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Yale Neonatal NOuRISH Team

The Yale NOURISH Team (Yale Neonatal Nutrition Outcomes Research In Sustaining mother and infant Health) studies health outcomes affected by pregnancy and lactation and specifically focuses on the mother/infant lactation experience and infant growth and development especially in the setting of growth restriction or prematurity. The Yale NOuRISH Team is growing and is considered one of the top research teams in the academic field. It is lead by Dr. Sarah Taylor (director) and Dr. Catherine Buck (co-director).


A sample of our current research includes:
  • Human milk feeding is associated with improved gastrointestinal health for preterm infants. We are investigating how the gut barrier and gut inflammation is affected by early feeding versus delayed feeding and feeding mother’s milk or donor milk.
  • Human milk, either mother’s own milk or donor human milk, varies in its nutritional composition. We use a mid-infrared human milk analyzer to investigate the energy and protein in human milk and correlate these results with infant health outcomes.
  • Women with diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to experience lactation difficulties. We are studying the factors associated with maternal lactation choices and maternal experience to determine which factors serve as impediments to breastfeeding.
  • The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at YNHH is one of the first hospitals in the United States to have couplet care rooms where an infant receiving intensive care and a mother receiving postpartum care share a hospital room. We are investigating how to optimize the couplet care experience to support breastfeeding, bonding, satisfaction and avoid stress.
  • Infant growth trajectory is affected by exposure to maternal hormones both in fetal development and during lactation. We aim to determine the role of these hormones and how fetal/infant exposures differ due to maternal health.
  • We are investigating how very preterm infant nutrition and disease exposure influence patterns of growth and how these patterns relate to very preterm infant health and developmental outcomes in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Thank you to our current sponsors: Yale School of Medicine, Allen Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Society for Pediatric Research.

Team Members

  • Assistant Professor

    Caty Buck is a neonatologist and clinical researcher. She completed her pediatric training at UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Women and Infant's Hospital and Brown Medical School. Her research is focused on understanding how maternal metabolic health in pregnancy and the early newborn period influence infant growth, body composition, and neurodevelopment.
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics) and of Biostatistics; Biostatistician

    Dr. Shabanova is a faculty member in the department of Pediatrics and Department of Biostatistics at Yale University. Prior to that she was one of the senior biostatisticians at the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences (YCAS). With over 20 years of experience as a researcher and statistician in academia and industry, she acquired expertise in statistical and epidemiological methods related to a variety of studies, including development of testable hypotheses, selection of study designs, randomization algorithms, and analytical considerations that correspond to particular study designs. Her statistical expertise are in survival and multi-level/longitudinal techniques. Dr. Shabanova's work has primarily been focused on collaborations with other researchers, including physicians and academicians, in the field of maternal and child health at Yale.
  • Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine); Chief, Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Pediatrics; Director of Clinical Research, Pediatrics; Professor, Chronic Disease Epidemiology

    Dr. Sarah Taylor provides neonatal care and specializes in neonatal clinical research. Her research focuses on infant nutrition, growth, gastrointestinal health and especially human milk medicine. In human milk medicine, Dr. Taylor investigates disparities in lactation, the biology of milk production, and the role of human milk intake in preterm infant growth and development.