Tawny Chandler

Dr. Heather White

The research group that I am a part of focuses on health and nutrition of dairy cows during the transition period. This challenging time has the greatest potential for improvement in the life cycle of a dairy cow. Although we have supplemented rumen protected nutrients and improved animal health and production in applied research settings, we strive to understand their basic mechanisms of action. Because the liver is central to the metabolism that supports lactation, our efforts emphasize the regulation of pathways of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism. By isolating and culturing primary hepatocytes we can conduct experiments that examine, on a molecular basis, the pathways that are altered in order to support milk production and animal health when cows transition into a lactating state. Specifically, my research focuses on the methyl donating properties and hepatic metabolism of supplemental choline and methionine, two essential nutrients that can interact and significantly improve liver function and health in all animals. Although both support dairy cow health and production, they likely work through different mechanisms and appear to differentially regulate energy metabolism pathways in the liver. By determining how these specific nutrients alter and regulate hepatic metabolism on a molecular basis, we can elucidate how they support animal health and production. From this knowledge, we can develop nutrition strategies that will improve the transition period for dairy cows.


MS ’14, University of Wisconsin-Madison

BS ’12 University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dairy Science, Animal Science

Fall 2018