Assistant Professor

My key research interests include studying the mechanisms of control of physiological and metabolic adaptations that occur in livestock, specifically lipid partitioning in transition dairy cows, which impact the nutritional quality of food and quantity of production.  During my graduate training, post-doctoral training, and as an Assistant Professor at The University of Vermont, I have had the opportunity to study metabolic and physiological adaptations associated with the onset and persistence of lactation in several animal models.  Most recently, my research group has investigated the role of hepatic energy partitioning in the periparturient dairy cow, the role of colostrum in the development of the immune system of the neonate (both swine and cattle), and the role of nutrition on the cellular and growth biology of the mammary glands during gestation and early lactation.  It is a central hypothesis of our laboratory that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the successful transition from the non-lactating to lactating states in animals from rodents to humans.  Most relevant to this project and the future goals of my laboratory, we intend to characterize the relationship of key proteins and pathways essential to lactation and their relationship to mitochondrial function, with specific emphasis on the MCJ protein, and the relationship to vascular distensibility and cardiovascular health.  This foundational knowledge will provide key preliminary data for pursuit of both NIH and USDA funding mechanisms by establishing transdisciplinary research teams in both human and agricultural medicine.

Eric Hiking

Glacier National Park

Research and/or Creative Works

Postdoctoral Research Associate. 2017-present. Washington State University, Pullman, WA
• Metabolic flexibility and nutrient partitioning
o Training in basic science laboratory techniques including qRT-PCR, analysis of non-coding RNA, cell culture (hepatic, adipose, stem, and primary cells), and use of animal models to study human metabolic disorders and animal disease.

Graduate Research Assistant.  2011 – 2017.  Iowa State University, Ames, IA
•  Co-authored grant proposals, conducted research, and co-authored manuscripts in four areas:
•  Prevention of oxidative off-flavors and spontaneous oxidation in milk from dairy cattle fed
distiller’s grains
o Provided and coordinated animal care, as well as ensuring the experimental quality and integrity of the feeding trial component of this project. 
o Performed analysis of multiple measures of milk quality, including feed analysis, milk yield analysis, milk fatty acid analysis, rumen fluid VFA analysis, and rumen fluid protozoa quantification; interpreted these data.

•  Milk composition and cheese quality:  Investigating the impact of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)
o Provided and coordinated animal care and animal sampling of Holstein dairy cows (blood, fecal, and urine).
o Performed laboratory analysis including fatty acid analysis (GC-FID) and analysis of volatile compounds in feed and milk (Headspace SPME-GC).

•  Relationship of fat quality and eating quality traits of pork
o Performed analysis of cellularity (cell size and number) of adipose tissue by using Coulter counter.
o Statistically analyzed and interpreted a large dataset.

•  microRNAs in milk: a novel nutraceutical
o Identified and quantified microRNAs present in dairy foods and the effects of processing on their stability.


  1. Testroet, E. D., D. C. Beitz, M. R. O’Neil, A. L. Mueller, H. A. Ramirez-Ramirez, and S. Clark. 2018. Feeding reduced-fat dried distillers grains with solubles to lactating Holstein dairy cows does not negatively influence cow performance or cause late-blowing in cheese. J. Dairy Sci. 101:1-13.
  2. Son, J. S., S. A. Chae, E. D. Testroet, M. Du, and H. Jun. 2018. Exercise-induced myokines: a brief review of controversial issues of this decade. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 13:51-58
  3. Testroet, E. D., C. L. Yoder, A. Testroet, C. Reynolds, M. R. O’Neil, S. M. Lei, and D. C. Beitz. 2017. Iodine values of adipose tissues varied among breeds of pigs and were correlated with pork quality. Adipocyte. In press.
  4. Testroet, E. D., C. Yoder, A. Testroet, C. Reynolds, M. R. O’Neil, S. Lei, D. C. Beitz, T. J. Baas. 2017. Relationship of fat quality and meat quality traits of fresh pork. Adipocyte 1-9.
  5. Testroet, E. D., S. Clark, and D. C. Beitz. 2017. Feed efficiency and performance of lactating Holstein dairy cows fed two different concentrations of dried distillers grains with solubles. Prof. Anim. Sci. 33(5):567-574.
  6. Testroet, E. D., P. J. Sherman, C. Yoder, A. Testroet, C. Reynolds, M. R. O’Neil, S. Lei, D. C. Beitz, T. J. Baas. 2017. Modeling of hypertrophy and hyperplasia of porcine adipose tissue. Adipocyte. 6:102-111.
  7. Sankarlal, V. M. E. D. Testroet, D. C. Beitz, and S. Clark. 2015. Short communication: No antimicrobial effects from one source of commercial dried distillers grains with solubles.  J. Dairy Sci.  98: 8554-8559.
  8. Sankarlal, V. M., E. D. Testroet, D. C. Beitz, and S. Clark. 2015. Dried distillers grains with solubles are not to blame for low-quality Swiss cheese. J. Dairy Sci. 98: 8545-8553.
  9. Testroet, E. D., G. Li, D. C. Beitz, and S. Clark. 2015. Dried distillers grains with solubles affects composition but not oxidative stability of milk. J. Dairy. Sci. 98:2908-2919.

