Headshot photo of Paul Kievit, Ph.D.

Paul Kievit, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon National Primate Research Center


Childhood obesity rates are at their highest recorded level of 18.5%, putting approximately 14 million young children and adolescents at risk for poor health for the remainder of their life. Obesity not only impacts the quality of life, but also increases risk factors for life-threathening disease late life, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Understanding how maternal health and nutrition can impact development during all stages of early life can provide insights into the pathophysiology of childhood obesity.  It is our belief that studying these complicated, highly integrative pathways can result in discovering ways to improve the health of both mother and baby and interrupt this vicious cycle of obesity.

Dr. Kievit is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiometabolic Health at ONPRC and his laboratory has several areas of interest with an overall focus on the impact of obesity and energy homeostasis on human health, as well as understanding how particular therapies can intervene. A diverse and highly motivated team investigates areas such as:

- The impact of maternal obesity on the developing metabolic systems. These studies focus on changes within the central nervous system neurocircuitry and correlated changes in the periphery such as pancreas function, inflammation and gastrointestinal pathways.  We utilize a large variety of models and techniques in an attempt to study the full spectrum of the disease. This includes the use of both rodent and nonhuman primate models and techniques investigating whole body physiology (energy expenditure, food intake behavior) as well as changes at the organ level (immunohistochemistry, in-situ/RNAscope) and molecular/cellular level (electrophysiology, RNA-seq, islet ex-vivo perifusion analysis).

- Progression of metabolic syndrome on animals exposed to a western style diet. For these studies, we utilize both rodent and nonhuman primate models to study the development of insulin resistance, hypertension, fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis. We have used both models to investigate both surgical and pharmaceutical interventions as a therapeutic for obesity, again investigating effects of these treatments on whole body physiology as well as targeting molecular pathways affected by these treatments.


Dr. Paul Kievit received his Msc in Toxicology from Leiden University in Leiden, his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and received postdoctoral training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School and OHSU.


Selected publications

  • Rangwala SM, D'Aquino K, Zhang YM, Bader L, Edwards W, Zheng S, Eckardt A, Lacombe A, Pick R, Moreno V, Kang L, Jian W, Arnoult E, Case M, Jenkinson C, Chi E, Swanson RV, Kievit P, Grove K, Macielag M, Erion MD, SinhaRoy R, Leonard JN. A Long-Acting PYY3-36 Analog Mediates Robust Anorectic Efficacy with Minimal Emesis in Nonhuman Primates. Cell Metab. 2019 Feb 11 
  • Andersen B, Straarup EM, Heppner KM, Takahashi DL, Raffaele V, Dissen GA, Lewandowski K, Bödvarsdottir TB, Raun K, Grove KL, Kievit P. FGF21 decreases body weight without reducing food intake or bone mineral density in high-fat fed obese rhesus macaque monkeys.Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Jun;42(6):1151-1160
  • True C, Arik A, Lindsley S, Kirigiti M, Sullivan E, Kievit P. Early High-Fat Diet Exposure Causes Dysregulation of the Orexin and Dopamine Neuronal Populations in Nonhuman Primates. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018 Sep 10;9:508
  • True C, Dean T, Takahashi D, Sullivan E, Kievit P. Maternal High-Fat Diet Effects on Adaptations to Metabolic Challenges in Male and Female Juvenile Nonhuman Primates. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Sep;26(9):1430-1438
  • Kievit, P; Halem, H; Marks, DL; Dong, JZ; Glavas, MM; Sinnayah, P; Pranger, L; Cowley, MA; Grove, KL; Culler, MD. 2013. Chronic treatment with a melanocortin 4 receptor agonist causes weight loss, reduces insulin resistance, and improves cardiovascular function in diet-induced obese rhesus macaques*. Diabetes. 62: 490-7. *Highlighted in Nature Reviews


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