Karen Ryan, Ph.D.

 Karen  Ryan, Ph.D.


  • Assistant Professor
  • Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
  • Physiology & Membrane Biology


Neuroendocrine Mechanisms, Systemic Metabolism, Therapeutic Intervention in Stress-Related and Metabolic Disease

Research Summary

Our goal is to elucidate neuroendocrine mechanisms by which environmental signals influence systemic metabolism, identifying new targets for therapeutic intervention in stress-related and metabolic disease.

Selected Publications

  • Ulrich-Lai YM, Ryan KK (2014) Neuroendocrine circuits governing energy balance and stress regulation: functional overlap and therapeutic implications. Cell Metabolism, 19(6): 910-925.
  • Ryan KK, Tremaroli V, Clemmensen C, Kovatcheva-Datchary P, Myronovych A, Karns, R, Wilson-Perez HE, Sandoval DA, Kohli R, Backhed F, Seeley RJ (2014) FXR is a molecular target for the effects of vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Nature, 509: 183-188.
  • Ryan KK, Mul JD, Clemmensen C, Egan AE, Begg DP, Halcomb K, Seeley RJ, Herman JP, Ulrich-Lai YM (2014) Loss of melanocortin-4 receptor function attenuates HPA responses to psychological stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 42:98-105.
  • Clemmensen C, Smajilovic S, Smith EP, Woods SC, Bräuner-Osborne H, Seeley RJ, D’Alessio DA, Ryan KK (2013) Oral L-arginine elicits GLP-1 secretion to improve glucose tolerance in male mice. Endocrinology. 154(11): 3978-3983.
  • Ryan KK, Seeley RJ (2013) Food as a hormone. Science. 339: 918-919.
  • Ryan KK, Grayson BE, Jones KR, Schneider AL, Woods SC, Seeley RJ, Herman JP, Ulrich-Lai YM (2012) Physiologic responses to acute psychological stress are reduced by the PPARγ agonist Rosiglitazone. Endocrinology. 153(3): 1279-1287.
  • Ryan KK, Woods SC, Seeley RJ (2012) Central nervous system mechanisms linking the consumption of palatable high-fat diets to the defense of greater adiposity. Cell Metabolism. 15(2): 137-149.
  • Ryan KK, Li B, Grayson BE, Matter EK, Woods SC, Seeley RJ (2011) A role for central nervous system PPARγ in the regulation of energy balance. Nature Medicine. 17(5): 623-626. 
  • For additional publications since 2010 see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ryan%2C+karen+k



Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology