Shannon Kelleher

Dedicated to Research on Human Milk and Lactation

Our goal is to develop novel biomarkers & innovative therapeutic approaches to diagnose & treat common lactation problems such as low milk production and suboptimal milk composition.

Research in the Kelleher Lab is focused on understanding the molecular consequences of diet, genetics, and environmental exposures on human milk composition and lactation physiology, and then using this information to address common lactation problems. Our research utilizes human milk as a “liquid biopsy” of the lactating mammary gland to understand the functional capacity. We capitalize on functional genomics and bio-molecular analysis of cultured mammary epithelial cells to probe molecular mechanisms that regulate mammary gland function, human milk composition and lactation biology.

Current projects in our lab focus on understanding the biology behind low milk supply and developing therapeutic approaches to improve milk production and composition.

Current efforts center around the following:

1) Understanding effects of maternal genotype on lactation through functional characterization of genetic variants on mammary epithelial cell function

2) Identifying novel non-invasive biomarkers to diagnose and treat lactation-associated disorders

3) Developing  therapeutic approaches to address low milk supply, poor composition, and milk degradation

4) Offering our services to commercial partners interested in measuring milk composition

JOIN our Journey!!

Are you passionate about breastfeeding and interested in supporting research in human milk and lactation? You can help enable new discoveries with a tax-deductible gift to the University of Massachusetts Lowell Foundation, which will directly benefit our research and improve maternal and infant health. Our gift fund in the Foundation is entitled “Human Milk Research Fund”.