Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH‌ received her doctorate in Exercise Physiology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2004.  In 2007 she joined Loyola University Chicago as a research associate, utilizing her training in the measurement of human metabolism, including whole body energy expenditure, diet and physical activity monitoring.  In 2011, she completed her MS in Clinical Research Methods and in 2013 she obtained her MPH in Epidemiology. 

As the project coordinator (2009-2014) on a large five country study investigating the effects of diet and physical activity in populations of African origin, she became interested in the role of intermediary metabolites, including metabolite profiles and short chain fatty acids derived from the gut microbiota, and chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes in these diverse populations of African origin.  Through her work in West Africa (Ghana), she is a research member of the Hepnet consortium, investigating viral hepatitis in high risk populations.

Her interests are far reaching and include collaborating with Dr Amy Bohnert and the Loyola University Chicago Activity matters laboratory to explore the role of obesity-related behaviors (diet and physical activity) in the development of adolescent obesity during summer vacations.  Dr Dugas is also one of the founding members of the Loyola University Chicago Sports Medicine Epidemiology research group, focused on understanding the role of early sports specialization on the risk for sports injuries in adolescent athletes.  She is also investigating the role of muscle and scarcopenia and the development of metabolic syndrome in liver transplant patients.

Finally, Dr Dugas remains engaged in the exercise community and is a team member of the Research on the Run Race Across the USA 2015 research team, exploring the energetics and body composition changes in athletes running a marathon every day, for 140 days from the West Coast of the USA (Huntington Beach, CA), to Boydton, VA.

Phone: 708-327-9029


 Check out Dr. Dugas's recent WJOL radio interview in regards to her research.


  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23 (FGF-23) Levels Differ Across Populations by Degree of Industrialization. Yuen SN, Kramer H, Luke A, Bovet P, Plange-Rhule J, Forrester T, Lambert V, Wolfe M, Camacho P, Harders R, Dugas L, Cooper R, Durazo-Arvizu R. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Mar 22:
  • ASSOCIATION BETWEEN 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D AND INTACT PARATHYROID HORMONE LEVELS ACROSS LATITUDE AMONG ADULTS WITH AFRICAN ANCESTRY. Kramer H, Camacho P, Aloia J, Luke A, Bovet P, Rhule JP, Forrester T, Lambert V, Harders R, Dugas L, Cooper R, Durazo-Arvizu R.Endocr Pract. 2016 Apr 4.

  • Wrist Accelerometry in the Health, Functional, and Social Assessment of Older Adults. Huisingh-Scheetz M, Kocherginsky M, Dugas L, Payne C, Dale W1, Conroy DE, Waite L. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Apr;64(4):889-91.
  • Sleep is in for Summer: Patterns of Sleep and Physical Activity in Urban Minority Girls. Bates CR, Bohnert AM, Ward AK, Burdette KA, Kliethermes SA, Welch SB, Silton RL, Dugas LR. J Pediatr Psychol. 2016 Feb 29. pii: jsw009. 

  • Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans. Pontzer H, Durazo-Arvizu R, Dugas LR, Plange-Rhule J, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Cooper RS, Schoeller DA, Luke A. Curr Biol. 2016 Feb 8;26(3):410-7. 

  • The obese gut microbiome across the epidemiologic transition. Dugas LR, Fuller M, Gilbert J, Layden BT. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 2016 Jan 11;13:2.

  • A Survey Study of Pregnant Women and Healthcare Practitioners Assessing the Knowledge of Attitudes and Practices of Hepatitis B Management at a Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. Cheng A, Jose J, Larsen-Reindorf R, Small C, Nde H, Dugas L, Ehrhardt S, Nelson K, Ezeanolue E, Layden J. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015 Sep 1;2(4):ofv122. 

  • Evidence for daily and weekly rhythmicity but not lunar or seasonal rhythmicity of physical activity in a large cohort of individuals from five different countries. Refinetti R, Sani M, Jean-Louis G, Pandi-Perumal SR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Dugas LR, Kafensztok R, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Luke A. Ann Med. 2015 Nov;47(7):530-7. 

  • A comparison of indices of glucose metabolism in five black populations: data from modeling the epidemiologic transition study (METS). Atiase Y, Farni K, Plange-Rhule J, Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TG, Lambert V, Levitt NS, Kliethermes S, Cao G, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Dugas LR. BMC Public Health. 2015 Sep 15;15:895.

  • Seasonal variation in natural abundance of 2H and 18O in urine samples from rural Nigeria. Harbison JE, Dugas LR, Brieger W, Tayo BO, Alabi T, Schoeller DA, Luke A. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Jul 1;119(1):55-60. 

  • Daily activity patterns of 2316 men and women from five countries differing in socioeconomic development. Sani M, Refinetti R, Jean-Louis G, Pandi-Perumal SR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Dugas LR, Kafensztok R, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Luke A. Chronobiol Int. 2015 Jun;32(5):650-6. 

  • High frequency of active HCV infection among seropositive cases in west Africa and evidence for multiple transmission pathways. Layden JE, Phillips RO, Owusu-Ofori S, Sarfo FS, Kliethermes S, Mora N, Owusu D, Nelson K, Opare-Sem O, Dugas L, Luke A, Shoham D, Forbi JC, Khudyakov YE, Cooper RS. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Apr 1;60(7):1033-41.

  • Elevated hypertension risk for African-origin populations in biracial societies: modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study. Cooper RS, Forrester TE, Plange-Rhule J, Bovet P, Lambert EV, Dugas LR, Cargill KE, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Shoham DA, Tong L, Cao G, Luke A. J Hypertens. 2015 Mar;33(3):473-80; discussion 480-1.

