Meet the Breastfeeding CHAMPS Team:

Program Directors

Kathleen F. Arcaro PhD

Lead Investigator

Dr. Kathleen Arcaro at the University of Massachusetts Amherst runs the central lab unit and manages the secure database for the study. She is based out of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences.

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Dr. Arcaro has pioneered research to utilize breast milk in understanding women’s health, breast cancer risk and breast cancer development. Her other current funded research includes dietary studies to modify markers of breast cancer risk and the development of new approaches to quantify ongoing risks of breast cancer for women with inherited deleterious variants of the BRCA genes.

Katie Kivlighan PhD, CNM

Lead Investigator

Katie Kivlighan is the lead investigator at the University of New Mexico (UNM) study site. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife and has been serving New Mexico families for the past 10 years.

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Dr. Kivlighan is an Assistant Professor at the UNM College of Nursing, where she teaches in the Nurse-Midwifery Program and has built a research program focused on clinical, behavioral, and physiological influences on breastfeeding and lactation. Her goal is to improve screening, support, and treatment for breastfeeding and lactation.

Sallie Schneider PhD

Lead Investigator

Sallie Schneider is the lead investigator at Baystate Medical Center. She is has studied the impact of pregnancy, inflammation and life style factors on breast health for the past 22 years.

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Dr. Schneider is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Surgery at UMASS Chan Medical School-Baystate.  She has affiliations with UMass Amherst, the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute and Baystate Medical Center.

University of New Mexico CHAMPS

Sandra Cardenas MSN, BAN, RN

Clinical Research Nurse

Sandra Cardenas is a first-generation Mexican American and a registered nurse. Growing up in a dense Latinx population, she saw current disparities and hopes to improve health outcomes for her people.

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With eight years of nursing and three years of research experience, she is excited to work on the Breastfeeding CHAMPS as it seeks to understand mother and infant outcomes. This also aligns with Sandra’s personal goals as a Ph.D. student at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, hoping to improve health outcomes for Latinas in New Mexico. Sandra will be working with families at the University of New Mexico North Valley Maternity and Family Planning Clinic.

Jess Long, CLC

Program Specialist

Jess Long is a Certified Lactation Counselor as well as a Clinical and Communication Lactation Specialist. She will be working with families participating through he University of New Mexico Eubank Women’s Health Clinic.

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Jess’ passion for lactation support began when she had challenges breastfeeding her first daughter. She received support through a breastfeeding support group which she believes played a vital role in her breastfeeding success. Jess is thrilled to be participating in this important research that endeavors to set precedents for earlier detection and intervention for breastfeeding issues.

Baystate Medical and UMass Amherst CHAMPS

Kelly Gregory, PhD

Research Scientist

Kelly Gregory will work with Baystate participants during the sample collection phase and is excited to examine links between inflammation and breast or infant gut health.

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Kelly Gregory is a Research Scientist at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute and is an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor at UMass Amherst. Her research focus has been on early changes that contribute to breast cancer risk.

Laura Madore, MD

Clinical Advisor

Laura Madore is practicing neonatologist and the Director of Neonatal Nutrition at Baystate Children’s Hospital with clinical and research expertise in the area of neonatal nutrition and human milk.

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She oversees an array of clinical and research activities that support the health of mother-preterm infant pairs, specifically in the area of optimizing neonatal nutrition and overall health.

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