Jimena Laporta

Assistant Professor - Lactation Physiology




Office Location

1675 Observatory Dr
632 Animal Sciences
Madison, WI 53706

Jimena Laporta is originally from Uruguay, where she received her BS degree in Biology and MS degree in Animal Sciences from Universidad de la República in Uruguay, and a PhD in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her independent career started in 2015 with a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Mammary Gland Physiology at the University of Florida. She held that position for five years until she was recruited by the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020.

Her research focuses on understanding how autocrine, systemic, and environmental factors affect mammary gland development and function, and how maternal influences during gestation and early-life postnatal life might program the developing calf. Dr. Laporta has made significant contributions to the field of lactation biology and environmental physiology in dairy cattle by unraveling the mechanisms by which dry period heat stress impairs mammary gland growth and physiology, and consequently milk output. She has developed an integrated approach to investigate the long-lasting multilactational and multigenerational effects of in utero heat stress on production and survival. Her work demonstrates that maternal hyperthermia alters the developmental trajectory of the mammary gland from fetal development through the first lactation, leading to reduced milk yields and considerable losses to dairy profitability. Her current research focus is understanding how prenatal heat stress alters the daughter’s and granddaughter’s epigenome of key organs. An active area of research in Dr. Laporta’s lab focuses on characterizing calf thermo-physiology, health, and performance and assessing calf environmental and animal-based indicators of heat stress. These have practical implications for improved monitoring of heat stress and have aid in the development of novel heat abatement methods in pre-weaned dairy calves by her group. Dr. Laporta is also investigating the local actions of the serotonergic pathway in the mammary gland that can be used to accelerate mammary gland involution to aid in the dry-off process of high yielding dairy cows.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Dado-Senn B, Field SL, Davidson BD, Dahl GE, Laporta J. 2022. In utero hyperthermia in late-gestation derails dairy calf early-life mammary development. Journal of Animal Science [In Press]. (2)

Davidson B, Sarlo K, Dahl GE, Mateescu R, Laporta J. 2022. Effect of in utero exposure to hyperthermia on postnatal hair length, skin morphology, and thermoregulatory responses. Journal of Dairy Science [In Press]. (2)

Laporta J, Lemley C, Chavatte-Palmer P. 2022. The Influences of Early Life Experiences on Future Health and Productivity. Frontiers in Animal Science (online access). (2)

Casaro S, Marrero MG, Madrid DMC, Prima JG, Nelsonb CD, Galvãoa KN, Laporta J, Driver JP. 2022. Flow cytometry panels for immunophenotyping dairy cattle peripheral blood leukocytes. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 248:110417. (2,6)

Skibiel AL, Koh J, Zhu N, Zhu F, Yoo Mi-J, Laporta J. 2022. Carry-over effects of dry period heat stress on the mammary gland proteome and phosphoproteome in the subsequent lactation of dairy cows. Scientific Reports, 12:6637. (2,3)

Toledo I, Ouellet V, Davidson B, Dahl GE, Laporta J. 2022. Effects of exposure to heat stress during late gestation on the daily time budget of nulliparous Holstein heifers. Frontiers in Animal Science, Animal Physiology and Management (online access). (2)

Field SL, Sheftel CM, Ouellet V, Hernandez LL, Laporta J. 2022. In vitro effects of 5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan supplementation on primary bovine mammary epithelial cell gene expression under thermoneutral or heat shock conditions. Scientific Reports, 12:3820. (2)

Dado-Senn B, Gingerich KN, Horvath KC, Field SL, Marrero MG, Maunsell F, Miller-Cushon E, Laporta J. 2022. Early-life heat stress on dairy calf thermoregulatory behavior. Journal of Dairy Science Communications, 3:38-43. (2,6)

Laporta J, Dado-Senn B, Skibiel AL 2022. Epigenetic programming of daughter’s mammary development and function. Domestic Animal Endcrinology,78:106681. (2)

Ouellet V., Boucher A., Dahl G.E., Laporta J. (2021) Consequences of maternal heat stress at different stages of embryonic and fetal development on dairy cows’ progeny. Animal Frontiers, 11(6):48–56. (2)

Laporta J. 2021. Early-life exposure to hyperthermia: productive and physiological outcomes, cost, and opportunities. Journal of Dairy Science. ADSA Foundation Scholar Award. 104(11):11337-11347. (2)

Dado-Senn B., Field S.L., Davidson B.D., Casarotto L.T., Marrero M.G., Ouellet V., Cunha F., Sacher M., Rice C.L., Maunsell F., Dahl G.E., Laporta J. 2021. Late-gestation in utero heat stress limits dairy heifer early-life growth and organ development. Frontiers in Animal Science, Animal Physiology and Management (online access). (2)

