St Albans scientist shortlisted for award following work with new milk bank

Dr Shenker will find out if she is a winner on November 10.

Dr Shenker will find out if she is a winner on November 10. - Credit: Rick Bronks, Satureyes Photograp

A scientist has been shortlisted for an award for her work with a recently-formed milk bank.

Dr Natalie Shenker, who lives in Tavistock Close, St Albans, has been nominated by Imperial College London for a Women in Science, Technology and Engineering (WISE) award, after setting up a social enterprise, which aims to help sick babies.

She collaborated with Gillian Weaver, an international expert in milk banking, to set up The Hearts Milk Bank.

The organisation will provide donor breast milk to sick babies across London and the South East to improve the chances of survival for those born premature ill.

Dr Shenker, who has been shortlisted in the Hero category, said: “I had the idea when I was working with Gillian - who has taken retirement to help with the milk bank.

“You get screened and then someone checks your milk.

“It’s then given to premature babies if their own mothers can’t provide and it also prevents people from a whole range of complications.”

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The milk bank will be based at the University of Herts and will start running when enough funds are raised to get it underway.

A crowdfunding page, active from October 18, has been set up to help with the costs. Dr Shenker aims to raise £50,000 to cover the cost of core equipment that they need.

The winner of the award will be announced at the WISE Awards Ceremony in London, on November 10.

For more information about The Hearts Milk Bank, visit: