Scott Ickes NIH Grant

Wheaton, IL – January 25, 2018

Dr. Scott Ickes, Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health Sciences at Wheaton College (IL), was awarded a five-year Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $ 669,465.  Through the grant, Dr. Ickes will continue his research and career development in the field of maternal and child nutrition.   

Exclusive breastfeeding of infants is one of the most effective interventions to promote child survival, especially in countries with poor sanitation and hygiene.  Despite global trends towards increases in women’s employment, the relationship between maternal work and breast-feeding has primarily been studied in high-income countries.

In Kenya, employed mothers are much less likely to exclusively breastfeed their infants (through 6 months) compared to non-employed mothers.  The employment group with the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates are mothers employed in unskilled manual labor.

The Project
Dr. Ickes’ study, which will take place in Naivasha, Kenya, will seek to identify factors associated with sub-optimal infant feeding practices among Kenyan mothers who work in commercial agriculture.  Wheaton undergraduate researchers, Hannah Sanders (’20) and Hannah Clarke (’20)   are preparing to assist Dr. Ickes in his research.  Dr. Dorothy F. Chappell, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences, said “The teaching and research culture at Wheaton College is exceptional and it is great to welcome Dr. Scott Ickes into this dynamic culture with grants that mark his entry into mentoring our students in formal scientific investigations.”

The Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award
The Fogarty International Center, which funded this award, is dedicated to advancing the mission of the National Institutes of Health, through supporting global health research, building partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs. 

About Wheaton College
Wheaton College (IL) is an academically-rigorous liberal arts college enrolling more than 2200 undergraduate students.  Wheaton College is deeply committed to the training of students for graduate school and the workplace. The school ranks 11th overall in doctoral degrees attained by graduates in the latest Franklin and Marshall survey.  The success of science education at Wheaton has been demonstrated by the institution’s record in preparing future scientists.  Over the past 50 years more than 33% of science graduates have completed doctorate degrees, and in 2000, the NSF cited Wheaton College as one of the top 25 liberal arts colleges in training natural scientists. 

The project described above is supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under award number K01TW010827. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.