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Sean H. Adams

Research Physiologist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

USDA-ARS WHNRC, 430 W. Health Sciences Dr., Rm. 212, Davis, CA 95616


1994 PhD University of Illinois Nutritional Sciences
1991 MS UC, Santa Cruz Marine Sciences
1988 BA California State University, Fresno Biology

Research Interests:

Dr. Adams investigates the etiology of obesity and related metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Research efforts explore which molecular markers and endocrine factors correlate with indices of metabolic health in human nutritional studies and in animal models of obesity, with a primary focus on fat cell physiology and bioactive metabolites emerging from metabolomics studies.

Department and Center Affiliations:

USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center
Department of Nutrition

Professional Societies:

American Society for Nutrition (ASN)
American Physiological Society (APS)
The Obesity Society

CBS Graduate Group Affiliations:

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology  

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS:

Graduate Group in Nutrition (GGNB)  


Last updated 6/24/2013
D.E. Lackey, C.J. Lynch, K.C. Olson, R. Mostaedi, M. Ali, W.H. Smith, F. Karpe, S. Humphreys, D.H. Bedinger, T.N. Dunn, A.P. Thomas, P.J. Oort, D.A. Kieffer, R. Amin, A. Bettaieb, F.G. Haj, P. Permana, T.G. Anthony, S.H. Adams. Regulation of adipose branched chain amino acid catabolism enzyme expression and cross-adipose amino acid flux in human obesity. 2013 Mar 19 [Epub ahead of print], Am. J. Physiol: Endocrinol. Metab.

T.P. Garcia, S. Müller, R.J. Carroll, T.N. Dunn, A.P. Thomas, S.H. Adams, S.D. Pillai, R.L. Walzem. Structured variable selection with q-values. 2013 Apr 10 [Epub ahead of print], Biostatistics

P. She, K.C. Olson, Y. Kadota, A. Inukai, Y. Shimomura, C.L. Hoppel, S.H. Adams, Y. Kawamata, H. Matsumoto, R. Sakai, C.H. Lang, C.J. Lynch. Leucine and protein metabolism in obese Zucker rats. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59443, 2013

M.G. Witbracht, M. Van Loan, S.H. Adams, N.L. Keim, K.D. Laugero. Dairy food consumption and meal-induced cortisol response interacted to influence weight loss in overweight women undergoing a 12-week meal-controlled weight loss intervention. J. Nutrition 143(1):46-52, 2013

S. Millership, N. Ninkina, I. Guschina, J. Norton, R. Brambilla, P.J. Oort, S.H. Adams, R.J. Dennis, P.J. Voshol, J.J. Rochford, V.L. Buchman. Increased lipolysis and altered lipid homeostasis protect γ-synuclein null mutant mice from diet-induced obesity. PNAS 109(51):20943-8, 2012

D. Grapov, S.H. Adams, T.L. Pedersen, W.T. Garvey, K.H. Lok, J.W. Newman. Type 2 diabetes associated changes in the plasma non-esterified fatty acids, oxylipins and endocannabinoids. PLoS ONE 7(11): e48852, 2012

A.P. Thomas,T.N. Dunn, J.B. Drayton, P.J. Oort, S.H. Adams. A dairy-based high calcium diet improves glucose homeostasis and reduces further weight gain in high fat fed mice in the context of pre-existing obesity. 2012 Sep 18. doi: 10.1002/oby.20039 [Epub ahead of print], Obesity

S. Huang, J.M. Rutkowsky, R.G. Snodgrass, K.D. Ono-Moore, D.A. Schneider, J.W. Newman, S.H. Adams, D.H. Hwang. Saturated fatty acids activate TLR-mediated pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. J. Lipid Res. 53(9):2002-13, 2012

J.A. Viscarra, J.P. Vázquez-Medina, R. Rodriguez, C.D. Champagne, S.H. Adams, D.E. Crocker, R.M. Ortiz. Decreased expression of adipose CD36 and FATP1 are associated with increased plasma nonesterified fatty acids during prolonged fasting in northern elephant seal pups (Mirounga angustirostris). J. Exp. Biol. 215(Pt 14):2455-64, 2012

A.P. Thomas,T.N. Dunn, J.B. Drayton, P.J. Oort, and S.H. Adams. A high calcium diet containing nonfat dry milk reduces weight gain and associated adipose tissue inflammation in diet-induced obese mice when compared to high calcium alone. Nutrition & Metabolism 9:3, 2012

K.M. Hirahatake, J.K. Meissen, O. Fiehn, and S.H. Adams. Comparative effects of fructose and glucose on lipogenic gene expression and intermediary metabolism in HepG2 liver cells. PloS ONE 6(11): e26583, 2011

S.H. Adams. Emerging perspectives on essential amino acid metabolism in obesity and the insulin-resistant state. Adv. Nutr. 2: 445–456, 2011

M.D. Van Loan, N.L. Keim, S.H. Adams, E. Souza, L. Woodhouse, A.P. Thomas, M. Witbracht, E. Gertz, B. Piccolo, A.A. Bremer and M. Spurlock. Dairy foods in a moderate energy restricted diet do not enhance central fat, weight, and intra-abdominal adipose tissue losses nor reduce adipocyte size or inflammatory markers on overweight and obese adults: A controlled feeding study. J. Obes. 2011:989657, 2011

A.P. Thomas, T.N. Dunn, P.J. Oort, M. Grino, and S.H. Adams. Inflammatory phenotyping identifies CD11d as a gene markedly induced in white adipose in rodents and women. J. Nutr., 141(6):1172-80, 2011

M.G. Witbracht, K.D. Laugero, M.D. Van Loan, S.H. Adams, and N.L. Keim. Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task is related to magnitude of weight loss and salivary cortisol in a diet-induced weight loss intervention in overweight women. Physiol Behav. 106(2):291-297, 2012 (Epub 2011 Apr 30)

J.Q. Purnell JQ, B.A. Klopfenstein, A.A. Stevens, P.J. Havel, S.H. Adams, T.N. Dunn, C. Krisky, and W.D. Rooney. Brain functional magnetic resonance imaging response to glucose and fructose infusions in humans. Diabetes Obes Metab. 13: 229–234, 2011

O. Fiehn, W.T. Garvey, J.W. Newman, K.H. Lok, C.L. Hoppel, and S.H. Adams. Plasma metabolomic profiles reflective of glucose homeostasis in non-diabetic and type 2 diabetic obese African-American women. PLoS ONE 5(12): e15234, 2010

E. Seifert, O. Fiehn, V. Bezaire, D.B. Bickel, G. Wohlgemuth, S.H. Adams, and M-E. Harper. Long-chain fatty acid combustion rate is associated with unique metabolite profiles in skeletal muscle mitochondria. (*co-corresponding authors) PLoS ONE 5(3): e9834, 2010

Laboratory Personnel:


Pieter J. Oort, Molecular Biologist; Trina A. Knotts, Ph.D., USDA Postdoctoral Fellow; Tamara N. Dunn, GGNB Ph.D. Student; Colin S. McCoin, MCIP Ph.D. student; Daniel Bedinger, MCIP Ph.D. student; Dorothy Kieffer, GGNB Ph.D. student