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

Education and Training

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


Kelly, JP, Andonian, BJ, Patel, MJ, Huang, Z, Shaw, LK, McGarrah, RW, Borges-Neto, S, Velazquez, EJ, and Kraus, WE. "Trends in cardiorespiratory fitness: The evolution of exercise treadmill testing at a single Academic Medical Center from 1970to2012." American Heart Journal 210 (January 16, 2019): 88-97.

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Luo, N, O'Connor, CM, Cooper, LB, Sun, J-L, Coles, A, Reed, SD, Whellan, DJ, Piña, IL, Kraus, WE, and Mentz, RJ. "Relationship between changing patient-reported outcomes and subsequent clinical events in patients with chronic heart failure: insights from HF-ACTION." European Journal of Heart Failure 21, no. 1 (January 2019): 63-70.

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McGuinn, LA, Schneider, A, McGarrah, RW, Ward-Caviness, C, Neas, LM, Di, Q, Schwartz, J, Hauser, ER, Kraus, WE, Cascio, WE, Diaz-Sanchez, D, and Devlin, RB. "Association of long-term PM2.5 exposure with traditional and novel lipid measures related to cardiovascular disease risk." Environment International 122 (January 2019): 193-200.

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Blumenthal, JA, Smith, PJ, Mabe, S, Hinderliter, A, Lin, P-H, Liao, L, Welsh-Bohmer, KA, Browndyke, JN, Kraus, WE, Doraiswamy, PM, Burke, JR, and Sherwood, A. "Lifestyle and neurocognition in older adults with cognitive impairments: A randomized trial." Neurology 92, no. 3 (January 2019): e212-e223.

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Hunter, WG, McGarrah, RW, Kelly, JP, Khouri, MG, Craig, DM, Haynes, C, Felker, GM, Hernandez, AF, Velazquez, EJ, Kraus, WE, and Shah, SH. "High-Density Lipoprotein Particle Subfractions in Heart Failure With Preserved or Reduced Ejection Fraction." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 73, no. 2 (January 2019): 177-186.

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Andonian, BJ, Bartlett, DB, Huebner, JL, Willis, L, Hoselton, A, Kraus, VB, Kraus, WE, and Huffman, KM. "Effect of high-intensity interval training on muscle remodeling in rheumatoid arthritis compared to prediabetes." Arthritis Research & Therapy 20, no. 1 (December 27, 2018): 283-null.

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Powell, KE, King, AC, Buchner, DM, Campbell, WW, DiPietro, L, Erickson, KI, Hillman, CH, Jakicic, JM, Janz, KF, Katzmarzyk, PT, Kraus, WE, Macko, RF, Marquez, DX, McTiernan, A, Pate, RR, Pescatello, LS, and Whitt-Glover, MC. "The Scientific Foundation for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition." Journal of Physical Activity & Health (December 17, 2018): 1-11.

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Mediano, MFF, Leifer, ES, Cooper, LS, Keteyian, SJ, Kraus, WE, Mentz, RJ, and Fleg, JL. "Influence of Baseline Physical Activity Level on Exercise Training Response and Clinical Outcomes in Heart Failure: The HF-ACTION Trial." Jacc. Heart Failure 6, no. 12 (December 2018): 1011-1019.

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Zhang, S, Breitner, S, Cascio, WE, Devlin, RB, Neas, LM, Diaz-Sanchez, D, Kraus, WE, Schwartz, J, Hauser, ER, Peters, A, and Schneider, A. "Short-term effects of fine particulate matter and ozone on the cardiac conduction system in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization." Particle and Fibre Toxicology 15, no. 1 (October 11, 2018): 38-null.

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Saint-Maurice, P, Troiano, RP, Matthews, CE, and Kraus, WE. "Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and all-cause mortality: Do bouts matter?.": HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC, October 1, 2018.