Dado-Senn B., Skibiel A.L, Arriola Apelo S.I, Dahl G.E., Laporta J. 2021. Dry period heat stress impacts mammary protein metabolism in the subsequent lactation. Animals, 11(9), 2676. (2)

Field S.L., Marrero M.G., Liu L., Peñagaricano F., Laporta J. 2021. Histological and transcriptomic analysis of adipose and muscle of dairy calves supplemented with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Scientific Reports, 6;11(1):9665. (2)

Asseng S., Spänkuch D., Hernandez-Ochoa I.M., Laporta J. The upper temperature thresholds of life. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5(6): E378-E385. (2)

Selected Popular Press Articles

Grow Magazine. Innovation through Campus Cooperation in America’s Dairyland. “Help for Hot Hutches”. Priority Area: Ensuring Animal Health and Welfare”. Summer 2022 Issue.

Agri View Dairy News. “Check Index to assess heats tress”. July 27, 2022.

Know-how for your calf rearing: CalfBlog.com. “Claves feeling the heat? Leverage your auto-feeder system to detect and abate calves feeling heat stress” May 27, 2022.

Davidson BD, Toledo I, Laporta J, and GE Dahl (2021) Pre-fresh heifers need cooling, too. Hoards Dairymen. May 8 issue p. 301. {online access}

McCarville J, Olson A, Lippert M, Laporta J (2020) Dry Cow Heat Stress Management. UW-Madison Extension Resources. Published on Sept. 19, 2020 {online access}

Dado-Senn and Laporta J (2020). Time of calf cooling matters Hoards Dairyman. April 8 issue {online access}

Laporta J, and Dahl GE (2019) Late-gestation heat stress: lingering impacts on milk production for three generations. Hoards Dairyman. April 25 issue. *Re-printed in Hoards Dairyman in Spanish (May 2019, p. 268-270) and Ex-Dairy-Press in Italian (May 2019 p. 49-51)

Dahl GE, and Laporta J (2019) Dry Period Heat Stress Affects Cows’ Granddaughters. Dairy Nutrition Plus newsletter. Vol 15 (3):3.

Dado-Senn B, Dahl GE, Laporta J (2017) Cooled dry cows outperformed heat-stressed herd mates. Hoards Dairyman. August 10 issue.

Laporta J and Miller-Cushon E (2016). Heat stress has prolonged effects on dairy calves. Hoards Dairyman. October 25 issue.

Selected Videos 

The Dairy Signal, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW). The Effects of In Utero Heat Stress. June 7, 2022.

Real Science Exchange Panel: Exploring In Utero Influences on Transgenerational Performance. May 10, 2022.

The Dairy Signal, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW). Rising Stars – Graduate Research Showcase Series. Virtual. September 29, 2021.

Adisseo Smart Seminar Series Webinar Feed Channel Online “How heat stress impacts the progeny and how nutrients impact heat stress”. June 8, 2021.

Balchem Real Science Exchange Podcast. “Heat Stress and Late Gestation Cows.” May 11, 2021.

AN SCI/DY SCI 378 – Lactation Physiology (3 credits, Fall). Instructor

AN SCI/DY SCI 875 – Advanced Topics in Physiology (2 credits, Spring). Co-instructor

Professional Affiliation American Dairy Science Association (2010-present)

Lactation Biology Committee American Dairy Science Association (2017 & 2018)

Lactation Biology Committee American Dairy Science Association (co-chair 2019-2020).

Editorial Board Scientific Reports (2019-present)

Editorial Board Domestic Animal Endocrinology (2021-present)

Editorial Board Journal of Dairy Science (2022, three-year period)

Associate Editor Animal Physiology and Management, Frontiers in Animal science (2022)

Ad-hoc Reviewer 10+ Journals (Journal of Dairy Science, Scientific Reports, BMC Genomics, Physiological Genomics, PlosOne, Journal of Cellular Physiology).

Grant Panelist Animal Nutrition, Growth and Lactation Program (USDA-NIFA); United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD); United States Department of Agriculture-HATCH Proposals in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences UW-Madison; Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, Israel; Food from Thought, Agricultural systems for a healthy planet, University of Guelph, Canada.

Task-Force member Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) on the use of hormones in agriculture (2020).

2022 – Most highly cited papers published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Laporta et al., 2020.

2022 – Most highly cited papers published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Fabris et al., 2019.

2021 – American Dairy Science Association Foundation Scholar, Dairy Production Award

2019 University of Florida Dairy Science Club Outstanding Advisor. 

2017 Mentor of the Year Award. Department of Animal Sciences Graduate Student Association. 

2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award. Oak Ridge Associated Universities 

2015 Young Dairy Scholar. Midwest Branch of Dairy Science Association. 

2012 Milk Producers Federation. Graduate student oral competition doctoral division, American Dairy Science Association, Joint Annual Meeting. 

2009 Paul F. Randel graduate student competition. Latin American Association of Animal Production, Puerto Rico.