Kevin D. Laugero, Ph.D.

Kevin Laugero

Position Title
Research Nutritionist, USDA ARS WHNRC
Associate Adjunct Professor

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

My 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


Krishnan S, Adams SH, Allen LH, Laugero KD, Newman JW, Stephensen CB, Burnett DJ, Witbracht M, Welch LC, Que ES, Keim NL (2018) A randomized controlled-feeding trial based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on cardiometabolic health indexes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Aug 1;108(2):266-278. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy113. [PubMed]

Huda MN, Ahmad SM, Alam MJ, Khanam A, Afsar MNA, Wagatsuma Y, Raqib R, Stephensen CB, Laugero KD (2018) Infant cortisol stress-response is associated with thymic function and vaccine response.  Stress. 2018 Jun 22:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10253890.2018.1484445.  [PubMed]

Forester SM, Widaman AM, Krishnan S, Witbracht MG, Horn WF, Laugero KD, Keim NL (2018) A Clear Difference Emerges in Hormone Patterns Following a Standard Midday Meal in Young Women Who Regularly Eat or Skip Breakfast.  J Nutr. 2018 Apr 20. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy020. [PubMed]

Laugero KD, Adkins Y, Mackey BE, Kelley DS. Emotion-Based Cognition in Mice Is Differentially Influenced by Dose and Chemical Form of Dietary Docosahexaenoic Acid. Nutrients. 2017 Sep 8;9(9). [PubMed]

Widaman AM, Keim NL, Burnett DJ, Miller B, Witbracht MG, Widaman KF, Laugero KD. A Potential Tool for Clinicians; Evaluating a Computer-Led Dietary Assessment Method in Overweight and Obese Women during Weight Loss. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 1;9(3). [PubMed]

Scherr RE, Laugero KD, Graham DJ, Cunningham BT, Jahns L, Lora KR, Reicks M, Mobley AR. Innovative Techniques for Evaluating Behavioral Nutrition Interventions. Adv Nutr. 2017 Jan 17;8(1):113-125. [PubMed]

Oaks BM, Stewart CP, Laugero KD, Adu-Afarwuah S, Lartey A, Vosti SA, Ashorn P, Dewey KG. Maternal plasma cholesterol and duration of pregnancy: A prospective cohort study in Ghana. Matern Child Nutr. 2017 Oct;13(4). [PubMed]

Baldiviez, Keim, Laugero, Hwang, Huang, Woodhouse, Burnett, Zerofsky, Bonnel, Allen, Newman and Stephensen (2017) Design and implementation of a cross-sectional nutritional phenotyping study in healthy US adults.  BMC Nutrition, 2017, 3:79.

Widaman AM, Witbracht MG, Forester SM, Laugero KD, Keim NL. Chronic Stress Is Associated with Indicators of Diet Quality in Habitual Breakfast Skippers. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Nov;116(11):1776-1784. [PubMed]

Nicklas T, Liu Y, Giovanni M, Jahns L, Tucker K, Laugero K, Bogle M, Chester D. Association between barriers and facilitators to meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and body weight status of caregiver-child dyads: the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle for Total Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 May 18;104(1):143-54. [PubMed]

Oaks BM, Laugero KD, Stewart CP, Adu-Afarwuah S, Lartey A, Ashorn P, Vosti SA, Dewey KG. Late-Pregnancy Salivary Cortisol Concentrations of Ghanaian Women Participating in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Prenatal Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements. J Nutr. 2016 Jan 13. pii: jn219576. [PubMed]

Daubenmier J, Moran PJ, Kristeller J, Acree M, Bacchetti P, Kemeny ME, Dallman M, Lustig RH, Grunfeld C, Nixon DF, Milush JM, Goldman V, Laraia B, Laugero KD, Woodhouse L, Epel ES, Hecht FM. Effects of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention in adults with obesity: A randomized clinical trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Apr;24(4):794-804. [PubMed]

Tryon MS, Stanhope KL, Epel ES, Mason AE, Brown R, Medici V, Havel PJ, Laugero KD. Excessive Sugar Consumption May Be a Difficult Habit to Break: A View From the Brain and Body. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Apr 16. [PubMed]

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] [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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.

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. Obesity, the Economic Meltdown, and the Gut Feeling for the Foods We Choose to Eat. Clinical Nutrition Insight, 36(5):1-4, 2010.

