Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


Rodrigo Manjarín, Assistant Professor

Photograph of Dr. Noland

Office: Bldg. 10 Rm. 135

Office: 805-756-7474


  • D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, University of Leon (Spain), 2003
  • M.S. Animal Science, Michigan State University, 2008
  • Ph.D. Animal Science, Michigan State University, 2011
  • Ph.D. Veterinary Medicine, University of Leon (Spain), 2013

Courses Taught

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals (ASCI 229)
  • Undergraduate Seminar (ASCI 363)
  • Animal Metabolism and Nutrition (ASCI 420)
  • Senior Project - Research Experience in Animal Science (ASCI 477)
  • Senior Project - Current Topics in Animal Science (ASCI 479)

Research Interests


Our laboratory specializes in translational biomedical research with emphasis on metabolic disease in pediatric populations. The focus within this area is on gut-liver mechanisms that regulate the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity, and the impact of the diet on these mechanisms. We use a comparative approach which includes a novel model of the disease, and multi-omic method that combines the analysis metabolomics and microbiome. Also, we make extensive use of next generation sequencing approaches to determine the transcriptome profile.

Dysregulation of bile acid homeostasis in pediatric NAFLD

Changes in Farnesoid-X receptor (FXR)-fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) signaling and cholestasis has been described in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. However, treatment with FXR agonists have produced contradictory results. In a model of pediatric nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), we have shown that high-fructose high-fat diets are associated with the uncoupling of FXR-FGF19 signaling in the gut and an increase in the severity of liver disease. These findings provide a therapeutic window for dietary interventions to modulate the enterohepatic FXR-FGF19 axis in NAFLD patients.

Colonic hyperplasia in diet-induced NAFLD

Clinical studies have shown an increased risk of colorectal adenoma in patients with NAFLD, and colorectal cancer and NAFLD share the same risk factors, including intake of high fat diets and elevated levels of serum and fecal bile acids. By combining histology, RNA expression, metabolomics and microbiome analysis in colon samples, we have shown changes in colonic bile acid and lipidomic profile to parallel compositional shifts in microbial communities and proliferative changes in intestinal mucosa, providing a link between colonic injury and diet-induced NAFLD.


  • Hernandez GV, Smith VA, Melnyk M, Burd MA, Sprayberry KA, Edwards MS, Peterson DG, Bennet DC, Fanter RK, Columbus DA, Steibel JP, Glanz H, Immoos C, Rice MS, Santiago-Rodriguez TM, Blank J, VanderKelen JJ, Kitts CL, Piccolo BD, La Frano MR, Burrin DG, Maj M, Manjarin R. Dysregulated FXR-FGF19 signaling and choline metabolism are associated with gut dysbiosis and hyperplasia in a novel pig model of pediatric NASH. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2020;318(3):G582-G609. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00344.2019.
  • Zeltser N, Meyer I, Hernandez GV, Trahan MJ, Fanter RK, Abo-Ismail M, Glanz H, Strand CR, Burrin DG, La Frano MR, Manjarín R, Maj M. Neurodegeneration in juvenile Iberian pigs with diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020;319(3):E592-E606. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00120.2020.
  • Manjarín R, Boutry-Regard C, Suryawan A, Canovas A, Piccolo BD, Maj M, Abo-Ismail M, Nguyen HV, Fiorotto ML, Davis TA. Intermittent leucine pulses during continuous feeding alters novel components involved in skeletal muscle growth of neonatal pigs. Amino Acids. 2020. doi: 10.1007/s00726-020-02894-5.
  • Smith V, Jiang Y, Thymann T, Sangild P, Maj M, Manjarin R, Burrin D. Rapid postnatal upregulation of intestinal farnesoid x receptor-fibroblast growth factor 19 signaling in premature pigs. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2020;70(5):e94-e99. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002645.
  • Molina TL, Stoll B, Mohammad M, Mohila CA, Call L, Cui L, Guthrie G, Kunichoff D, Lin S, Welch-Jernigan R, Nielsen J, Premkumar M, Robinson J, Smith V, Teets H, Obelitz-Ryom K, Hagan J, Cruz S, Lau P, Puyau M, Shypailo R, Manjarin R, Butte N, Fang Z, Olutoye O, Thymann T, Sangild P, Burrin D. New generation lipid emulsions increase brain DHA and improve body composition, but not short-term neurodevelopment in parenterally-fed preterm piglets. Brain Behav Immun. 2020;85:46-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.04.031.
  • Robinson JL, Smith VA, Stoll B, Agarwal U, Premkumar MH, Lau P, Cruz SM, Manjarin R, Olutoye O, Burrin DG, Marini JC. Prematurity reduces citrulline-arginine-nitric oxide production and precedes the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis in piglets. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2018 Oct 1;315(4):G638-G649. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00198.2018.
  • Manjarín R, Columbus DA, Solis J, Hernandez-García AD, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, McGuckin MM, Jimenez RT, Fiorotto ML, Davis TA. Short- and long-term effects of leucine and branched-chain amino acid supplementation of a protein- and energy-reduced diet on muscle protein metabolism in neonatal pigs. Amino Acids. 2018 Jul;50(7):943-959. doi: 10.1007/s00726-018-2572-0.

Complete List of Published Work:



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