milk was published today. The approach outlined in the paper provides a path to understand how human milk protects (or does not protect) infants from environmentally pathogens.


February 9, 2021

The first paper from the COVID-19 and Human Milk Study was published. We found no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in human milk, but do transfer milk-borne antibodies that are able to neutralize the virus.

Breastfeeding mothers produce COVID‑19 antibodies

Find the paper here


November 19, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Wolayte who defending her Ph.D dissertation on the causes and consequences of homelessness in Hawassa, Ethiopia.


June 11, 2020

WSU’s Maternal-Infant Health Collaborative Highlights and COVID-19 Infant Feeding Article


June 3, 2020

New collaborative to study impact of COVID‑19 on moms, babies

April 23, 2019

It’s a busy week in the Meehan Lab. Another INSPIRE publication has been published.  This paper, led by Avery Lane, focuses on household composition and the infant fecal microbiome.

Lane AA, Mcguire MK, McGuire MA, Williams JE, Lackey KA, Hagen EH, Kaul A, Gindola D, Gebeyehu D, Flores KE, Foster JA, Sellen DW, Kamau-Mbuthia EW, Kamundia EW, Mbugua S, Moore SE, Prentice AM, Kvist LJ, Otoo GE, Rodríguez JM, Ruiz L, Pareja RG, Bode L, Price WJ, & Meehan CL. (2019). Household composition and the infant fecal microbiome: The INSPIRE study. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

April 22, 2019

Excited to announce that another INSPIRE study has been published. Lackey KA, Williams JE, Meehan CL, Zachek JA, Benda ED, Price WJ, Foster JA, Sellen DW, Kamau-Mbuthia EW, Kamundia EW, Mbugua S, Moore SE, Prentice AM, K DB, Kvist LJ, Otoo GE, García-Carral C, Jiménez E, Ruiz L, Rodríguez JM, Pareja RG, Bode L, McGuire MA, McGuire MK. (2019) What’s Normal? Microbiomes In Human Milk And Infant Feces Are Related To Each Other But Vary Geographically: The INSPIRE Study. Front Nutr, 6:45. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00045.


October 15, 2018

SoS 24- Milk, Microbiomes, and Social Networks: A Chat with Courtney Meehan


April 28, 2018

Excited to announce that our article, Meehan CL, Lackey KA, Hagen EH, et al. Social networks, cooperative breeding, and the human milk microbiome. Am J Hum Biol. 2018;e23131., is now available.


April 21, 2018

Congratulations to Elisa Garrett and Olivia Holm. Elisa and Olivia are Anthropology majors and Biocultural Anthropology Lab members. They were just awarded The Robert and Lillian Ackerman Field Research Scholarships for lab projects they are undertaking summer 2018.


April 9, 2018

Congratulations to Elisa Garrett (a Senior Anthropology major and biocultural lab member) who was awarded a Washington State University, College of Arts and Sciences grant to analyze data on infant behavior and parental responsivity.


June 30, 2017

The second paper from our NSF INSPIRE project was just published. Check out Ruiz L, Espinosa-Martos I, García-Carral C, Manzano S, McGuire MK, Meehan CLMcGuire MA, Williams JE, Foster J, Sellen DW, Kamau-Mbuthia EW, Kamundia EW, Mbugua S, Moore SE, Kvist LJ, Otoo GE, Lackey KA, Flores K, Pareja RG, Bode L and Rodríguez JM (2017). What’s normal? Immune profiling of human milk from healthy women living in different geographical and socioeconomic settings. Front. Immunol.


June 3, 2017

Congratulations Jessica Collins! Jessica delivered her first professional poster at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society 2017 meetings in Boise, ID. She was awarded the Best Poster Award for our poster, Infant signaling behaviors and alloparental caregiving.


April 28, 2017

Congratulations, Jessica Collins!  Jessica successfully defended her MA thesis, Infant Signaling Behaviors and Maternal, Paternal and Alloparental Caregiving.


March 27, 2017

Congratulations, Avery Lane!  Avery received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.


Winter 2017

A mother’s microbial gift