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Jenifer Monks, PhD


​Assistant Professor, Division of Reproductive Sciences

Education:

PhD (1999) in Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Contact:

Mail Stop 8613, RC2, Room 3401
Phone: (303) 724 6394
Fax:   (303) 724 3512
Jenifer.Monks@ucdenver.edu

 

Research interests:

Lactational insufficiency is an ongoing problem in women, with poorly understood causes. The literature defines four crucial windows that may be disrupted. 

  1. Mammary development during late pregnancy must proceed normally for adequate alveolar cells to produce milk.  Lactational difficulties of women with premature infants may result from inadequate mammary development. 
  2. Hormonal signals at parturition that initiate milk synthesis and secretion may be disrupted.  An example of this is delayed milk secretion in women with caesarian delivery. 
  3. Feedback regulation of milk supply which matches supply and demand in the mother-infant dyad may be disrupted, resulting in either an overabundance or undersupply for the neonate. 
  4. Regression of the gland initiated by weaning must proceed normally for normal milk production in subsequent reproductive cycles.

Mouse models allow us to understand, at the molecular level, processes which interfere with normal lactation.