Dr Ching Tat Lai graduated from his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology in 1996 at UWA, where he went on to complete his Post Graduate Diploma, Masters and PhD in the Hartmann Human Lactation Laboratory.
Professor Paula Meier from The University of Illinois, Chicago (Currently in Progress)
Dr Lai's overall research is on milk production and the physiology of breast feeding, but he is currently researching expression regimes and milk production over time for pre-term babies. There are an increasing number of pre-term babies being born, and with medical advances a greater number of pre-term babies are able to survive, however the appropriate nutrition for these babies remains unknown. A pre-term baby has a very different nutritional environment to a fetus of the same age, which will still be receiving all its nutrition via the placenta. The effects of this change on pre-term babies are not yet known, but it is suspected that breast milk is extremely important for them. The exact composition of breastmilk varies between individual mothers and has an extremely complex composition which consists of a lot of biologically active compounds that help with growth and development.