University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Elizabeth J. Parks, PhD

Professor, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Associate Director, Clinical Research Center, Institute for Clinical Translational Science


Clinical and Research Interests

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, nutrition, endoscopy

Contact Information

Division: Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Office Phone: (573) 882-5864
Office Address: NW406 Health Sci Center / DC043.00
Columbia, MO 


  • B.S. Exercise Physiology and Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ph.D. Nutritional Biochemistry: University of California-Davis, Laboratory of Barbara O. Schneeman, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Endocrinology and Metabolism, UC-Berkeley, Laboratory of Marc Hellerstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Stable Isotope Keynote Lecture, sponsored by Washington University and CIL, at EB (2014)
  • Hot-topic lecture, American Society of Nutrition, Energy and Macronutrient Interest Section (2014)
  • Faculty, NIH-Sponsored Course, “Isotope tracers in metabolic research: Principles and Practice of Kinetic Analysis” (2013)


  • UT Southwestern Established Investigator Award (2009)
  • Fellow, The Obesity Society (2007)
  • McFarland Teaching Award, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (2005)
  • Ruth Pike Lectureship, Penn State Department of Nutrition (2002)
  • Dannon Nutrition Leadership Institute (2001)
  • 2000 ILSI Future (Nutrition) Leaders Award (2000)
  • Fellow, The American Heart Association (1999)
  • AHA, California Affiliate, Postdoctoral Fellowship (1996)
  • AHA Predoctoral Research Fellowship (1993)

Research Interests

  • Effect of dietary macronutrients on the development of obesity-related conditions.
  • Non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis, liver inflammation, and postprandial metabolism.
  • Modeling of non-steady state kinetics in metabolism
  • Cephalic phase of food intake and sensory effects on absorption of lipids
  • Interrelationship of lipid and glucose metabolism during chronic disease development


1. Lambert JE, Ramos-Roman MA, Browning JD, Parks EJ: Increased de novo lipogenesis is a distinctive characteristic of individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. [PMID: 24316260] Gastroenterology, 146(3):726-35, 2014

2. Vaidyanathan V, Bastarrachea RA, Higgins PB, Voruganti VS, Kamath S, DiPatrizio NV, Piomelli D, Comuzzie AG, Parks EJ: Selective cannabinoid-1 receptor blockade significantly benefits fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism in weight-stable nonhuman primates. [PMID: 22761159, PMIC 3468508]. Amer J Physiol, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 303(5):E624-34, 2012

3. Ramos-Roman MA, Lapidot SA, Phair RD, Parks EJ: Insulin activation of plasma non-esterified fatty acid uptake in metabolic syndrome. [PMC: 3417322]. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis, & Vascular Biology, 32:1799-1808, 2012

4. Shetty S, Ramos-Roman MA, Cho Y-R, Brown J, Plutzky J, Muise ES, Horton JD, Scherer PE, Parks EJ: Enhanced fatty acid flux triggered by adiponectin over-expression. [PMIC: 3249680]. Endocrinology, 153(1):113-122, 2012

4. Ramos-Roman MA, Sweetman L, Valdez MJ, Parks EJ: Postprandial changes in plasma acylcarnitine concentrations as markers of fatty acid flux in metabolic syndrome. [PMC3219812]. Metabolism, 61(2):202-212, 2012

5. Sunny NE, Parks EJ, Browning JD, Burgess SC: Excessive hepatic mitochondrial TCA cycle and gluconeogenesis in humans with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. PMCID: PMC - Journal in Process. Cell Metabolism, 14(6):804-811, 2011

6. Bastarrachea RA, Veron SM, Vaidyanathan V, Garcia-Forey M, Voruganti VS, Higgins PB, Parks EJ: Protocol for the measurement of fatty acid and glycerol turnover in vivo in baboons. [PMIC 3090248]. J Lipid Research, 52(6);1272-1280, 2011

7. Chavez-Jauregui RN, Mattes RD, Parks EJ: Dynamics of fat absorption and impact of sham feeding on postprandial lipema. [PMC2948783]. Gastroenterology, Nov;139(5):1538-1548, 2010

8. Seo J, Fortuno ES, Suh JM, Stenesen D, Tang W, Parks EJ, Adams CM, Townes T, Graff JM: Atf4 regulates obesity, glucose homeostasis, and energy expenditure. [PMID: 19690063]. Diabetes, 58:2565-2573, 2009

9. Grefhorst A, Parks EJ: Reduced insulin-mediated inhibition of VLDL secretion upon pharmacological activation of the liver X receptor in mice. [PMID: 19287042]. J Lipid Research, 50:1374-1383, 2009

10. Parks EJ, Skogen LA, Timlin MT, Dingfelder CS: Dietary sugars stimulate fatty acid synthesis in adults. [PMC2546703]. J Nutrition, 138:1039-1046, 2008

