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Kevin D. Laugero

Kevin D. Laugero

  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center Scientist


(530) 752-5276



  • Ph.D., Physiology, University of California, Davis
  • B.A., Biology, California State University, Fresno

Research Interests

Dr. Laugero's lab studies stress and nutrition interrelationships. Research is being conducted to understand physiological and metabolic underpinnings of inter-individual variability in stress responsiveness, and how this can be used to explain vulnerability or resilience to the negative mental and physical effects of chronic stress. A systems approach is applied to examine the interrelationships between stress, diet, and physical activity in animal models, humans, and the community to identify mechanisms and factors that explain differential regulation of the stress response.

Selected Publications


  • Laugero, K.D. and Moberg, G.P. (2000) Energetic response to repeated restraint stress in rapidly growing mice.  American Journal of Physiology: Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism 279:E33-E43.
  • Laugero, K.D. and Moberg, G.P. (2000)   Summation of behavioral and immunological stress: metabolic consequences to the growing mouse.  American Journal of Physiology: Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism 279:E44-E49.
  • Laugero, K.D. and Moberg, G.P. (2000)  Impact of acute behavioral and immunological stress on growth and energetics in mice. Physiology and Behavior, 68(415-422).
  • Kevin D. Laugero, M.E. Bell, S. Bhatnagar, L. Soriano, M.F. Dallman. (2001) Sucrose ingestion normalizes central expression of corticotropin-releasing-factor mRNA and energy balance in adrenalectomized rats:  a glucocorticoid-metabolic-brain axis? Endocrinology, 142:7, 2796-2804.
  • Kevin D. Laugero.  (2001) A new perspective on glucocorticoid feedback: relation to stress, carbohydrate feeding, and feeling better. Journal of Neuroendocrinology: Young Investigator Perspectives, 13, 827–835. 
  • Mary F. Dallman, Victor G. Viau, Seema Bhatnagar, Francisca Gomez, Kevin Laugero, and M.E. Bell.  (2001) Corticotropin-releasing-factor (CRF), corticosteroids, stress and sugar: energy balance, the brain and behavior.  In: Hormones, Brain, and Behavior, Vol. 1, Pages 571 – 631. 
  • Kevin D. Laugero, Francisca Gomez, Sotara Manalo, and Mary F. Dallman (2002) Corticosterone (B) infused intracerebroventricularly (icv) inhibits energy storage and stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary axis in adrenalectomized rats drinking sucrose. Endocrinology, 143(12):4552-62.
  • Bell, M.E., Bhargava, A, Soriano, L, Laugero, K.D., Akana, S.F., Dallman, M.F. (2002) Sucrose and corticosterone interact to modulate behavior, energy balance, autonomic outflow, and neuroendocrine responses during chronic cold.  Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 14:4, 330 - 342.
  • Norman Pecoraro, Francisca Gomez, Kevin D. Laugero, Mary F. Dallman.  (2002) Brief access to sucrose engages food-entrainable rhythms in food-deprived rats.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 116(5), 757-76.
  • Mary F. Dallman, Norman Pecoraro, Susan F. Akana, Susanne E. La Fleur, Francisca Gomez, Hani Houshyar, M. E. Bell, Seema Bhatnagar, Kevin D. Laugero, and Sotara Manalo (2003)  Chronic stress and obesity: A new view of ‘‘comfort food’’.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(20):  11696–11701.
  • Faculty 1000 evaluated:
  • Mary F. Dallman, Susan F. Akana, Kevin D. Laugero, Francisco Gomez, Sotara Manalo, M.E. Bell, Seema Bhatnagar (2003)  A spoonful of sugar:  feedback signals of energy stores and corticosterone regulate responses to chronic stress.  Physiology and Behavior, 70, 3 – 12.
  • Kevin D. Laugero.  (2004) Reinterpretation of glucocorticoid feedback in the HPA axis; implications to behavioral and metabolic disease.  Invited review chapter in:  Vitamins and Hormones, Volume 68.  Ed. Gerald Litwack.
  • Mary F. Dallman, Norman Pecoraro, Susanne E. la Fleur, James P. Warne, Abigail B. Ginsberg, Susan F. Akana, Kevin D. Laugero, Hani Houshyar, Alison M. Strack, Seema Bhatnagar, and Mary E. Bell.  (2006) In:  Progress in Brain Research, Chapter 4:  Glucocorticoids, Chronic Stress, and Obesity, Volume 153, pages 75 – 105, eds. A. Kalsbeek et al.).
  • Norman Pecoraro, James P Warne, Abigail B Ginsberg,  Kevin D Laugero, Susanne EF la Fleur, Hani Houshyar, Francisca Gomez, Susan F Akana, Aditi Bhargava, and Mary F Dallman.  (2006)  From Malthus to Motive: How the HPA Axis Engineers the Phenotype, Yoking Needs to Wants.  Progress in Neurobiology, Volume 79, pages 247 - 340.
