Meet Dr. Kelleher!
I’m a Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences. I recently moved to UMass Lowell from Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and I’m excited to be here! My background is in Nutritional Biochemistry with a focus on trace element transport (i.e., zinc, copper and iron), lactation and gastrointestinal function.
Research in the Kelleher Lab is broadly aimed understanding the role of diet, genetics and environmental factors on maternal and infant health. My research focuses on understanding the molecular factors that regulate mammary gland function during lactation, and gastrointestinal function during infant development. Our work has long been focused on understanding the role and regulation of zinc transport in the lactating mammary gland; however, more recently, we have begun to explore the role and regulation of zinc transport in gastrointestinal development and function during infancy. In addition, a new focus of our work is to identify novel diet, genetics and environmental factors that impair the ability to produce enough milk to optimally nourish breastfed infants. Our research is “translational” in nature in that we utilize cultured cells and transgenic mouse models, combined with studies in breastfeeding women and infants, to integrate nutrition with genetics, cell biology, and physiology.