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


Zevallos, Joaquin Ortiz de, Michael A. Welsch, Mary N. Woessner, Neil M. Johannsen, Daniel P. Credeur, Conrad P. Earnest, William E. Kraus, and Jason D. Allen. “Prime: Hemodynamic/vascular Changes Following Peripheral Focused Low-mass, High-repetition Training In Older Adults.” In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 51:32–33. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2019. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000560587.93379.26.

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Fos, Liezl Mae B., Leanna M. Ross, Cris A. Slentz, Lucy W. Piner, Leslie H. Willis, Lori A. Bateman, Joseph A. Houmard, and William E. Kraus. “The Effects Of Aerobic, Resistance, And Combination Training On Satisfaction With Physical Function And Appearance.” In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 51:723–723. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2019. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000562655.93188.8b.

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Reavis, Zackery W., Cynthia M. Kuhn, Redford B. Williams, Richard S. Surwit, William E. Kraus, Kim M. Huffman, James D. Lane, Paul Costa, Ilene C. Siegler, and Anastasia Georgiades. “EIGHT-MONTH STABILITY OF PLASMA EPINEPHRINE AND CORTISOL IN FASTED ADULTS AT BASELINE AND IN RESPONSE TO A GLUCOSE BOLUS.” In Psychosomatic Medicine, 81:A41–42. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2019.


Georgiades, Anastasia, Zackery W. Reavis, Redford B. Williams, Cynthia M. Kuhn, William E. Kraus, Kim M. Huffman, James D. Lane, Paul Costa, Ilene C. Siegler, and Richard S. Surwit. “EPINEPHRINE, CORTISOL AND NON-ESTERIFIED FATTY ACID LEVELS DURING AN INTRAVENOUS GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACUTE INSULIN RESPONSE (AIR), AN EARLY RISK MARKER FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES.” In Psychosomatic Medicine, 81:A42–A42. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2019.


Kelly, Jacob P., Brian J. Andonian, Mahesh J. Patel, Zhen Huang, Linda K. Shaw, Robert W. McGarrah, Salvador Borges-Neto, Eric J. Velazquez, and William E. Kraus. “Trends in cardiorespiratory fitness: The evolution of exercise treadmill testing at a single Academic Medical Center from 1970 to 2012.” Am Heart J 210 (April 2019): 88–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2019.01.001.

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Ross, Leanna M., Cris A. Slentz, Irina Shalaurova, Margery A. Connelly, James D. Otvos, Joseph A. Houmard, and William E. Kraus. “Abstract MP59: The Differential Effects of Amount and Intensity of Aerobic Exercise Training on MVX, a Novel Mortality Risk Multimarker.” In Circulation, Vol. 139. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2019. https://doi.org/10.1161/circ.139.suppl_1.mp59.

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Parker, Daniel, Richard Sloane, Carl F. Pieper, Katherine S. Hall, Virginia B. Kraus, William E. Kraus, Janet L. Huebner, et al. “Age-Related Adverse Inflammatory and Metabolic Changes Begin Early in Adulthood.” J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci 74, no. 3 (February 15, 2019): 283–89. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gly121.

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Karasik, David, M Carola Zillikens, Yi-Hsiang Hsu, Ali Aghdassi, Kristina Akesson, Najaf Amin, Inês Barroso, et al. “Disentangling the genetics of lean mass.” Am J Clin Nutr 109, no. 2 (February 1, 2019): 276–87. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy272.

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Weaver, Anne M., Laura McGuinn, Lucas Neas, Jaime Mirowsky, Robert B. Devlin, Radhika Dhingra, Cavin Ward-Caviness, et al. “Neighborhood sociodemographic effects on the associations between long-term PM2.5 exposure and cardiovascular outcomes and diabetes.” Environ Epidemiol 3, no. 1 (February 2019). https://doi.org/10.1097/EE9.0000000000000038.

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Hunter, Wynn G., Robert W. McGarrah, Jacob P. Kelly, Michel G. Khouri, Damian M. Craig, Carol Haynes, G Michael Felker, et al. “High-Density Lipoprotein Particle Subfractions in Heart Failure With Preserved or Reduced Ejection Fraction.” J Am Coll Cardiol 73, no. 2 (January 22, 2019): 177–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.10.059.

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