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Boning Li

Position/Title: PhD candidate
Phone: 519-760-2976

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I was born in a beautiful seaside city, Qingdao, in China, and I didn’t get any expose to farm when I was a kid. However, the four-year undergraduate study at Shandong Agricultural University in China leaded me into the field of animal science. The interests of working around with animals just grew on me. I decided to pursue my study abroad, and I got lucky to have a chance to working with Dr. John Cant with my master. During the master’s study, I worked on a trail about the effects of different levels of glucose and acetate on milk synthesis in dairy cows. After graduation, I worked as a technician in Dr. John Cant’s lab for a short time, and then I got the position as a genetics coordinator in Vista Villa Genetics Inc. of Alliance Genetics Canada. Those experience taught me the skills of farm and lab. With all the skills and mind, I started my Ph.D. and tried to explore more on animals.

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. John Cant lab. My research focus on the effects of transcription factors on milk components synthesis including milk fat, milk protein and milk yield by using primary mammary epithelial cells in dairy cows. I spent a month at Dr. Sergio Burgos lab in McGill University to learn how to perform the cell culture to achieve this research. The mechanise of milk protein and milk fat synthesis was and always will be the vital topic in diary science research. The related research around the world was mainly focus on the gene expression on translation part involving the 4EBP1 and S6K1. But it failed to explain the whole picture of the synthesis pathway. I believe the gene expression on the transcription part must play a critical role in the process. Until now, I have found several key transcription factors such as ATF4 and ATF6 might involved in the protein and fat synthesis. Future experiments including RNA sequencing and siRNA will explore the details of how the transcription factors influence the milk fat and protein synthesis pathways.