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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
Office Address
319 Chandlee Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802
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