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. 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 03; 597(6):1565-1584. PMID: 30536914.
  2. 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 08; 59(8):1482-1500. PMID: 29866659.
  3. 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 04 25; 8(1):18. PMID: 29695710.
  4. 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 10 15; 594(20):5899-5921. PMID: 27357166.
  5. 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. PMID: 26147095.
  6. 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 01; 305(9):E1103-14. PMID: 23982156.
  7. 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. PMID: 23874434.
  8. 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. PMID: 23825572.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.