Mack, C.M., Soares, C.J., Wilson, J.K., Athanacio, J.R., Turek, V., Trevaskis, J., Roth, J., Smith, P.A., Gedulin, B., Jodka, C.M., Roland, B.L., Adams, S.H., Lwin, A., Herich, J., Laugero, K.D., Vu,  C., Pittner, R., Paterniti, Jr., J.R., Hanley, M., Ghosh, S., and Parkes, D.G. Davalintide (AC2307), a Novel Amylin Mimetic Peptide: Enhanced Pharmacological Properties over Native Amylin to Reduce Food Intake and Body Weight.  International Journal of Obesity, 34, 385–395, 2010, on-line 2009. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

Laugero, K.D., Hanley, M.R., Parkes, D.G., and Mcgonigle, P.  Neuromedin and FN-38 Peptides for Treating Psychiatric Diseases. PCT/US2010/0168013, 2010.

Laugero, K.D., Stonehouse, A.H., Guss, S., Landry, J., Vu, C., and Parkes, D. G. Exenatide Improves Hypertension in a Rat Model of the Metabolic Syndrome.  Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 7(4):327-34, 2009. [PubMed]

Campbell, J.C., Laugero, K.D., Van Westerhuyzen, J.A., Hostetler, C.M., Cohen, J.D., and Bales, K.L. Energetic costs of pair bonding and parental care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).  Physiology and Behavior, 98(3):367-73, 2009. [PubMed]

Laugero, K.D.  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, 2008. [PubMed]

Laugero, K.D., Hanley, M., Mack, C., and Parkes, D.  Compositions and Methods for Treating Psychiatric Diseases and Disorders.  PCT/US2008/001500 (Amylin 1202WO1), 2008.

Mack, C.M., Wilson, J., Athanacio, J., Reynolds, J., Laugero, K., Guss, S., Vu, C., Roth, J., Parkes, D. 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, 293(5):R1855-63, 2007. [PubMed]

Laugero, K.D., Hanley, M., Mack, C., Parkes, D., and Young, A.  Amylin Agonists for Treating Psychiatric Diseases and Disorders.  PCT Publication No. WO 2006/105527, 2006; U.S. patent# US 07671023, granted 2010.

Weyer, C., Laugero, K.D., Mack, C., and Parkes, D. Compositions and Methods for the Control, Prevention, and Treatment of Obesity and Eating Disorders, PCT Publication No. WO 2006/105345, 2006.

Applications of Incretin Mimetics for Metabolic Diseases: Preclinical Studies.  DRUG DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH 67:553–558, 2006.

Christine M. Mack, Julie K. Wilson, Jennifer L. Roan, Kevin Laugero, Garet Heinz, and David G. Parkes (2006) Effect of the B-Cell Hormone Amylin on Food Intake, Body Weight, Locomotor Activity and Kaolin Consumption: Evidence of a Role for Amylin in the Regulation of Food Intake (Submitted to Endocrinology).

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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.).

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. [PubMed]

Kevin D. Laugero (2004) Chronic stress triggers a dietary imbalance that favors palatable food consumption: relation to abdominal obesity. Invited lay summary for Society for Neuroscience media guide. Society for Neuroscience annual conference media guide, Part II, pages 945 - 946, San Diego, CA.

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. [PubMed]

Faculty 1000 evaluated:

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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.

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. [PubMed]

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. (2001) A new perspective on glucocorticoid feedback: relation to stress, carbohydrate feeding, and feeling better. Journal of Neuroendocrinology: Young Investigator Perspectives, 13, 827-835. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

J.M. Belanger, J.H. Son, K.D. Laugero, G.P. Moberg, S.I. Doroshov1, and J.J. Cech, Jr.. (2001) Effects of Short-term Management Stress and ACTH Injections on Plasma Cortisol Levels in Cultured White Sturgeon. Acipenser transmontanus. Aquaculture, 203 (165 - 176).

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). [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

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. [PubMed]

Dallman, M.F., Akana, S.F., Bell, M.E., Bhatnagar S., Choi, S.J., Chu, A., Gomez, F., Laugero, K., Soriano, L., Viau, V. (1999) Warning! Nearby construction can profoundly affect your experiments. Endocrine, 11: 111-113. [PubMed]


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.