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Crystal Loving

Research Microbiologist

Crystal L. Loving

National Animal Disease Center                                            

Swine Immunology


Phone (515) 337-7364

Fax (515) 337-7428

P.O. Box 70

1920 Dayton Ave.

Ames, IA  50010



B.S. Iowa State University, Zoology, 2001
Ph.D. Iowa State University, Immunobiology, 2006
Postdoc - Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 2006-2008


Research Interests:  My research objectives include identifying critical interactions between commensal intestinal microbiota and the developing immune system that contribute to a balanced and healthy pig. This understanding will lead to the development of intervention strategies to limit in-feed antibiotic use and colonization with foodborne pathogens. My laboratory is interested in better understanding the immune cells and molecules that interact with the microbiota throughout the intestinal tract, with a particular focus on the ileum and cecum. These locations harbor very distinct immune cell populations and organisms, and are unique niches for identifying mechanisms in which these two co-evolved systems interact to maintain a balanced and healthy intestinal ecosystem. We are also interested in immunometabolism as a biomarker of animal health and have been exploring change in lymphocyte metabolism under different feed and health conditions. We use various immunological assays and tools to assess the phenotype of immune cell populations and function (cytokine expression, proliferation, metabolism), as well as different husbandry conditions (dietary components, immunomodulators, lactogenic immunity) to monitor intestinal physiological and immunological responses.  

My research has also focused on evaluating the immune response associated with protective immunity against influenza virus in pigs, with an emphasis on identifying correlates of protection associated with live-attenuated influenza virus vaccination. In addition, I've worked on evaluating immune responses following administration of various alternatives to antibiotics to limit disease in swine, including different vaccine platforms and various immunomodulators.


Complete list of published work: