New faculty profile: Heather White

H. White headshotHeather White joined the faculty in the Department of Dairy Science as an assistant professor in April.

Briefly describe your career path—up to this point.
I earned a B.S. degree with a biology major and chemistry minor from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana in 2005.  I completed my Master’s in the Department of Animal Sciences in the area of Nutritional Physiology at Purdue University in August 2007, under the mentorship of Drs. Shawn Donkin and Mickey Latour.  Continuing at Purdue, I earned my Doctoral degree in August 2010 from the Department of Animal Sciences and the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program with an emphasis area of Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition.  Working under the direction of Shawn Donkin, my dissertation focused on molecular regulation of hepatic glucose metabolism in the transition dairy cow.  I was then a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Robert Considine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, exploring molecular and physiological influences on lipogenesis.  In August 2011, I joined the Department of Animal Science at the University of Connecticut as an Assistant Professor.  I joined the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this April.

What is the main focus of your research program?
My research program focuses on hepatic carbon flux during the coordinated responses to the transition to lactation, nutrition, and stress in dairy cattle.  My overall goals are to improve our understanding of the regulation of glucose, energy and lipid metabolism to allow for improvement of feeding strategies, manipulation of metabolic capacity and efficiency, and development of intervention and treatment strategies of metabolic disorders.

What drew you to UW-Madison?
As a leading research university with a world-renowned College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and dairy science program, UW is an amazing place to be for a dairy researcher.  Being surrounded by faculty, staff, students and stakeholders passionate about agriculture and the dairy industry is a motivating atmosphere that I look forward to working in and contributing to.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, raising livestock and knitting.