Laura Hernandez, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Laura L. Hernandez is an Associate Professor in the Dairy Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her PhD in 2008 from the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Bob Collier. Her area of research has focused on how serotonin controls the mammary gland and various aspects of lactation. Dr. Hernandez combines basic research from the cell to whole-animal level in a variety of mammalian species to broaden the focus on the importance of the mammary gland and its contributions to and regulation of a successful lactation in dairy cattle. The outcomes of her novel research are aimed at demonstrating the presence of factors (specifically serotonin) produced within the mammary gland that can control the animal’s physiology while lactating, particularly during the transition period when cows are the most metabolically and physiologically challenged. She specifically focuses on the interaction of serotonin and calcium metabolism during the transition period. Her research has determined that serotonin is an important regulator of mammary gland and maternal calcium homeostasis during lactation.