The overall aim of my research has been to improve the health of premature infants as they have been shown to have greatly reduced health outcomes (including early mortality, developmental disorders, high risk of infection, etc.) in comparison with term-delivered, breast milk-fed infants. The greatly reduced digestive capability of premature infants means that these infants are not breaking down milk proteins in the same way as term infants, and may therefore be missing many bioactive peptides and glycopeptides encrypted in human milk proteins. This difference in digestive capacity may mean that premature infants are not receiving the full health benefits of milk. My work has been to develop mass spectrometry-based peptidomic techniques to assess proteins as they are digested. We are currently exploring how various types of proteins and food processing techniques alter protein digestibility. We are studying protein digestion in groups with lower digestive function, including infants, the elderly and people with gastrointestinal disease. We are examining how increased protein survival to the colon leads to increased microbial protein digestion (putrefaction) and the resulting toxic metabolites and gut inflammation. We are currently modeling infant digestion of milk proteins in a piglet model. With a collaborative approach, we are assessing digestion and putrefaction via peptidomics, metabolomics, microbial sequencing and inflammatory protein analysis.