Justin Silpe, PhD
I am a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research at Princeton University. I received my PhD in Molecular Biology and I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University studying the connection between the vaginal microbiome and preterm birth. My mission is to develop innovative technologies for storing human milk that preserve its nutritional, structural, microbial, and immunological properties, enabling infants to thrive by benefitting from its protection. As a postdoctoral fellow, my research is dedicated to understanding the ramifications of various processing and storage conditions on the complex structure of and key bioactive components in human milk. My current work in the Bassler Laboratory has uncovered chemical, physical, and biochemical changes that occur during storage, leading to the degradation of critical nutrients. I am also a recent father who struggled with feeding my infant. My personal experience paired with my scientific training showed me the urgent need for improved human milk storage technologies that better maintain milk integrity and quality after expression.