Karen Ryan

Karen Ryan

Position Title
Associate Professor

Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences

Office- 1129 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.

Research Interests

Neuroendocrine regulation of feeding behavior, body weight and glucose control; Mechanisms linking psychological stress and metabolic disease

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Animal Biology
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition

Specialties / Focus

  • Endocrinology
  • Metabolic Physiology


  • NPB 101, Systemic Physiology
  • NPB 116, Stress Physiology in Health and Disease

Honors and Awards

  • 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
  • Nominated for the Helmholtz- Nature Medicine Young Investigator in Diabetes (HEIDI) Award


    • Ph.D., Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
    • A.B., Biology, Washington University- St. Louis


    Larson KR, Chaffin A T-B, Goodson ML, Fang Y, Ryan KK (2019) Fibroblast growth factor 21 controls dietary protein intake in male mice. Endocrinology, in press.

    Ryan KK, Packard AEB, Larson KR, Stout J, Fourman SM, Thompson AMK, Ludwick K, Habegger KM, Stemmer K, Itoh N, Perez-Tilve D, Tschop MH, Seeley RJ, Ulrich-Lai YM (2018) Dietary manipulations that induce ketosis activate the HPA axis in male rats and mice: a potential role for fibroblast growth factor 21. Endocrinology 159, 400-413.

    Larson KR, Russo KA, Fang Y, Mohajerani N, Goodson ML, Ryan KK. (2017) Sex Differences in the Hormonal and Metabolic Response to Dietary Protein Dilution. Endocrinology 158(10):3477-3487.

    Goodson ML, Packard AE, Buesing DR, Maney M, Myers B, Fang Y, Basford JE, Hui DY, Ulrich-Lai YM, Herman JP, Ryan KK. (2017) Chronic stress and Rosiglitazone increase indices of vascular stiffness in male rats. Physiology & behavior 172:16-23.

    Thompson AK, Fourman S, Packard AE, Egan AE, Ryan KK, Ulrich-Lai YM. (2015) Metabolic consequences of chronic intermittent mild stress exposure. Physiology & behavior 150:24-30.

    Kohli R, Myronovych A, Tan BK, Salazar-Gonzalez RM, Miles L, Zhang W, Oehrle M, Sandoval DA, Ryan KK, Seeley RJ, Setchell KD. (2015) Bile Acid Signaling: Mechanism for Bariatric Surgery, Cure for NASH?. Digestive diseases (Basel, Switzerland) 33(3):440-6.

    Ryan KK, Tremaroli V, Clemmensen C, Kovatcheva-Datchary P, Myronovych A, Karns R, Wilson-Pérez HE, Sandoval DA, Kohli R, Bäckhed F, Seeley RJ. (2014) FXR is a molecular target for the effects of vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Nature 509 (7499):183-8.

    Ulrich-Lai YM, Ryan KK. (2014) Neuroendocrine circuits governing energy balance and stress regulation: functional overlap and therapeutic implications. Cell metabolism 19(6):910-25.

    Myronovych A, Kirby M, Ryan KK, Zhang W, Jha P, Setchell KD, Dexheimer PJ, Aronow B, Seeley RJ, Kohli R. (2014) Vertical sleeve gastrectomy reduces hepatic steatosis while increasing serum bile acids in a weight-loss-independent manner. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 22(2):390-400.

    Myronovych A, Salazar-Gonzalez RM, Ryan KK, Miles L, Zhang W, Jha P, Wang L, Setchell KD, Seeley RJ, Kohli R. (2014) The role of small heterodimer partner in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease improvement after sleeve gastrectomy in mice. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 22(11):2301-11.

    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.

    Ryan KK (2014) Stress and metabolic disease. In: Weinstein M, Lane MA (eds.) Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography. National Academies Press.

    For a complete list of publications see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/karen.ryan.1/bibliograpahy/40856920/public