The graduate program in lactation physiology is focused on how the mammary gland utilizes nutrients to assemble milk. Additionally, it is focused on how hormones and growth factors made within the mammary gland coordinate maternal metabolism. Students in this area of research utilize multiple mammalian models (bovine, rodent, human, in vitro culture) to examine the ability of the mammary gland to function at capacity during lactation and in order for the mother to maintain adequate health status during this challenging physiological event. Furthermore, a combination of molecular and cellular biological techniques and models with applied research are to understand the ability of the mammary gland to function during lactation. Graduate students in this program are able to participate in joint graduate training programs through the Endocrine and Reproductive Physiology (ERP) and Interdepartmental Graduate Training Program in Nutritional Sciences (IGPNS).
Students completing the MS program in lactation physiology are able to obtain jobs as laboratory technicians, or technical support positions in the industry. Students completing a Ph.D. in the area of Lactation Physiology pursue careers research based positions at academic institutions, government agencies and private industry.