School of Molecular Sciences

Postgraduate research profiles


Alecia-Jane Twigger

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 4429


Start date

Jan 2013

Submission date

Jan 2016

Alecia-Jane Twigger

Alecia-Jane Twigger profile photo


Differentiation of breastmilk stem cells towards the neural lineage


Breastmilk contains a heterogeneous mix of cells with varying levels of stem and differentiated characteristics. Many questions have arisen as to the purpose and potential of these cells for the breastfeeding infant and lactating mother. An interesting development in this field is that stem cells from breastmilk appear to have neural lineage potential, producing cells with glial and neuronal-like characteristics.

Why my research is important

Research into the field of breastmilk stem cells (hBSCs) is imperative to understanding the complete role of breastmilk in the developing infant. It may also have further implications in the field of regenerative medicine, whereby hBSCs may in the future be used for cell replacement therapies.


  • This research is funded by a UPA scholarship awarded to Alecia-Jane Twigger and an unrestricted research grant from Medela AG (Switzerland).