University of Florida

Dr. Jimena Laporta

Assistant Professor; Mammary Physiology

Research Summary

Dr. Laporta conducts research in the area of mammary gland physiology, primarily focusing on the endocrine, autocrine-paracrine regulation of lactation.  Research efforts in her laboratory are multifaceted but mostly centered on mammary-derived parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and serotonin (5-HT), and the exploration of opportunities for manipulation of these pathways in the context of lactation in dairy cows.   
She uses cellular and whole animal models, and state-of-the-art molecular techniques to investigate the molecular mechanism(s) by which mammary PTHrP regulates bone calcium mobilization and availability, and calcium traffic from the maternal circulation into the milk during lactation. Her interest is the development of novel approaches for the prevention of periparturient hypocalcemia (milk fever) in dairy cows through the manipulation of this mammary gland–bone axis.  Heat stress is known to alter normal cellular processes of the mammary gland.  Dr. Laporta’s research in this area explores the involvement of mammary 5-HT and its potential applications to alleviate the negative effects of heat stress on milk production.  Colostrum contains high amounts of PTHrP and moderate amounts of 5-HT, however their functions have never been examined.  Dr. Laporta investigates the role of these milk-borne factors on pre-weaned calves’ nutrition and their impacts on calf’s immunity, social and feeding behavior, and mammary gland and bone development. 
The ultimate goal of Dr. Laporta’s research program is to integrate the knowledge of mammary gland physiology with advances in management, nutrition and reproduction to increase the efficiency of milk production and the profitability of dairy farms.

Education:

2014 - Ph.D. Dairy Science, Lactation Physiology. Minor in Endocrine and Reproductive Physiology. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
2011- M.S. Animal Science. School of Agronomy, Universidad de la República. Uruguay.
2008 - B.S. Biology (Genetics). School of Science. Universidad de la República. Uruguay.

Current Academic Position

2015: Assistant Professor Mammary Physiology. Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Teaching

Animal Physiology
Lactation Physiology

Awards and Scholarships

Young Dairy Scholar. Midwest Branch of the American Dairy Science Association (2015).
Milk Producers Federation. Graduate student oral competition doctoral division award. Joint Annual Meeting of the Dairy Science Association (ADSA). Phoenix, AZ, USA (2012).                                                                                    
Paul F. Randel. Graduate Student Poster Competition. Latin-American Association of Animal Production (ALPA). San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009).                                                                                                       
Graduate Scholarships. Ph.D. (College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS), University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. 2011-2014) and M.Sc. (National Agency of Research and Innovation, Uruguay. 2009-2011).

Professional Memberships

American Dairy Science Association
Endocrine Society

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laporta

Jimena Laporta, Ph.D.

PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-1981 Ext. 229

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611