kc hayesK.C. Hayes, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Professor of Biology (Nutrition)
Lipid Metabolism

Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Contact Information


Comparative nutritional pathophysiology in man and animals. Lipoprotein metabolism and atherogenesis, diabetes and obesity.


  • Elected Fellow, American Society Nutritional Sciences (2008)
  • Food Processing Magazine award for most significant new food product brought to market ("Appetize") (1995)
  • Outstanding Presentation Award, American Oil Chemist Society (1992)
  • Hill's Award for research contributing to Improved companion animal nutrition, Eastern States Veterinary Conference (1990)
  • NIH Research Career Development Award (1972 - 1977)
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (1968 - 1969)
  • 12 university patents with nutritional applications


Our long-term research objective is to determine the impact of diet on disorders of lipid and glucose metabolism with a primary focus on insulin, blood glucose, and lipoproteins and their association with chronic diseases, particularly diabetes complcations, obesity, and atherosclerosis.

In recent years we have focused on mouse models of diabetes and obesity, studying the role of macronutrients on devlopment of insulin resistance and leading to type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, obesity and insulin resistance are prevented by increasing the PROT : FAT ratio of the diet in the DIO mouse model of chronic diabesity, carbohydrate having almost no influence in the equation as long as the fat:prot ratio is adjusted during any given carb intake.

More recently we have established a breeding colony of Nile grass rats (actually most likely in the gerbil family) that develop spontaneous type 2 diabetes when kept in captivity and maintained on standard rodent lab chow. They appear to demonstrate the so-called "thrift gene" that has been proposed for certain endigenous human populations that also develop diabetes when exposed to a Western diets and life style. The objective here is to attempt different diet interventions that will deter or prevent the onset and expression of the diabetes in our Nile rats with the idea that a successful intervention will be applicable to the human experience, as well. To pursue this hypothesis we are currently focused on the individual contribution of the fat : protein ratio and types of carbs affecting insulin and glucose metabolism, including structural and functional changes in pancreatic beta cells and muscle during progression of the diabetes. We anticipate that this approach will allow us to determine how dietary factors are involved in type 2 diabetes in a meaningful model of the human disease.

Selected Publications:

Nutritional correlates and dynamics of diabetes in the Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus): a novel model for diet-induced type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.Chaabo F, Pronczuk A, Maslova E, Hayes K. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Apr 15;7:29.[abstract]

Clinical trial of lutein in patients with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A. Berson EL, Rosner B, Sandberg MA, Weigel-DiFranco C, Brockhurst RJ, Hayes KC, Johnson EJ, Anderson EJ, Johnson CA, Gaudio AR, Willett WC, Schaefer EJ. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Apr;128(4):403-11. [abstract]

An animal model of spontaneous metabolic syndrome: Nile grass rat. Noda K, Melhorn MI, Zandi S, Frimmel S, Tayyari F, Hisatomi T, Almulki L, Pronczuk A, Hayes KC, Hafezi-Moghadam A. FASEB J. 2010 Mar 24. [abstract]

Role of Esrrg in the fibrate-mediated regulation of lipid metabolism genes in human ApoA-I transgenic mice. Sanoudou D, Duka A, Drosatos K, Hayes KC, Zannis VI. Pharmacogenomics J. 2010 Jun;10(3):165-79. [abstract]

Caloric availability of polydextrose. Auerbach MH, Craig SA, Howlett JF, Hayes KC.. Nutr Rev. 65:544-9. 2007 Review. [abstract]

The complex interplay of palm oil fatty acids on blood lipids. Hayes KC, Khosla P. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol. 109: 453-464, 2007.

Letter to the editor: Reply to Destaillats, interesterified fats to replace trans fat. Sundram K Karupaiah T, and Hayes KC.Nutr Metab (Lond). 2007 May 14;4:13. [abstract]

Stearic acid-rich interesterified fat and trans-rich fat raise the LDL/HDL ratio and plasma glucose relative to palm olein in humans. Sundram K, Karupaiah T, Hayes KC . Nutr Metab. 4:3, 2007. [abstract]

Hypocholesterolemic effect of dietary polydextrose in gerbils and humans. Pronczuk A, and Hayes KC. Nutr Res. 26: 27-31, 2006.

Free phytosterols facilitate excretion of endogenouscholesterol in gerbils. Hayes KC, Pronczuk A, Wijendran V, Beer M. J Nutr Biochem. 16:305-11, 2005. [abstract]

Relative cardiovascular benefits of n6 and n3 fatty acids. Hayes KC. Nutrition and the MD 31: 1-4, 2005.

Further evaluation of docosahexaenoic acid in patients with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A treatment: subgroup analyses. Berson EL, Rosner B, Sandberg MA, Weigel-DiFranco C, Moser A, Brockhurst RJ, Hayes KC, Johnson CA, Anderson EJ, Gaudio AR, Willett WC, Schaefer EJ. Arch Ophth.122: 1306-14, 2004. [abstract]

Clinical trial of docosahexaenoic acid in patients with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A treatment. Berson EL, Rosner B, Sandberg MA, Weigel-DiFranco C, Moser A, Brockhurst RJ, Hayes KC, Johnson CA, Anderson EJ, Gaudio AR, Willett WC, Schaefer EJ. Arch Ophth. 122:1297-1305, 2004. [abstract]

Nonesterified phtytosterols dissolved and recrystalized in oil reduce plasma cholesterol in gerbils and humans. Hayes, KC, Pronczuk, A, and Perlman, D. J Jutr 134: 1395-1399, 2004. [abstract]

Dietary n6 and n3 fatty acid balance and cardiovascular health. Wijendran V, and Hayes KC. Ann Rev Nutr 24:597-615, 2004. Review. [abstract]

Dietary trans-18:1 raises plasma triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol when replacing either 16:0 or 18:0 in gerbils. Wijendran V, Pronczuk A, Bertoli C, and Hayes KC. J Nutr Biochem 14: 584-590, 2003. [abstract]

Last review: July 1, 2010
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