Elizabeth A. Maga
Elizabeth A. Maga, Ph.D.
|Phone: +1 530-752-5930
FAX: +1 530-752-0175
B.S. , Chemical Engineering, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 1988.
Ph.D. , Food Science & Technology, UC Davis, Davis, CA 1994.
The overall goal of my research program is to demonstrate that milk from genetically engineered dairy animals containing increased levels of protective antimicrobial proteins can be used to improve human health. More specifically, we have generated transgenic goats that express increased levels of human lysozyme, a key human milk component thought to be involved with the development of a health-promoting gut microbiota. The overarching hypothesis is that upon consumption, lysozyme-rich milk will cause a beneficial modulation of intestinal microbiota populations thereby resulting in improved intestinal and overall health. The work conducted in my lab is both mechanistic and translational in nature by not only dissecting the role of gut microbiota on health, but also by translating the use of lysozyme-rich milk into an effective preventative or treatment agent against diarrheal illnesses. We use both animal models and cells in culture in conjunction with molecular techniques to 1) define the bacterial community structure of milk and the gastrointestinal tract, 2) investigate immune response at the level of the intestine upon milk consumption and 3) assess the safety of genetically engineered food animals and their products. In addition, studies on the relationship between casein genotypes and milk quality are being carried out in goats.