Jenifer Monks, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Reproductive Sciences
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


PhD (1999) in Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Research Complex 2
12700 East 19th Avenue
Room 3013, MS 8613
Aurora, CO 80045

Phone: (303) 724-3505
Fax: (303) 724-3512

Research Interests
Lactational insufficiency is an ongoing problem in women, with poorly understood causes. The literature defines four crucial windows that may be disrupted.

  1. Mammary development during late pregnancy must proceed normally for adequate alveolar cells to produce milk. Lactational difficulties of women with premature infants may result from inadequate mammary development.
  2. Hormonal signals at parturition that initiate milk synthesis and secretion may be disrupted. An example of this is delayed milk secretion in women with caesarian delivery.
  3. Feedback regulation of milk supply which matches supply and demand in the mother-infant dyad may be disrupted, resulting in either an overabundance or undersupply for the neonate.
  4. Regression of the gland initiated by weaning must proceed normally for normal milk production in subsequent reproductive cycles.
Mouse models allow us to understand, at the molecular level, processes which interfere with normal lactation.


Full List of Publications

Recent Publications

  1. Takahashi S, Luo Y, Ranjit S, Xie C, Libby AE, Orlicky DJ, Dvornikov A, Wang XX, Myakala K, Jones BA, Bhasin K, Wang D, McManaman JL, Krausz KW, Gratton E, Ir D, Robertson CE, Frank DN, Gonzalez FJ, Levi M. Bile acid sequestration reverses liver injury and prevents progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in Western diet-fed mice. J Biol Chem. 2020 Apr 03; 295(14):4733-4747. PMID: 32075905.
  2. Monks J, Ladinsky MS, McManaman JL. Organellar Contacts of Milk Lipid Droplets. Contact (Thousand Oaks). 2020 Jan-Dec;3. doi: 10.1177/2515256419897226. Epub 2020 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 32232194; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7105144.
  3. Martin Carli JF, Trahan GD, Jones KL, Hirsch N, Rolloff KP, Dunn EZ, Friedman JE, Barbour LA, Hernandez TL, MacLean PS, Monks J, McManaman JL, Rudolph MC. Single Cell RNA Sequencing of Human Milk-Derived Cells Reveals Sub-Populations of Mammary Epithelial Cells with Molecular Signatures of Progenitor and Mature States: a Novel, Non-invasive Framework for Investigating Human Lactation Physiology. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2020 Dec;25(4):367-387. doi: 10.1007/s10911-020-09466-z. Epub 2020 Nov 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 33216249; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8016415.
  4. Ladinsky MS, Mardones GA, Orlicky DJ, Howell KE, McManaman JL. Electron Tomography Revels that Milk Lipids Originate from Endoplasmic Reticulum Domains with Novel Structural Features. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2019 Dec; 24(4):293-304. PMID: 31709487.
  5. Orlicky DJ, Libby AE, Bales ES, McMahan RH, Monks J, La Rosa FG, McManaman JL. Perilipin-2 promotes obesity and progressive fatty liver disease in mice through mechanistically distinct hepatocyte and extra-hepatocyte actions. J Physiol. 2019 Mar;597(6):1565-1584. doi: 10.1113/JP277140. Epub 2019 Jan 2. PubMed PMID: 30536914; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6418763.
  6. Libby AE, Bales ES, Monks J, Orlicky DJ, McManaman JL. Perilipin-2 deletion promotes carbohydrate-mediated browning of white adipose tissue at ambient temperature. J Lipid Res. 2018 Aug;59(8):1482-1500. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M086249. Epub 2018 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 29866659; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6071773
  7. Monks J, Orlicky DJ, Stefanski AL, Libby AE, Bales ES, Rudolph MC, Johnson GC, Sherk VD, Jackman MR, Williamson K, Carlson NE, MacLean PS, McManaman JL. Maternal obesity during lactation may protect offspring from high fat diet-induced metabolic dysfunction. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Apr 25;8(1):18. doi: 10.1038/s41387-018-0027-z. PubMed PMID: 29695710; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5916951.
