William Erle Kraus, MD

Professor of Medicine
Richard and Pat Johnson University Professor
Professor in the School of Nursing
Member of Duke Molecular Physiology Institute
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 300 N. Duke Street, Carmichael Building 51-201, Durham, NC 27701
Phone (919) 681-6733
Email address william.kraus@duke.edu

My training, expertise and research interests range from human integrative physiology and genetics to animal exercise models to cell culture models of skeletal muscle adaptation to mechanical stretch. I am trained clinically as an internist and preventive cardiologist, with particular expertise in preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation.  My research training spans molecular biology and cell culture, molecular genetics, and integrative human exercise physiology and metabolism. I practice as a preventive cardiologist with a focus on cardiometabolic risk and exercise physiology for older athletes.  My research space has both a basic wet laboratory component and a human integrative physiology one.

One focus of our work is an integrative physiologic examination of exercise effects in human subjects in clinical studies of exercise training in normal individuals, in individuals at risk of disease (such as pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome; STRRIDE), and in individuals with disease (such as coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and cancer).

A second focus of my research group is exploration of genetic determinates of disease risk in human subjects.  We conduct studies of early onset cardiovascular disease (GENECARD; CATHGEN), congestive heart failure (HF-ACTION), peripheral arterial disease (AMNESTI), and metabolic syndrome.  We are exploring analytic models of predicting disease risk using established and innovative statistical methodology.

A third focus of my group’s work is to understand the cellular signaling mechanisms underlying the normal adaptive responses of skeletal muscle to physiologic stimuli, such as occur in exercise conditioning, and to understand the abnormal maladaptive responses that occur in response to pathophysiologic stimuli, such as occur in congestive heart failure, aging and prolonged exposure to microgravity.

Recently we have begun to investigate interactions of genes and lifestyle interventions on cardiometabolic outcomes.  We have experience with clinical lifestyle intervention studies, particularly the contributions of genetic variants to interventions responses.  We call this Lifestyle Medicopharmacogenetics.


exercise, skeletal muscle, energy metabolism, cell signaling, gene expression, cell stretch, heart failure, aging, spaceflight, human genetics, early onset cardiovascular disease, lifestyle medicine

In Their Words

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Cardiology, Medicine, Duke University, 1986 - 1988
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1983 - 1986
  • M.D., Duke University, 1982


Duscha, BD, Piner, LW, Patel, MP, Craig, KP, Brady, M, McGarrah, RW, Chen, C, and Kraus, WE. "Effects of a 12-week mHealth program on peak VO2and physical activity patterns after completing cardiac rehabilitation: A randomized controlled trial (Accepted)." American Heart Journal 199 (May 1, 2018): 105-114.

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Allen, JD, Vanbruggen, MD, Johannsen, NM, Robbins, JL, Credeur, DP, Pieper, CF, Sloane, R, Earnest, CP, Church, TS, Ravussin, E, Kraus, WE, and Welsch, MA. "PRIME: A Novel Low-Mass, High-Repetition Approach to Improve Function in Older Adults. (Accepted)" Medicine and science in sports and exercise 50, no. 5 (May 2018): 1005-1014.

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Ambrosy, AP, Bhatt, AS, Stebbins, AL, Wruck, LM, Fudim, M, Greene, SJ, Kraus, WE, O'Connor, CM, Piña, IL, Whellan, DJ, and Mentz, RJ. "Prevalent digoxin use and subsequent risk of death or hospitalization in ambulatory heart failure patients with a reduced ejection fraction—Findings from the Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training (HF-ACTION) randomized controlled trial (Accepted)." American Heart Journal 199 (May 1, 2018): 97-104.

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Saint-Maurice, PF, Troiano, RP, Berrigan, D, Kraus, WE, and Matthews, CE. "Volume of light versus moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: Similar benefits for all-cause mortality?." Journal of the American Heart Association 7, no. 7 (April 1, 2018).

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Sarzynski, MA, Ruiz-Ramie, JJ, Barber, JL, Slentz, CA, Apolzan, JW, McGarrah, RW, Harris, MN, Church, TS, Borja, MS, He, Y, Oda, MN, Martin, CK, Kraus, WE, and Rohatgi, A. "Effects of Increasing Exercise Intensity and Dose on Multiple Measures of HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Function." Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 38, no. 4 (April 2018): 943-952.

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Il'yasova, D, Fontana, L, Bhapkar, M, Pieper, CF, Spasojevic, I, Redman, LM, Das, SK, Huffman, KM, Kraus, WE, and CALERIE Study Investigators, . "Effects of 2 years of caloric restriction on oxidative status assessed by urinary F2-isoprostanes: The CALERIE 2 randomized clinical trial." Aging Cell 17, no. 2 (April 2018).

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Xu, H, Dorn Ii, GW, Shetty, A, Parihar, A, Dave, T, Robinson, SW, Gottlieb, SS, Donahue, MP, Tomaselli, GF, Kraus, WE, Mitchell, BD, and Liggett, SB. "A Genome-Wide Association Study of Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in African Americans." Journal of Personalized Medicine 8, no. 1 (February 26, 2018).

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Ward-Caviness, CK, Kraus, WE, Blach, C, Haynes, CS, Dowdy, E, Miranda, ML, Devlin, R, Diaz-Sanchez, D, Cascio, WE, Mukerjee, S, Stallings, C, Smith, LA, Gregory, SG, Shah, SH, Neas, LM, and Hauser, ER. "Associations Between Residential Proximity to Traffic and Vascular Disease in a Cardiac Catheterization Cohort." Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology 38, no. 1 (January 2018): 275-282.

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Belsky, DW, Huffman, KM, Pieper, CF, Shalev, I, and Kraus, WE. "Change in the Rate of Biological Aging in Response to Caloric Restriction: CALERIE Biobank Analysis." The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 73, no. 1 (December 2017): 4-10.

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Mirowsky, JE, Carraway, MS, Dhingra, R, Tong, H, Neas, L, Diaz-Sanchez, D, Cascio, W, Case, M, Crooks, J, Hauser, ER, Elaine Dowdy, Z, Kraus, WE, and Devlin, RB. "Ozone exposure is associated with acute changes in inflammation, fibrinolysis, and endothelial cell function in coronary artery disease patients." Environmental health : a global access science source 16, no. 1 (November 21, 2017): 126-.

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