11. Barrows BA, Parks EJ: Contributions of different fatty acid sources to VLDL-triacylglycerol fatty acids in the fasted and fed-states. [PMID: 16449340]. J Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 91:1446-1452, 2006

12. Zhu Q, Anderson GW, Mucha GT, Parks EJ, Metkowski JK, Mariash CN: The Spot 14 protein is required for de novo lipid synthesis in the lactating mammary gland. [PMID: 15890771]. Endocrinology, 146(8):3343-3350, 2005

13. Timlin MT, Barrows BR, Parks EJ: Increased dietary substrate delivery alters hepatic fatty acid recycling in healthy subjects. [PMID: 16123359]. Diabetes, 54(9):2694-2701, 2005

14. Barrows BR, Timlin MT, Parks EJ: Spillover of dietary fatty acids and use of plasma NEFA for the synthesis of VLDL-TAG under two different feeding regimens. [PMID: 16123356]. Diabetes, 54(9):2668-2673, 2005

15. Donnelly KL, Smith CI, Schwarzenberg SJ, Jessurun J, Boldt MD, Parks EJ: Sources of fatty acids contributing to hepatic steatosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. [PMC1087172]. J Clinical Investigation, 115(5):1343-1351, 2005

16. Parks EJ, Schneider TL, Baar RA: Meal-feeding studies in mice: Effects of different diets on blood lipids and energy expenditure. [PMID: 15766205]. Comparative Medicine, 55(1):13-17, 2005

17. Timlin MT, Parks EJ: The temporal pattern of de novo lipogenesis in the postprandial state. [PMID: 15640457]. Amer J Clinical Nutrition, 81(1):35-42, 2005

18. Baar RA, Dingfelder CS, Smith LA, Bernlohr DA, Wu C, Lange AJ, Parks EJ: Investigation of in vivo fatty acid metabolism in AFABP/aP2-/- mice. [PMID: 15367400]. Amer J Physiology, Endocrinology and metabolism, 288:E187-E193, 2004

19. Donnelly KL, Margosian MR, Sheth SS, Lusis AJ, Parks EJ: Increased lipogenesis and fatty acid reesterification contribute to hepatic triacylglycerol stores in hyperlipidemic Txnip-/- mice. [PMID: 15173414]. J of Nutrition, 134(6):1475-1480, 2004

20. Figueroa A, Milla C, Parks EJ, Schwarzenberg SJ, Moran A: Abnormal lipid levels in cystic fibrosis. [PMID: 12036806]. Amer J Clinical Nutrition, 75:1005-1011, 2002

21. Parks EJ, Rutledge JC, Davis PA, Hyson DA, Schneeman BO, Kappagoda CT: Predictors of plasma triglyceride elevation in patients participating in a coronary atherosclerosis treatment program. [PMID: 11314287]. J Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 21(2):73-79, 2001

22. Parks EJ, Dare D, Frazier KB, Hellerstein MK, Neese RA, Hughes E, Traber MG: Dependence of plasma alpha-tocopherol flux on very low-density triglyceride clearance in humans. [PMID: 11121723]. Free Rad Biol Med, 29(11):1151-1159, 2000

23. Parks EJ, Hellerstein MK: Carbohydrate-induced hypertriacylglycerolemia: historical perspective and review of biological mechanisms. [PMID: 10648253]. Amer J Clinical Nutrition; 71:412-33, 2000

24. Parks EJ, Krauss RM, Christiansen MP, Neese RA, Hellerstein MK: Effects of a low-fat diet on VLDL-triglyceride assembly, production and clearance. [PMID: 10525047]. J Clinical Investigation, 104(8):1087-1096, 1999

25. Strawford A, Hoh R, Neese RA, Parks EJ, Turner S, Hellerstein MK: A placebo-controlled trial of the effects of combining megestrol-acetate with testosterone replacement therapy in AIDS-wasting syndrome. [PMID: 10208143]. J Amer Med Assoc, 281(14):1282-1290, 1999

26. Tinker LF, Parks EJ, Behr SR, Schneeman BO, Davis PA: n-3 Fatty acid supplementation in moderately hypertriglyceridemic adults, changes postprandial lipid and apolipoprotein B responses to a standardized test meal. [PMID: 10356076]. J Nutrition, 129(6):1126-1134, 1999

27. Parks EJ, German JB, Davis PA, Frankel EN, Kappagoda CT, Rutledge JC, Hyson DA, Schneeman BO: Reduced susceptibility of LDL from patients participating in an intensive atherosclerosis treatment program. [PMID: 9771854]. Amer J Clinical Nutrition, 68(4):778-785, 1998

28. Siler SQ, Neese RA, Parks EJ, Hellerstein MK: VLDL-triglyceride production after alcohol ingestion: studies using [2-13C] glycerol. [PMID: 9831620]. J Lipid Research, 39:2319-2328, 1998