  8. Hazegh KE, Nemkov T, D'Alessandro A, Diller JD, Monks J, McManaman JL, Jones KL, Hansen KC, Reis T. Correction: An autonomous metabolic role for Spen. PLoS Genet. 2018 03; 14(3):e1007266. PMID: 29509756.
  9. Neville MC, Monks J. The Cell Biology of the Lactating Mammary Epithelium, in M. K. Skinner (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Reproduction. vol. 2. [Internet]. Academic Press: Elsevier; 2018 January. pp. 779–785. Available from: DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.64419-7.
  10. Xiong X, Bales ES, Ir D, Robertson CE, McManaman JL, Frank DN, Parkinson J. Perilipin-2 modulates dietary fat-induced microbial global gene expression profiles in the mouse intestine. Microbiome. 2017 09 06; 5(1):117. PMID: 28877764.
  11. Hazegh KE, Nemkov T, D'Alessandro A, Diller JD, Monks J, McManaman JL, Jones KL, Hansen KC, Reis T. An autonomous metabolic role for Spen. PLoS Genet. 2017 Jun;13(6):e1006859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006859. eCollection 2017 Jun. PubMed PMID: 28640815; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5501677.
  12. Libby AE, Bales E, Orlicky DJ, McManaman JL. Perilipin-2 Deletion Impairs Hepatic Lipid Accumulation by Interfering with Sterol Regulatory Element-binding Protein (SREBP) Activation and Altering the Hepatic Lipidome. J Biol Chem. 2016 Nov 11; 291(46):24231-24246. PMID: 27679530.
  13. Monks J, Dzieciatkowska M, Bales ES, Orlicky DJ, Wright RM, McManaman JL. Xanthine oxidoreductase mediates membrane docking of milk-fat droplets but is not essential for apocrine lipid secretion. J Physiol. 2016 Oct 15;594(20):5899-5921. doi: 10.1113/JP272390. Epub 2016 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 27357166; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5063925.
  14. Frank DN, Bales ES, Monks J, Jackman MJ, MacLean PS, Ir D, Robertson CE, Orlicky DJ, McManaman JL. Perilipin-2 Modulates Lipid Absorption and Microbiome Responses in the Mouse Intestine. PLoS One. 2015;10(7):e0131944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131944. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26147095; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4493139.
  15. Neville MC, Webb P, Ramanathan P, Mannino MP, Pecorini C, Monks J, Anderson SM, MacLean P. The insulin receptor plays an important role in secretory differentiation in the mammary gland. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Nov 1;305(9):E1103-14. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00337.2013. Epub 2013 Aug 27. PubMed PMID: 23982156; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3840206.
  16. Crunk AE, Monks J, Murakami A, Jackman M, Maclean PS, Ladinsky M, Bales ES, Cain S, Orlicky DJ, McManaman JL. Dynamic regulation of hepatic lipid droplet properties by diet. PLoS One. 2013;8(7):e67631. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067631. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23874434; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3708958.
  17. Orlicky DJ, Monks J, Stefanski AL, McManaman JL. Dynamics and molecular determinants of cytoplasmic lipid droplet clustering and dispersion. PLoS One. 2013;8(6):e66837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066837. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23825572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3692517.
  18. Fini MA, Monks J, Farabaugh SM, Wright RM. Contribution of xanthine oxidoreductase to mammary epithelial and breast cancer cell differentiation in part modulates inhibitor of differentiation-1. Mol Cancer Res. 2011 Sep; 9(9):1242-54. PMID: 21775420.
  19. Rudolph MC, Monks J, Burns V, Phistry M, Marians R, Foote MR, Bauman DE, Anderson SM, Neville MC. Sterol regulatory element binding protein and dietary lipid regulation of fatty acid synthesis in the mammary epithelium. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Dec; 299(6):E918-27. PMID: 20739508.


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