Laura Hernandez

Hernandez Lab / Lactation Biology @ UW-Madison

Professor Lactation Physiology; Affiliate Professor Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research, Teaching



Office Location

1675 Observatory Dr
864A Animal Sciences
Madison, WI 53706

Post-Doctoral Fellow – Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Cincinnati (2008-2011)

PhD University of Arizona (2008)

Master’s of Science, New Mexico State University (2004)

Bachelor’s of Science, New Mexico State University (2002)

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Domingues RR, Wiltbank MC, Hernandez LL. (2022). Pregnancy complications and neonatal mortality in a serotonin transporter null mouse model: insight into the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor during pregnancy. Front. Med (Lausanne). 9:848581. PMCID: PMC8960382.

Field SL, Ouellet V, Sheftel CM, 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. Sci. Rep. 12(1):3820. PMCID: PMC8907223.

Sheftel CM, Sartori LC, Hunt ER, Manuel RS, Bell AM, Domnigues RR, Wake LA, Scharpf BR, Vezina CM, Charles JF, Hernandez LL. (2022) Peripartal treatment with low dose sertraline accelerates mammary gland involution and has minimal effects on maternal and offspring bone. 10(5):e15204. PMCID:PMC8889862.

Sheftel CM, Liu L, Field SL, Weaver SR, Vezina CM, Penagaricano F, Hernandez LL. (2022). Impact of fluoxetine treatment and folic acid supplementation on the mammary gland transcriptome during peak lactation. Front. Pharmacol. 13:828735. PMCID:PMC8904566.

Connelly MK, Henschel SR, Kuehnl JM, Cheng AA, Nashold F, Hernandez LL. (2022). Physiological adaptations in early lactation cows result in differential responses to calcium perturbation relative to non-lactating, non-pregnant cows. J. Dairy Sci. 105(1):904-920.

Romingues RR, Fricke HP, Sheftel CM, Bell AM, Sartori LC, Manuel RSJ, Krajco CJ, Wiltbank MC, Hernandez LL. (2022). Effect of low and high doses of two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on pregnancy outcomes on neonatal mortality. Toxics. 10(1). PMCID: PMC8780128.

Connelly MK, Cheng AA, Hernandez LL. (2021). Graduate Student Literature Review: Serotonin and calcium metabolism: A story unfolding. J. Dairy Sci. 104(12):13008-13019.PMID: 34531048.

Cheng AA, Li W, Hernandez LL. (2021). Investigating the effect of positional variation on mid-lactation mammary gland transcriptomics in mice fed either a low-fat or high-fat diet. (2021). PLoS One. 16(8):e0255770. PMC: PMC8389404.

Turco AE, Oakes SR, Keil Stietz KP, Dunham CL, Joseph DB, Chathurvedula TS, Girardi NM, Schneider AJ, Gawdzik J, Sheftel CM, Wang P, Bjorling DE, Ricke WA, Tang W, Hernandez LL, Keast JR, Bonev AD, Grimes MD, Strand DW, Tykocki NR, Tanguay RL, Peterson RE, Vezina CM. (2021). A mechanism linking perinatal 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure to lower urinary tract dysfunction in adulthood. Dis. Model. Mech. 14(7). PMCID: PMC8326766.

Connelly MK, Weaver SR, Kuehnl JM, Fricke HP, Klister M, and Hernandez LL. (2021). Elevated serotonin coordinates mammary metabolism in dairy cows. 9(87):e14798. PMCID:PMC8034258.

Cheng AA, Li W, Walker TM, Silvers C, Arendt LM, Hernandez LL. (2021). Investigating the complex interplay between genotype and high-fat diet feeding in the lactating mammary gland using the Tph1 and Ldlr knockout models. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 320(3):E438-E452. PMCID: PMC7988787.

Wilkens MR, Nelson CD, Hernandez LL, McArt JAA. (2020). Symposium review: transition cow calcium homeostasis-health effects of hypocalcemia and strategies for prevention. J. Dairy Sci. 103(3):2909-2927. PMID: 31954573.

Shefel CM, Hernandez LL. (2020). Serotonin stimulated parathyroid hormone related protein induction in the mammary epithelia by transglutaminase-dependent serotonylation. PLoS One. 15(10):e0241192. PMCID: PMC7584195.

Connelly MK, Marshall AM, Crump PM, Hernandez LL. (2020). Short communication: The effect of ruminal administration of 5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan on circulating serotonin concentrations. J. Dairy Sci. 103(11):10850-10855. PMID:32952021.

Cheng AA, Li W, Hernandez LL. Transcriptomic analysis investigating the interaction between peripheral serotonin and high fat diet feeding on mammary gene expression in mid-lactation mice. 2020. Physiol Genomics. 52(1):47-55. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00073.2019. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31814535.

Selected Book Chapters

Collier RJ, Hernandez LL, Laporta J, Lauderdale J, Smith ZK, Vicini JL. 2020. Impacts on Human Health and Safety of Naturally Occurring and Supplemental Hormones in Food Animals. CAST Task Force. CAST: The Science Source for Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Issues. QTA2020-4-July 2020.

Hernandez LL, GE Dahl, and RJ Collier.  2017.  Regulation of the lactating mammary gland.  Large Dairy Herd Management.  3rd Edition. 

Undergraduate Courses

AN SCI/DY SCI 373 – Animal Physiology (3 credits, Spring/Summer)
Course Description: Students will develop an understanding of physiological processes that regulate the body, learn the anatomy and function of different physiological systems, describe interactions between organ systems, study regulation of an organ system from the molecular to whole animal level, and identify differences between species in the same systems.

Biocore 485- Physiology

Inter-Ag 175 – WISE Seminar (1 credit, Fall/Spring)
Course Description: Weekly seminar/discussion for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) learning community. Speakers drawn from all fields of math, science, and engineering on campus. Students meet to learn about research on campus and to discuss the impact of research in their daily lives. Enroll Info: Cons inst. Preference given to residents of the WISE learning community. Open to Freshmen
Requirements: Reserved Class Section for residents of Women in Science and Engineering in Waters Hall

Graduate Courses

OB GYN 770- Pregnancy, Parturition and Lactation (every odd year in  Spring, 2013-present)
Course Description:3-2 hour lectures, Endocrine and Reproductive Physiology Graduate Program

AN SCI/DY SCI 875 –  Pregnancy, Parturition & Lactation (Odd Springs)
Requirements: Graduate/professional standing

ADSA Production Division Director

CALS Academic Planning Council

CALS Equity and Diversity Committee

CALS Climate Survey Advisory Committee

Section Editor – Physiology, Journal of Dairy Science

Chair – Animal and Dairy Sciences Climate and Diversity Committee

Chair-Sarah Adcock Mentor Committee

Chair – Sebastian Arriola Tenure Mentor Committee

Co-Director Women in Science and Engineering Learning Community

Graduate admissions committee for the interdisciplinary graduate program in nutritional sciences

Graduate curriculum committee for the endocrine and reproductive physiology program.

UW Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

CALS Pound Research Award (2021)

UW Vilas Faculty Fellowship (2018-2019)

ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Production (2017)

Alfred Toepfer Faculty Fellow (2014)

U.S. Patent 8,133,916. Issued March 13, 2012. Control of Milk Production and Mammary Gland Involution.

U.S. Patent 9,585,870. Issued March 7, 2017. Compositions and methods for improving lactation.