  • Christine M. Mack, Candace Moore, Carolyn Jodka, Sunil Bhavsar, Julie K. Wilson, Julie Hoyt, Jennifer Roan, Calvin Vu, Kevin D. Laugero, David G. Parkes, and Andrew A. Young (2006) Antiobesity action of peripheral exenatide (exendin-4) in rodents: effects on food intake, body weight, metabolic status and side-effect measures.. International Journal of Obesity, 30(9):1332-40.
  • Mack, Christine Marie, Wilson, Julie, Athanacio, Jennifer, Reynolds, James, Laugero, Kevin, Guss, Stacy, Vu, Calvin, Roth, Jonathan, Parkes, David (2007) Pharmacological Actions of the Peptide Hormone Amylin in the Long-Term Regulation of Food Intake, Food Preference and Body Weight. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Laugero, KD (2008) Filling in the Gaps of Chronic Psychological Stress Disease Models:  What’s Metabolic Profiling Have to do with it?  Endocrinology:  Invited Editorial/News and Views; 149(6):2712-3..
  • Laugero KD, Stonehouse AH, Guss S, Landry J, Vu C, Parkes DG.  (2009) Exenatide Improves Hypertension in a Rat Model of the Metabolic Syndrome.  Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. 2009 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Mack CM, Soares CJ, Wilson JK, Athanacio JR, Turek VF, Trevaskis JL, Roth JD, Smith PA, Gedulin B, Jodka CM, Roland BL, Adams SH, Lwin A, Herich J, Laugero KD, Vu C, Pittner R, Paterniti JR Jr, Hanley M, Ghosh S, Parkes DG (2010) Davalintide (AC2307), a novel amylin-mimetic peptide: enhanced pharmacological properties over native amylin to reduce food intake and body weight. Int J Obes (Lond); 34(2):385-95.
  • Laugero, KD (2010).  Obesity, the Economic Meltdown, and the Gut Feeling for the Foods We Choose to Eat.  Clinical Nutrition Insight, Volume 36 (5): 1-4.
    Laugero KD, Falcon LM, Tucker KL  (2010) Relationship between perceived stress and dietary and activity patterns in older adults participating in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.  Appetite, 56:194-204.
  • Laugero, KD, Smilowitz, JT, German, JB, Jarcho, MR, Mendoza, SP, and Bales, KL. Plasma omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status and monounsaturated fatty acids are altered by chronic social stress and predict endocrine responses to acute stress in titi monkeys (2010) Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), 84(3-4):71-8.
  • Laugero, K.D., Tryon, M.S. 2011. Stress and food intake: What's the deal with your meal?. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. Doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR20116034.
  • Witbracht, M.G., Laugero, K.D., Van Loan, M.D., Adams, S.H., Keim, N.L. 2011. Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task is Related to Magnitude of Weight Loss and Salivary Cortisol in a Diet-Induced Weight Loss Intervention in Overweight Women.  Physiology and Behavior. 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.04.035.
  • Witbracht, Megan G., Van Loan, Marta, Adams, Sean H., Keim, Nancy L., and Laugero, Kevin D. (2012) Dairy food consumption and meal-induced cortisol response interacted to influence weight loss in overweight women undergoing a 12-week meal-controlled weight loss intervention.  Journal of Nutrition, Jan;143(1):46-52. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.166355. Epub 2012 Nov 28. 
  • Pieper JR, Laugero KD (2013).  Preschool children with lower executive function may be more vulnerable to emotional-based eating in the absence of hunger.  Appetite, Mar;62:103-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.11.020. Epub 2012 Dec 2.
  • Tryon MS, Decant R, Laugero KD (2013). Having your cake and eating it too: A habit of comfort food may link chronic social stress exposure and acute stress-induced cortisol hyporesponsiveness.  Physiology and Behavior, Apr 10;114-115:32-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.02.018. Epub 2013 Mar 15.
  • Nicklas TA, Jahns L, Bogle ML, Chester DN, Giovanni M, Klurfeld DM, Laugero K, Liu Y, Lopez S, Tucker KL (2013).  Barriers and Facilitators for Consumer Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The HEALTH Study.   J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Jul 16. doi:pii: S2212-2672(13)00527-3. 10.1016/j.jand.2013.05.004.
  • Tryon, M.S., DeCant, R., and Laugero, K.D.  (2013) Chronic stress exposure may affect the brain's response to high calorie food cues and predispose to obesogenic eating habits.  Physiology and Behavior, 2013 Aug 16. pii: S0031-9384(13)00258-8. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.010. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Laugero, K.D., Hanley, M., Mack, C., Parkes, D., Young, A.  (2010) AMYLIN AND AMYLIN AGONISTS FOR TREATING PSYCHIATRIC DISEASES AND DISORDERS, PCT Publication No. WO 2006/105527.

  • Laugero, Kevin D., Hanley, Michael, Mack, Christine, and Parkes, David.  COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR TREATING PSYCHIATRIC DISEASES AND DISORDERS.  PCT/US2008/001500 (Amylin 1202WO1), publication date, August 5, 2008.