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Penny Kris-Etherton
Penny M. Kris-Etherton
Distinguished Professor of Nutrition
Summary Statement

Effects of diet on established and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
  • Cardiometabolic Nutrition Research Lab (CNRL)
  • Graduate Program
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  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • M.S. Nutrition - Case Western Reserve University
  • B.S. Medical Dietetics - Rochester Institute of Technology
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Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Professional Credentials



Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Heart Association, Amerian College of Cardiology, American Society for Nutrition, National Lipid Association

  • She oversees the PSU Cardiometabolic Research Lab
  • She is involved in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses
  • She is very engaged professionally.  Currently, she is the Chair of the Lifestyle Council for the American Heart Association.
  •  Evaluating the effect of dietary patterns, foods, nutrients and bioactives on CVD risk factors
  • Evaluating the role of diet in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases

Cardiovascular nutrition, cardiometabolic disease

Professional Experience

Dr. Kris-Etherton is Chair of the AHA Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health, and Past Chair of the AHA Nutrition Committee.  Dr. Kris-Etherton is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the National Lipid Association (where she served as President), and the American Society for Nutrition.  She has published over 360 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and has received numerous awards from the American Society for Nutrition, the American Oil Chemist’s Society, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council, and the Northeast Lipid Association Chapter for her contributions to the profession.

Grants and Research Projects

California Strawberry Commission, 2015-2018 - Effects of Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder-Supplementation on Vascular Function and Blood Markers of Cardiovascular Risk, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., 2015-2018 - Effects of Cranberry on Cardiovascular Risk Factors, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, 2015-2017 – The Dose-Response Effects of Lean Beef in a Mediterranean-Style Dietary Patterns on CVD Risk Factors, McCormick Science Institute, 2016-2018 – Effect of Chronic Consumption of Popular Spices on Risk Factors for CVD, Inflammation and Immune Function, International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, 2016-2018 - The Effect of Bioactives in Dried Plums, Figs, Dates, and Raisins Compared with a Fruit Drink on Risk Factors for Cardiometabolic Disease, Alliance for Potato Research and Education, 2016-2018 - Effect of Potatoes on Cardiometabolic Health, HASS Avocado Board, 2017-2020 - Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial (HAT), Peanut Institute, 2018-2020 - Peanuts and Glycemic Control

  • Berryman CE, West SG, Fleming JA, Bordi PL, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal adiposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 4:e000993, 2015.

  • Wang L, Bordi PL, Fleming JA, Hill AM, Kris-Etherton PM. Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 4:e001355, 2015.

  • Thies F, Masson LF, Boffetta P, Kris-Etherton P. Oats and CVD risk markers: a systematic literature review. Br J Nutr. 2:S19-30, 2014.

  • Flock MR, Skulas-Ray AC, Harris WS, Gaugler TL, Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of supplemental long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and erythrocyte membrane fatty acid content on circulating inflammatory markers in a randomized controlled trial of healthy adults. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 91:161-168, 2014.

  • Holligan SD, West SG, Gebauer SK, Kay CD, Kris-Etherton PM. A moderate-fat diet containing pistachios improves emerging markers of cardiometabolic syndrome in healthy adults with elevated LDL levels. Br J Nutr. 112:744-752, 2014.

  • Harris Jackson K, West SG, Vanden Heuvel JP, Jonnalagadda SS, Ross AB, Hill AM, Grieger JA, Lemieux SK, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of whole and refined grains in a weight-loss diet on markers of metabolic syndrome in individuals with increased waist circumference: a randomized controlled-feeding trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 100:577-586, 2014.

  • Roussell MA, Hill AM, Gaugler TL, West SG, Ulbrecht JS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of a DASH-like diet containing lean beef on vascular health. J Hum Hypertens. 28:600-605, 2014.

  • Jones PJ, Senanayake VK, Pu S, Jenkins DJ, Connelly PW, Lamarche B, Couture P, Charest A, Baril-Gravel L, West SG, Liu X, Fleming JA, McCrea CE, Kris-Etherton PM. DHA-enriched high-oleic acid canola oil improves lipid profile and lowers predicted cardiovascular disease risk in the canola oil multicenter randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 100:88-97, 2014.

  • Kris-Etherton PM. Walnuts Decrease Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Summary of Efficacy and Biologic Mechanisms. J Nutr. 144:547S-54S, 2014.

  • Flock MR, Skulas-Ray AC, Harris WS, Etherton TD, Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. Determinants of erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acid content in response to fish oil supplementation: a dose-response randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 19;2:e000513. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.113.000513, 2013.

  • Katcher HI, Legro RS, Kunselman AR, Gillies PJ, Demers LM, Bagshaw DM, Kris-Etherton PM. The effects of a whole grain-enriched hypocaloric diet on cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women with metabolic syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 87:79-90, 2008.

  • Griel AE, Cao Y, Bagshaw DD, Cifelli AM, Holub B, Kris-Etherton PM. A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 138:761-767, 2008

  • Gebauer SK, West SG, Kay CD, Alaupovic P, Bagshaw D, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of pistachios on cardiovascular disease risk factors and potential mechanisms of action: a dose-response study. Am J Clin Nutr. 88:651-659, 2008

  • Cao Y, Mauger DT, Pelkman CL, Zhao G, Townsend SM, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of moderate (MF) versus lower fat (LF) diets on lipids and lipoproteins: a meta-analysis of clinical trials in subjects with and without diabetes. J Clin Lipid. 3:19-32, 2009

  • Hilpert KF, West SG, Bagshaw DM, Fishell V, Barnhart L, Lefevre M, Most MM, Zemel MB, Chow M, Hinderliter AL, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of dairy products on intracellular calcium and blood pressure in adults with essential hypertension. J Am Coll Nutr. 28:142-149, 2009

  • Zhang J, Kris-Etherton PM, Thompson JT, Vanden Heuvel JP. Effect of pistachio oil on gene expression of IFN-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 2: A biomarker of inflammatory response. Mol Nutr Food Res. 54:Supp 1:S83-92, 2010

  • Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Opportunities and challenges in nutrigenetics/ nutrigenomics: building industry-academia partnerships. World Rev Nutr Diet. 101:160-168, 2010

  • West SG, Krick A, Klein LC, Zhao G, Wojtowicz T, McGuiness M, Bagshaw D, Wagner P, Ceballos R, Holub B, and Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. J Am Coll Nutr. 29:595-603, 2010

  • Skulas-Ray AC, Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Wagner PR, West SG. Dose-response effects of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides, inflammation, and endothelial function in healthy persons with moderate hypertriglyceridemia. Am J Clin Nutr. 93:243-252, 2011

  • Hartman TJ, Zhang Z, Albert PS, Bagshaw D, Mentor-Marcel R, Mitchell DC, Colburn NH, Kris-Etherton PM, Lanza E. Reduced Energy Intake and Weight Loss on a Legume-Enriched Diet Lead to Improvements in Biomarkers Related to Chronic Disease. Top Clin Nutr. 26:208–215, 2011

Additional Information

Courses Taught

  • PSU 14 - First Year Seminar
  • NUTR 453 - Diet in Disease (Medical Nutrition Therapy)
  • NUTR 490W - Nutrition Seminar
  • NUTR 513 - Atherosclerosis and Nutrition