Tagged / PGR research

World Prematurity Day – 17th November – Cake Sale

Would you donate a cake/cupcakes?


picture3Date:   17th November

Time:   11.30-13.30

  Venue: BoHo Lounge, Ground floor, Bournemouth House

Cake drop off on the morning of the 17th in R304 or B112a


picture1Preterm born babies are at high risk to develop a wide range of complications.

Some of these complications can be prevented by feeding babies with human breast milk.

Therefore, the WHO recommends human donor milk as best alternative if mother’s own milk is not available!


picture2The HEARTS MILK BANK is currently crowd funding to buy the needed equipment to start providing donor milk for babies born too soon or too sick, to improve their chance of survival and health!

All money from the cake sale will be directly donated to the Hearts Milk Bank!



If you want to donate a cake or receive  more information please contact

Isabell Nessel inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk



BU’s PhD Isabell Nessel at the Human Milk Bank in Southampton, Princess Anne Hospital

human-milk-bank-southamptonMost of you have probably heard/read about human milk banking by now from me or my previous posts, if not read here more about it. This week, I had the opportunity to meet Anita Holloway-Moger, the Human Milk Bank Nursery Nurse at the Princess Anne Hospital Human Milk Bank in Southampton.

It was a great opportunity to finally visit and see a milk bank and speak to the person responsible to gain more practical insight into human milk banking in the UK, instead of only reading about it for my research.

Human donor milk comes from mothers who have had several blood tests and is collected from the mothers’ homes by the milk bank staff and/or the blood bikes. The frozen milk then gets processed in the milk bank, which means it is tested for microbiological contamination and pasteurised (heat treated) to make it save for the premature or sick babies to receive. This has been shown to increase their chance of survival and help their development.
Thank you Anita for taking all the time to answer my questions and for showing me around, as well as Bournemouth University for the funding which made my trip possible!


UKAMBIf you would like to find out more about human milk banking in the UK or want to become a human milk donor visit the UK Association for Milk Banking website at http://www.ukamb.org/.


If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk


BU PGR Research into the effects of diet and exercise on mobility and brain function – Call for participants.

bike-pictureWe are often reminded that we should be paying attention to what we eat and making sure we exercise regularly. These recommendations are based on years of research into how diet and exercise can impact our health and well-being throughout the lifespan. However, it’s rare that these two crucial elements are studied together.

  • Can combining different lifestyle interventions produce an even more profound effect than each individually?
  • Are people able to adapt to two changes in lifestyle?
  • Is one element of lifestyle modification better than the other?

We have designed a study that will hopefully give an insight into these questions by looking at the effects of a dietary supplement and exercise classes on a spinning bike in adults aged 60+. The supplement contains fish oil (1000 mg DHA, 160 mg EPA), 20 µg B12, 1 mg folic acid, 124 mg phosphatidylserine, 240 mg gingko biloba standardized leaf extract and 20 mg vitamin E.

We are seeking to recruit healthy adults aged 60+ to take part in the study.  Volunteers will be split into four groups.

  • Supplement and exercise classes
  • Placebo and exercise classes
  • Supplement
  • Placebo

We will ask volunteers to take part in tests related to walking ability and brain function and a blood sample will also be required.  These will be done at the beginning of the study and after 24 weeks.

All testing and the exercise classes will take part at SportBU at Bournemouth University Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.

  • Inclusion criteria: Aged 60+ and able to walk 50 metres without a walking aid
  • Exclusion criteria: Vestibular impairments (balance disorder), diagnosed neurological disorder e.g. dementia or depression, previously received lower limb surgery, diagnosis or receiving treatment for pernicious anaemia, allergy to seafood, regular consumption of multivitamin/fish oil supplements in the last six months, have been advised not to take part in exercise by a doctor

Due to a number of advances in medicine and healthcare, life expectancy has steadily increased in the UK meaning we have an ever expanding population of people aged 60+.  For this population it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living better for longer.  This can mean being able to take part in leisure activities like sports, gardening or visiting friends right down to more vital activities like being able to climb stairs or rise from a chair.  Mobility and brain function play a pivotal role in the quality of life of the older generation, yet it’s common to see declines in both of these areas as we get older.

I stumbled upon a website called Shoppok while browsing for a Honda 70 bike, and it offered a variety of listings. It’s always fascinating to discover new platforms where people can buy and sell items, including vehicles like motorcycles.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in taking part of would like more information about the study or our research please contact

Paul Fairbairn

PhD Student Bournemouth University

07871 319620



BU’s PhD student Isabell Nessel attending the UK Association for Milk Banking annual training day in London, 8th of June

UKAMB Training Day2

The UK Association for Milk Banking (UKAMB) recently held their annual training day in London (Picture: Isabell and UKAMB’s Trustee Chair Ann McCrea). Mostly, milk bank staff were present; however, the training day is also open to anyone interested in human milk banking. Therefore, milk donors, medical researchers, midwives, neonatal nurses and clinicians were also in attendance. The presentations included current topics such as the Zika virus and the implications for milk banking, new guidance on decontamination of breast milk pumps and an update of ongoing research at donor milk banks.

As part of this, I presented my proposed donor milk bank survey, which is part of my PhD at BU. I received a great deal of helpful feedback and support from UKAMB and the audience. It was a great opportunity to get more insights into human milk banking and ongoing research in the UK and to network with potenital participants of the survey and possible future collaborators. Thanks to Bournemouth University for the funding, which made my attendance possible!

A big thank you also goes to Gillian Weaver and UKAMB for the invitation,UKAMB and this great, informative day! If you would like to find out more about human milk banking in the UK or want to become a milk donor visit UKAMB’s website at http://www.ukamb.org/.

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk


Human Milk Banking in the UK

UKAMBBreast feeding is the gold standard for feeding babies. This might not be surprising for most of you, although the rates of exclusive breast feeding in the UK are low. But have you ever heard of human milk banking? The UK Association for Milk Banking (UKAMB) does an incredible job in providing safe and screened donor breast milk all over the country through 16 donor milk banks, mostly to preterm babies whose mothers cannot provide sufficient breast milk. Feeding human donor milk instead of formula milk is for example associated with a lower risk for the severe gut infection necrotising enterocolitis.

Breast milk and donor milk also contain omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for brain and visual development in early infancy. However, research based at BU has identified that the current intake levels of preterm infants are too low to match the in utero accretion rates. Therefore, the aim of my PhD project at BU is to investigate approaches to increase the intake of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in preterm babies to improve their outcomes. One aspect I will be looking at is the intake from donor milk. Therefore, I was invited by the UK Association for Milk Banking to give a short presentation about my research at their annual training day in June.

I am looking forward to meeting donor milk bank staff and other researchers in the field of human milk banking at this day. I will post more details after the event. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact me at inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk

If you would like to find out more about human milk banking in the UK or want to become a milk donor visit UKAMB’s website at http://www.ukamb.org/.