• Dr. Peterson obtained her Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 2011, working on the physics of the Big Bang. Thereafter, she changed disciplines and took up an NIH T32 obesity postdoctoral fellowship in nutrition and metabolism at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. At Pennington, she trained under Dr. Eric Ravussin, a world expert in energy metabolism and in diabetes and obesity clinical trials. During this time, she worked on several controlled lifestyle intervention trials, ranging from using resistant starch to mitigate prediabetes, to overeating and caloric restriction, to using whole-body hypoxia to reduce insulin resistance. Dr. Peterson also served as a Visiting Scholar in the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she trained in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Scheer, a world expert in circadian rhythms in humans.

    Dr. Peterson has received a KL2 Career Development Fellowship, an Early-Career Research Grant from The Obesity Society (top 1%), a Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center Roadmap Scholars Fellowship, and a Marshall Scholarship. In addition, she holds four master’s degrees: clinical research (Tulane University, 2015), physics (Harvard University, 2011), science communication (Imperial College London, 2004), and applied mathematics & theoretical physics (University of Cambridge, 2003).
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 Therapeutic time-restricted feeding reduces renal tumor bioluminescence in mice but fails to improve anti-CTLA-4 efficacy 2020
    2020 Short-term time-restricted feeding is safe and feasible in non-obese healthy midlife and older adultsGeroscience.  42:667-686. 2020
    2019 An intensive lifestyle intervention to treat type 2 diabetes in the republic of the marshall islands: Protocol for a randomized controlled trialFrontiers in Nutrition.  6. 2019
    2019 Targeting glucose metabolism to enhance immunotherapy: Emerging evidence on intermittent fasting and calorie restriction mimeticsFrontiers in Immunology.  10. 2019
    2018 Effect of 12 wk of resistant starch supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors in adults with prediabetes: A randomized controlled trialAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  108:492-501. 2018
    2018 Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with PrediabetesCell Metabolism.  27:1212-1221.e3. 2018
    2018 Role of resistant starch on diabetes risk factors in people with prediabetes: Design, conduct, and baseline results of the STARCH trialContemporary Clinical Trials.  65:99-108. 2018
    2017 The use of tri-ponderal mass index and other indices in estimating visceral body fat percentages in adolescentsJAMA Pediatrics.  171:1228. 2017
    2017 Tri-ponderal mass index vs body mass index in estimating body fat during adolescenceJAMA Pediatrics.  171:629-636. 2017
    2017 Establishing energy requirements for body weight maintenance: Validation of an intake-balance method NCT01672632 NCTBMC Research Notes.  10. 2017
    2017 Eight weeks of overfeeding alters substrate partitioning without affecting metabolic flexibility in menInternational Journal of Obesity.  41:887-893. 2017
    2017 A new universal dynamic model to describe eating rate and cumulative intake curvesAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  105:323-331. 2017
    2016 Impact of different fecal processing methods on assessments of bacterial diversity in the human intestineFrontiers in Microbiology.  7. 2016
    2016 Universal equation for estimating ideal body weight and body weight at any BMIAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  103:1197-1203. 2016
    2015 Physical Activity and the Missing CaloriesExercise and Sport Sciences Reviews.  43:107-108. 2015
    2015 Scaling of adult regional body mass and body composition as a whole to height: Relevance to body shape and body mass indexAmerican Journal of Human Biology.  27:372-379. 2015
    2014 Scaling of adult body weight to height across sex and race/ethnic groups: Relevance to BMIAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  100:1455-1461. 2014
    2014 Ten nights of moderate hypoxia improves insulin sensitivity in obese humansDiabetes Care.  37. 2014
    2013 Ten nights of moderate hypoxia improves insulin sensitivity in obese humansDiabetes Care.  36. 2013
    2013 Resveratrol vs. calorie restriction: Data from rodents to humansExperimental Gerontology.  48:1018-1024. 2013
    2012 Skeletal muscle mitochondria and aging: A reviewJournal of Aging Research.  2012. 2012
    2002 Sphingosine-1-phosphate and lipid phosphohydrolases. 2002
    2002 Characterization of murine sphingosine-1-phosphate phosphohydrolase.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  277:8920-8927. 2002
    2001 Lost variables in Sagittarius and Cygnus recovered on Nantucket plates.JAAVSO.  29:112-117. 2001

    Research Overview

  • (1) Controlled Feeding Studies: I conduct controlled feeding studies to test new dietary strategies to mitigate or reverse diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. I am particularly interested in meal timing/circadian rhythms, intermittent fasting, and nutrient-rich foods.

    (a) Meal Timing/Intermittent Fasting: I conducted the first controlled feeding studies of early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) in humans. eTRF combines daily intermittent fasting (14+ hour daily fasting) and eating in sync with our biological clocks (or circadian rhythms) by eating early in the day. eTRF reverses or prevents diabetes/insulin resistance, high cholesterol levels, inflammation, and obesity in rodents. My research is testing whether eTRF is similarly powerful at improving human health. My two pilot studies are testing how eTRF impacts blood sugar control, energy expenditure, appetite, vascular health, and inflammation in humans.

    (b) Food Groups, Diets and Diabetes Remission: In addition, my laboratory is interested in conducting more rigorous and sophisticated studies on nutrient-rich diets and testing high doses of different food groups in adults with type 2 diabetes to determine the degree to which diabetes can be reversed or put into remission. I am also involved in a clinical trial that is testing whether resistant starch can improve blood sugar control, appetite, and bacteria in the gut.

    (2) Mathematical Modeling: I also have expertise in mathematical modeling of body composition and of energy and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Education And Training

  • Master of Science in Health Professions and Related Programs, Tulane University 2015
  • Doctor of Science or Mathematics in Physics, Harvard University 2011
  • Master of Science in Technical and Scientific Communication, Imperial College London 2004
  • Master of Science in Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge 2003
  • Bachelor of Science or Mathematics in Physics, Georgetown University 2002
  • Full Name

  • Courtney Peterson