William Erle Kraus, MD

Professor of Medicine
Richard and Pat Johnson University Distinguished 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


Jones, Terry E., Walter J. Pories, Joseph A. Houmard, Charles J. Tanner, Donghai Zheng, Kai Zou, Paul M. Coen, Bret H. Goodpaster, William E. Kraus, and G Lynis Dohm. “Plasma lactate as a marker of metabolic health: Implications of elevated lactate for impairment of aerobic metabolism in the metabolic syndrome.” Surgery 166, no. 5 (November 2019): 861–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2019.04.017.

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Porter Starr, Kathryn N., Margery A. Connelly, Melissa C. Orenduff, Shelley R. McDonald, Richard Sloane, Kim M. Huffman, William E. Kraus, and Connie W. Bales. “Impact on cardiometabolic risk of a weight loss intervention with higher protein from lean red meat: Combined results of 2 randomized controlled trials in obese middle-aged and older adults.” J Clin Lipidol 13, no. 6 (November 2019): 920–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2019.09.012.

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Pandey, Ambarish, Johanna L. Johnson, Cris A. Slentz, Leanna M. Ross, Vijay Agusala, Jarett D. Berry, and William E. Kraus. “Short-Term Changes in Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Response to Exercise Training and the Association with Long-Term Cardiorespiratory Fitness Decline: The STRRIDE Reunion Study.” J Am Heart Assoc 8, no. 20 (October 15, 2019): e012876. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.012876.

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Willis, Leslie H., Cris A. Slentz, Johanna L. Johnson, Leslie S. Kelly, Karen P. Craig, Andrew L. Hoselton, and William E. Kraus. “Effects of Exercise Training With and Without Ranolazine on Peak Oxygen Consumption, Daily Physical Activity, and Quality of Life in Patients With Chronic Stable Angina Pectoris.” Am J Cardiol 124, no. 5 (September 1, 2019): 655–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.05.063.

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Kraus, William E., Manjushri Bhapkar, Kim M. Huffman, Carl F. Pieper, Sai Krupa Das, Leanne M. Redman, Dennis T. Villareal, et al. “2 years of calorie restriction and cardiometabolic risk (CALERIE): exploratory outcomes of a multicentre, phase 2, randomised controlled trial.” Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 7, no. 9 (September 2019): 673–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30151-2.

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Timmons, James A., Iain J. Gallagher, Sanjana Sood, Bethan Phillips, Hannah Crossland, Robert Howard, William E. Kraus, and Philip J. Atherton. “A statistical and biological response to an informatics appraisal of healthy aging gene signatures.” Genome Biol 20, no. 1 (August 2, 2019): 152. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-019-1734-z.

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Lerman, Joseph B., Stephanie N. Giamberardino, Steven E. McNulty, William E. Kraus, Christopher L. Holley, Adrian F. Hernandez, Svati H. Shah, and Robert W. McGarrah. “A Unique Acylcarnitine Profile is Independently Associated with Diabetic Heart Failure and Associates with Adverse Clinical Outcomes: Insights from the FIGHT Trial.” In Circulation Research, Vol. 125. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2019.


Timmons, James A., Claude-Henry Volmar, Hannah Crossland, Bethan E. Phillips, Sanjana Sood, Karolina J. Janczura, Timo Törmäkangas, et al. “Longevity-related molecular pathways are subject to midlife "switch" in humans.” Aging Cell 18, no. 4 (August 2019): e12970. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12970.

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Davis, Brittany N. J., Jeffrey W. Santoso, Michaela J. Walker, Catherine E. Oliver, Michael M. Cunningham, Christian A. Boehm, Danielle Dawes, et al. “Modeling the Effect of TNF-α upon Drug-Induced Toxicity in Human, Tissue-Engineered Myobundles.” Ann Biomed Eng 47, no. 7 (July 2019): 1596–1610. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-019-02263-8.

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Kraus, Virginia B., Kyle Sprow, Kenneth E. Powell, David Buchner, Bonny Bloodgood, Katrina Piercy, Stephanie M. George, William E. Kraus, and William E. 2018 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE*. “Effects of Physical Activity in Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Umbrella Review.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 51, no. 6 (June 2019): 1324–39. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001944.

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