Awards and Recognition

  • Cell and Molecular Physiology Section Post-Doctoral Research Recognition Award, 2018
  • D. R. Griffith Research Excellence Award, Nutritional Council, Iowa State University, 2017
  • Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Practitioner Certificate: 2017
  • Iowa State University Graduate College Research Excellence Award: 2017
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology Teaching Excellence Award: 2016
  • Noel & Ruth Smith Family Food Science Graduate Scholarship: 2016
  • Paul and Candace Flakoll Scholarship: 2015
  • Graduate and Professional Student Senate Leadership Award: 2015
  • Preparing Future Faculty Fellow: 2015

Associations and Affiliations

Professional Memberships and Service

  • NCCC210 Multistate Experimental Group Co-Chair – 2018-2019
  • Washington State University Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Judge - 2018
  • ASN Abstract reviewer- 2018
  • American Physiological Society: 2017-present
  • Judge for the Iowa Science competition - 2017
  • American Association for the Advancement of Sciences: 2016-present.
  • Iowa State University Food Science and Human Nutrition Computer Allocation Committee: 2016-2017.
  • American Dairy Science Association Professional Development Committee: 2015-2016.
  • American Dairy Science Association Graduate Student Division Education Committee: 2015-2016.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society: 2015-present.
  • Sigma Xi Research Honor Society: 2015-present.
  • American Dairy Science Association Graduate Student Division Dairy Foods Director: 2014-2015.
  • American Dairy Science Association Graduate Student Division Treasurer: 2013-2014.
  • Iowa State University Food Product Development Club Treasurer (founding member): 2012-2014.
  • American Dairy Science Association Member: 2011-present.
  • American Society of Nutrition Member: 2011-present.
  • American Dairy Science Association Graduate Student Division Education Committee: 2011-2013.
Dr. Testroet in his Lab

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Nutrigenomic regulation of hepatic lipid partitioning in human and animals, extracellular vesicle role in growth and immune modulation, nutritional physiology.


  • Postdoctoral Training Washington State University 2017-2018 (Growth biology and basic Bio-science)
  • Ph.D. Iowa State University 2017 (Nutritional Sciences with Specialization in cellular and molecular nutrition)
  • Chemistry TA Training Iowa State University 2016 (Pedagogy and Diversity training)
  • B.A. Iowa State University 2000-2008 (Chemistry, minor in Biology)


  • 802-656-2113
Office Location:

213 Terrill Building, UVM

Office Hours:

Available on request

Courses Taught

  • University of Vermont, Faculty, ASCI 302 Spring 2019, 2020
  • University of Vermont, Faculty, BCOR 011 Fall 2019
  • Iowa State University.  Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry for Science Majors (Chemistry 177 and Chemistry 177L), Spring 2017.
  • Iowa State University.  Head Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry for Science Majors (Chemistry 177), Fall 2016:
  • Iowa State University.  Teaching Assistant for Biochemistry II (Biochemistry 405 and 405XW), Fall 2011, Summer 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015:
  • Iowa State University.  Teaching Assistant for Principles of Biology Laboratory I (Biology 211L), Fall 2013, Fall 2014.
  • Iowa State University.  Guest Lecturer for Physiological Chemistry (Biochemistry 420), Spring 2012.