Elizabeth A. Maga, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Maga

Unit
Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science

2125 Meyer Hall
Bio

Education

  • B.S.,  Chemical Engineering, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 1988.
  • Ph.D., Food Science & Technology, UC Davis, Davis, CA 1994.

Research Interests

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.

Additional information about Dr. Maga's projects

Graduate Groups

Courses Taught

  • Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques (ANG111)

People

Current Graduate Students

  • Stephanie Chew, MS Program, Animal Biology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017.
  • Kathleen Furtado, MS Program, Animal Biology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2018.
  • Lydia Garas, PhD Program, Animal Biology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2016. Dissertation topic: Effects of human-lysozyme transgenic goat milk on the gut microbiota and leukocyte distribution in the intestinal mucosa of young pigs,
  • Jill Hagey, PhD Program, Animal Biology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2020. Thesis topic: Mechanism of action of lysozyme at the level of the intestine,
  • Rachel Pinho, PhD Program, Animal Biology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2018.

Past Graduate Students

  • Erika Scharfen, MS Animal Biology, 2006 - Utilization of Human Lysozyme Transgenic Goat Milk in Cheesemaking: Effects on Bacterial Profile and Yield.
  • Kathryn Jackson, MS Animal Biology, 2009 - Growth and Reproduction of Lysozyme Transgenic Goats
  • Elizabeth McInnis, MS Animal Biology, 2012 - Bacterial Profiling of Raw Milk from Lysozyme Transgenic and Control Goats
  • Merritt Clark, MS Animal Biology, 2013 - Assessing Unintended Effects of a Mammary-Specific Transgene at the Whole Animal Level in Host and Non-Target Animals

Selected Publications

Clark, M., Murray, J. D. and Maga, E. A. 2013. Assessing unintended effects of a mammary-specific transgene at the whole animal level in host and non-target animals. Transgenic Res. In press DOI 10.1007/s11248-013-9768-6.

Cooper, C. A., Maga, E. A. and Murray, J. D. 2014. Consumption of transgenic milk containing the antimicrobials lactoferrin and lysozyme separately and in conjunction by 6-week old pigs improves intestinal and systemic health. J. Dairy Res. 81:30-37.

Cooper, C. A., Garas Klobas, L. C., Maga, E. A. and Murray, J. D. 2013. Consuming transgenic goats’ milk containing the antimicrobial protein lysozyme helps resolve diarrhea in young pigs. PloS ONE 8:e58409.

Maga, E. A., Weimer, B. C. and Murray, J. D. 2013. Dissecting the role of milk components on gut microbiota composition. Gut Microbes 4:136-139.

Cooper, C. A., Nelson, K., Maga, E. A. and Murray, J. D. 2013. Consumption of transgenic cows’ milk containing human lactoferrin results in beneficial changes in the gastrointestinal tract and systemic health of young pigs. Transgenic 22:Res. 571-578.

Koop, G., De Visscher, A., Collar, C. A., Bacon, D. A. C., Maga, E. A., Murray, J. D., Supré, K., De Vliegher,S., Haesebrouck, F., Rowe, J. D., Nielen, M. and van Werven, T. 2012. Identification of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species from goat milk with API staph and with transfer RNA-intergenic spacer PCR combined with capillary electrophoresis. J. Dairy Sci. 95:7200-7205.

Maga, E. A., Desai, P. T., Weimer, B. C., Dao, N., Kültz, D. and Murray, J. D. 2012. Consumption of lysozyme-rich milk can alter microbial fecal populations. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:6153-6160.

Carvalho, E. B., Maga, E. A., Quetz, J. S., Lima, I. F., Magalhaes, H. Y. , Rodrigues, F. A., Silva, A. V., Prata, M. M., Cavalcante, P. A., Havt, A., Bertolini, M., Bertolini, L. R. and Lima, A. A. 2012. Goat milk with and without increased concentrations of lysozyme improves repair of intestinal cell damage induced by enteroaggregative Escherichia coli. BMC Gastroenterol. 12:106.

Cooper, C. A., Brundige, D. R., Reh, W. A., Maga, E. A. and Murray, J. D. 2011. Lysozyme transgenic goats’ milk positively impacts intestinal cytokine expression and morphology. Transgenic Res. 20:1235-1243.

Jackson, K. A., Berg, J. M., Murray, J. D. and Maga, E. A. 2010. Evaluating the fitness of human lysozyme transgenic dairy goats: Growth and reproductive traits. Transgenic Res. 19:977-986.

Murray, J. D. and Maga, E. A. 2010. Is there a risk from not using GE animals? Transgenic Res. 19:357-361.

Brundige, D. R., Maga, E. A., Klasing, K. C. and Murray, J. D. 2010. Consumption of pasteurized human lysozyme transgenic goats' milk alters serum metabolite profile in young pigs. Transgenic Res. 19:563-574.

Maga, E. A., Daftari, P, Kültz, D. and Penedo, M. C. T. 2009. Prevalence of as1-casein genotypes in American dairy goats. J. Anim. Sci. 87:3464-3469.

Bertolini, L. R., Bertolini, M., Maga, E. A., Madden, K. R. and Murray, J. D. 2009. Increased gene targeting in Ku70 and Xrcc4 transiently deficient human somatic cells. Mol. Biotechnol. 41:106-114.

Brundige, D. R., Maga, E. A., Klasing, K. C. and Murray, J. D. 2008. Lysozyme transgenic goats' milk influences gastrointestinal morphology in young pigs. J. Nutr. 138:921-926.

Scharfen, E. C., Mills, D. A. and Maga, E. A. 2007. Utilization of human lysozyme transgenic goat milk in cheese-making: Effects on lactic acid bacteria performance. J. Dairy Sci. 90:4084-4091.

Bertolini, L. R., Bertolini, M., Anderson, G. B., Maga, E. A., Madden, K. R. and Murray, J. D. 2007. Transient depletion of Ku70 and Xrcc4 by RNAi as a means to manipulate the non-homologous end-joining pathway. J. Biotechnology. 128:246-257.

Maga, E. A., Cullor, J. S., Smith, W., Anderson, G. B. and Murray, J. D. 2006. Human lysozyme expressed in the mammary gland of transgenic dairy goats can inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause mastitis and the cold-spoilage of milk. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 3:384-392.

Maga, E. A., Walker, R. L., Anderson, G. B. and Murray, J. D. 2006. Consumption of milk from transgenic goats expressing human lysozyme in the mammary gland results in the modulation of intestinal microflora. Transgenic Res. 15:515-519.

Maga, E. A., Shoemaker, C. F., Rowe, J. D., BonDurant, R. H., Anderson, G. B. and Murray, J. D. 2006. Production and processing of milk from transgenic goats expressing human lysozyme in the mammary gland. J. Dairy Sci. 89:518-524.