University of Wisconsin - Madison
Department of Physiology, UW-Madison Medical School
Site Search
  Physiology Home  
News & Events
  Department News  
  Seminars & Events  
  Job Opportunities  
  Affiliated Programs  
  Faculty Research  
  Research Facilities  
  Research Links  
  Graduate Students  
  Physiology Alumni  
Faculty Resources
  Online Services  
  Campus Resources  
Contact Us
  Contact Physiology  
  Maps & Directions  

Joseph Kemnitz

Joseph KemnitzProfessor
Director, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Contact Information
(608) 263-3500 Phone1
(608) 263-3516 Phone2
(608) 265-2067 Fax

Research Interests
Energy Metabolism and Aging in Nonhuman Primates

My laboratory studies mechanisms controlling energy balance and on the consequences of caloric excess or deficit on physiological systems. Current experiments focus on the biology of aging and metabolic problems associated with mid- and late-life. One topic concerns the pathogenesis of obesity and its complications, such as insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Pharmacologic interventions to promote maintenance of a healthy body weight and to ameliorate the complications of obesity also are being tested. Another research focus concerns dietary restriction and aging. We are testing the hypothesis that a moderate reduction in caloric intake will slow the rate of aging and ultimately extend lifespan in primates as has been shown for rodents and some other short-lived species. Results thus far indicate that the monkeys on the reduced diet have less body fat, increased sensitivity to insulin and lower insulin levels, improved lipid profiles, and other changes that are consistent with better health. We will extend these assessments in the near future to include cognitive function.

Selected Publications

  • Bruns, C.M., and J.W. Kemnitz. 2004. Sex hormones, insulin sensitivity, and diabetes mellitus. ILAR Journal 45: 160-169.
  • Ramsey, J.J., J.W. Kemnitz., W. Newton, K. Hagopian, T.A. Patterson, and A.G. Swick. 2004. Food intake in rhesus monkeys following central administration of orexins. Regulatory Peptides.
  • Blanc, S., D. Schoeller, J. Kemnitz, R. Weindruch, R. Colman, W. Newton, K. Wink, S. Baum, and J. Ramsey. 2003. Energy Expenditure of rhesus monkeys subjected to 11 years of dietary restriction. J. Clinical Endocrinol. Metab. 88: 16-23.
  • Gresl, T.A., R.J. Colman, T.C. Havighurst, D.B. Allison, D.A. Schoeller, J.W. Kemnitz. 2003. Dietary restriction and B-cell sensitivity to glucose in adult male rhesus monkeys. J. Gerontol. 58A: 598-610.
  • Gresl, T.A., R.J. Colman, T.C. Havighurst, L.O. Byerley, D.B. Allison, D.A. Schoeller, J.W. Kemnitz. 2003. Insulin sensitivity and glucose effectiveness from three minimal models: Effects of energy restriction and body fat in adult male rhesus monkeys. Am. J. Physiol. 285: R1340-R1354.
  • Zondervan, K., L. Cardon, R. Desrosiers, D. Hyde, J. Kemnitz, K. Mansfield, J. Roberts, J. Scheffler, D.E. Weeks, and S. Kennedy. 2002. The genetic epidemiology of spontaneous endometriosis in the rhesus monkey. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 955: 233-238.
  • Eisner, J.R., D.A. Dumesic, J.W. Kemnitz, and D.H. Abbott. 2000. Timing of prenatal androgen excess determines differential impairment in insulin secretion and action in adult female rhesus monkeys. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 85: 1206-1210.
  • Ramsey, J.J., R.J. Colman, N.C. Binkley, J.D. Christensen, T.A. Gresl, J.W. Kemnitz, and R. Weindruch. 2000. Dietary restriction and aging in rhesus monkeys: The University of Wisconsin study. Exp. Gerontol. 35: 1131-1149.


UW Home | Medical School | Physiology Home

Department of Physiology
University of Wisconsin
1300 University Avenue, Room 125 SMI
Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1510
Phone: (608) 262-2938
Fax: (608) 265-5512

Administrative Contact:
Web Contact:

Last Updated: Sep. 2, 2009