29. Dixon ZR, Burri BJ, Clifford A, Frankel EN, Schneeman BO, Parks EJ, Keim NL, Barbieri T, Wu MM, Fong AKH, Kretsch MJ, Erdman JW, Jr: Effects of carotene-deficient diet on measures of oxidative damage, oxidative susceptibility and superoxide dismutase activity in adult women. [PMID: 7867970]. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 17(6):537-544, 1994

30. Frankel EN, Parks EJ, Xu R, Schneeman BO, Davis PA, German JB: Effect of n-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil supplementation on oxidation of low density lipoproteins. [PMID: 8177016]. Lipids, 29(4):233-236, 1994

31. Frankel EN, Kanner J, German JB, Parks E, Kinsella JE: Inhibition of oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein by phenolic substances in red wine. [PMID: 8097009]. Lancet, 341:454-457, 1993

Review Articles, Book Chapters, Conference Proceedings

Laughlin MR, Bantle JP, Havel PJ, Parks E, Klurfeld DM, Teff K, Maruvada P: Clinical research strategies for fructose metabolism. [PMID: 24829471]. Adv in Nutr, 5(3):248-259, 2014

Jacome-Sosa MM, Parks EJ: Fatty acid and triglyceride production and flux. [PMID: 24785962] Current Opinion in Lipidology, 25:213-220, 2014

Hu Q, Parks EJ: “Methods for assessing liver metabolism in humans, with particular interest in the effects of fructose consumption,” in Dietary Sugars and Health, Eds MI Goran, L Tappy, KA Lê, and S Ulijaszek. Taylor and Francis Publishers, 2014

Lambert JE, Parks EJ: Getting the label in: Practical research strategies for tracing dietary fat. International J of Obesity, 2:S43-S50, 2012

Lambert JE, Parks EJ: Postprandial metabolism of meal triglyceride in humans. [PMID: 22281699], Biochim Biophys Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1821(5):721-726, 2012

Parks EJ, Hellerstein MK: Recent advances in liver triacylglycerol and fatty acid metabolism using stable isotope labeling techniques. [PMID 16741290]. J Lipid Research, 47:1651-1660, 2006

Parks EJ, Matthews DE: Using tracers to measure carbohydrate, fat, and amino acid metabolism in humans. 2003 Research Workshop for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, [PMID: 14763793]. J Parenteral Enteral Nutr, Jan-Feb;28(1):38-53, 2004

Parks EJ: Changes in fat synthesis influenced by dietary macronutrient content. [PMID: 12133211]. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 61:1-6, 2002

Parks EJ: Dietary carbohydrate’s effects on lipogenesis and the relationship of lipogenesis to blood insulin and glucose concentrations. [PMID:12088525]. British J of Nutrition, 87 (Supple 2):S247-S253, 2002

Parks EJ: Recent findings in postprandial research. [PMID: 11602066]. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, Nov;3(6):462-470, 2001

Parks EJ: “The relationship of the glycemic index to lipogenesis in humans,” in Proceedings of the 6th (Millenium) Vahouny Conference. Kluwer/Plenum Press, 2003

Parks EJ: “Measurement of -tocopherol turnover in plasma and in lipoproteins using stable isotopes and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry,” in Methods in Molecular Biology. [PMID: 12013768]. 186:209-19, 2002

Hellerstein MK, Parks EJ: “Obesity and overweight,” in Basic and Clinical Endocrinology, 8th Edition, Chapter 21, 2006 (Chapter 21, 7th Edition, 2004; Chapter 20, 6th Edition, 2001), FS Greenspan and DG Gardner, Editors, published by McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Parks EJ: Effect of dietary carbohydrate on triglyceride metabolism in humans. [PMID: 11584104]. J of Nutrition, 131:2772S-2774S, 2001

Parks EJ, Traber MG: Mechanisms of vitamin E regulation in aging. [PMID: 11229354]. Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, 2(3):405-412, 2000

Editorials and Book Review

Parks EJ, McCrory MA: “When to eat and how often?” [PMID:15640452]. Amer J Clinical Nutrition, 81(1):3-4, 2005. Editorial on the article of Farshchi et al, “Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in obese women,” published in the same volume of Amer J Clinical Nutrition.

Parks EJ: “A targeted goal for energy-restricted diets in the management of coronary risk?” Amer J Clinical Nutrition; 73:147-8, 2001. Editorial on the article of Raeini-Sarjaz et al, “Effect of dietary fat restriction compared with that of energy restriction on human lipid metabolism,” published in the same volume of Amer J Clinical Nutrition.

Lipoprotein Protocols, Edited by JM Ordovas, published by Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ. Reviewed by EJ Parks in Amer J Clinical Nutrition, 69(5):1020-1021, 1999.

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