Dr. Peter Hartman Awarded with the Rank Prize Fund for Nutrition

February 8, 2010 - One of the worlds leading lactation experts, Professor Peter Hartman, has been awarded with the Rank Prize Fund for Nutrition, worth £50,000, in recognition of his groundbreaking collaborative work with Prof. Robyn Owens and their invaluable contribution to the current understanding of human lactation. The funds, which are awarded in acknowledgment of excellence in; animal and health nutrition, crop husbandry and optoelectronics, will be presented during an official ceremony in London on February 8th at The Royal College of Physicians.

The eminent Hartmann has been dedicated to the field of human lactation since his daughter’s birth in 1971; prior to this he studied milk synthesis and hormonal control of milk production in animals. His enthusiasm in human milk developed further upon his appointment to the University of Western Australia as a lecturer in 1972, a post which also saw him direct the university's Human Lactation Research Group. It was here that Professors Hartmann and Owens were able to develop a system that allowed for the non invasive investigation of breastmilk synthesis, a feat never before achieved and to date, never duplicated. To date Prof. Hartmann and his postgraduate research students have provided over 120 articles and review papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals. 

Commenting on his award, Professor Peter Hartman said:

 “I am delighted to have been presented with this prestigious Rank prize and would like to thank Prof. Owens for the collaborative partnership as well as those who have supported me and worked alongside me over the years. I am constantly excited by our investigations and am still working at the University of Western Australia to develop our knowledge further. Human lactation is a vastly complex process and one which requires thorough understanding to best support mother and baby.”

Professor Hartman has had a close collaboration with Medela, producers of the world’s most technologically advanced breastpumps, for over a decade now and much of his work has been used to develop the company’s innovative products. Leon Mitoulas PhD, Head of Breastfeeding Research at Medela added:

“Peter is such a deserving recipient for this prestigious award. His work over the years has transformed our understanding of human lactation, generating a remarkable wealth of knowledge around this subject. As such, he has made a significant impact to Medela’s understanding of human lactation and his continued commitment to studying within this area has been invaluable to the development of our breastfeeding products. Medela is honoured to have worked with him and we congratulate him on his success and hope our association with Peter and his team may long continue.”

About The Rank Prize Fund
The Rank Prize is a charitable organisation set up by the late Lord Rank in 1972 to promote scientific research. Two separate funds were established to encourage developments in Nutrition and Opto-electronics. As a leading figure in flour milling, the cinema and the electronics industries, Lord Rank created the funds to assist the advancement and promotion in these areas to encourage knowledge, education and learning.

About Medela
Medela provides the most technologically advanced breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world.  A long-time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world’s leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela’s breast pumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and facilities worldwide.

Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers.  These products include hospital-grade, double and single electric and manual personal breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as breast care products and specialty feeding devices. Most recently, Medela introduced 2-Phase Expression®, the only research-based breastpump technology that mimics a baby’s nursing rhythm, resulting in faster let-down and milk flow.

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 14 subsidiaries in Australia, the Benelux countries, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

For further information:

Medela AG, Medical Technology
Lättichstrasse 4b
CH-6341 Baar
Tel.: +41/ (0)41  / 769 51 51
Fax:   +41/ (0)41  /  769 51 00

Press contact
Veronika Studer, Communication Manager
Tel.: +41/ (0)41   / 769 54 37