Karen Ryan

image of Karen Ryan

Assistant Professor


Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Offices and Labs

Office- 1129 Life Sciences
Lab- 1121 Life Sciences

Profile Introduction

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.


2000 PhD Evolutionary Biology University of Chicago
1994 A.B. Biology Washington University- St. Louis

Research Interests

Neuroendocrine regulation of feeding behavior, body weight and glucose control

Mechanisms linking psychological stress and metabolic disease

Nuclear receptors


NHLBI Pathway to Independence Award (K99/ R00)
Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training, Junior T1
NIDDK Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32)
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology

Specialties / Focus

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Metabolic Physiology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Graduate Group in Nutrition (GGNB)


NPB 101 Systemic Physiology


10/7/2014 3:39:16 PM
  • 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