  • Association of car ownership and physical activity across the spectrum of human development: Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS).  Shoham DA, Dugas LR, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Schoeller DA, Brage S, Ekelund U, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Luke A.BMC Public Health. 2015 Feb 21;15:173.

  • Under-reporting of dietary energy intake in five populations of the African diaspora. Orcholski L, Luke A, Plange-Rhule J, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Dugas LR, Kettmann E, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Schoeller DA. Br J Nutr. 2015 Feb 14;113(3):464-72.

  • Reply to T Weishaar. Durazo-Arvizu RA, Camacho P, Bovet P, Forrester T, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Hoofnagle AN, Aloia J, Tayo B, Dugas LR, Cooper RS, Luke A. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;101(2):413-4. 

  • Distribution of metals exposure and associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the "Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study". Ettinger AS, Bovet P, Plange-Rhule J, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Lupoli N, Shine J, Dugas LR, Shoham D, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Luke A. Environ Health. 2014 Nov 5;13:90.

  • Active summers matter: evaluation of a community-based summertime program targeting obesogenic behaviors of low-income, ethnic minority girls. Bohnert AM, Ward AK, Burdette KA, Silton RL, Dugas LR. New Dir Youth Dev. 2014 Fall;2014(143):133-50. 

  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in African-origin populations at varying latitudes challenges the construct of a physiologic norm. Durazo-Arvizu RA, Camacho P, Bovet P, Forrester T, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Hoofnagle AN, Aloia J, Tayo B, Dugas LR, Cooper RS, Luke A. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;100(3):908-14.

  • Evaluation of Culex pipiens Populations in a Residential Area with a High Density of Catch Basins in a Suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Harbison JE, Henry M, Xamplas C, Dugas LR. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2014 Sep;30(3):228-30.

  • Hepatitis C in sub-saharan Africa: urgent need for attention. Layden JE, Phillips R, Opare-Sem O, Akere A, Salako BL, Nelson K, Dugas L, Luke A, Tayo BO, Cooper RS. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 17;1(2):ofu065.

  • Comparisons of intensity-duration patterns of physical activity in the US, Jamaica and 3 African countries. Dugas LR, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Shoham D, Kroff J, Cao G, Cooper RS, Brage S, Ekelund U, Luke A. BMC Public Health. 2014 Aug 27;14:882.

  • A mixed ecologic-cohort comparison of physical activity & weight among young adults from five populations of African origin. Luke A, Bovet P, Plange-Rhule J, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Schoeller DA, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Shoham DA, Cao G, Brage S, Ekelund U, Cooper RS. BMC Public Health. 2014 Apr 24;14:397.

  • A comparison of FourStar™ Briquets and natular™ XRT tablets in a North Shore suburb of Chicago, Il. Harbison JE, Henry M, Xamplas C, Berry R, Bhattacharya D, Dugas LR. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2014 Mar;30(1):68-70.

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) Found in Humans and Water in Three Geographic Regions with Distinctly Different Levels of Economic Development. Karalius VP, Harbison JE, Plange-Rhule J, van Breemen RB, Li G, Huang K, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Mora N, Dugas LR, Vail L, Tuchman NC, Forrester T, Luke A. Environ Health Insights. 2014 Jan 12;8:1-3.

  • Identification of larvicide-resistant catch basins from three years of larvicide trials in a suburb of Chicago, IL. Harbison JE, Sinacore JM, Henry M, Xamplas C, Dugas LR, Ruiz MO. Environ Health Insights. 2014 Oct 13;8(Suppl 2):1-7.

  • Association between smoking and total energy expenditure in a multi-country study. Gonseth S, Dugas L, Viswanathan B, Forrester T, Lambert V, Plange-Rhule J, Durazo-Arvizu R, Luke A, Schoeller DA, Bovet P. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014 Oct 4;11(1):48.

  • Physical activity and pre-diabetes-an unacknowledged mid-life crisis: findings from NHANES 2003-2006. Farni K, Shoham DA, Cao G, Luke AH, Layden J, Cooper RS, Dugas LR. PeerJ. 2014 Aug 19;2:e499

  • Obesity as an effect modifier of the risk of death in chronic kidney disease. Kramer H, Dugas L, Shoham D. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Nov;28 Suppl 4:iv65-72.

  • Multimethod analyses of discretionary time use and health behaviors among urban low-income African-American adolescents: a pilot study. Bohnert A, Burdette K, Dugas L, Travers L, Randall E, Richards M, Luke A. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2013 Oct;34(8):589-98.

  • Prediction of fat-free mass using bioelectrical impedance analysis in young adults from five populations of African origin. Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Kroff J, Richie WN, Schoeller DA. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;67(9):956-60.

  • The effect of physiology and hydration beliefs on race behavior and postrace sodium in 161-km ultramarathon finishers. Winger JM, Hoffman MD, Hew-Butler TD, Stuempfle KJ, Dugas JP, Fogard K, Dugas LR. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 Sep;8(5):536-41.

  • Race and the insulin resistance syndrome. Kramer H, Dugas L, Rosas SE. Semin Nephrol. 2013 Sep;33(5):457-67.

  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in African American and Nigerian women. Durazo-Arvizu RA, Aloia JF, Dugas LR, Tayo BO, Shoham DA, Bertino AM, Yeh JK, Cooper RS, Luke A. Am J Hum Biol. 2013 Jul-Aug;25(4):560-2. 

  • Sports specialization in young athletes: evidence-based recommendations. Jayanthi N, Pinkham C, Dugas L, Patrick B, Labella C. Sports Health. 2013 May;5(3):251-7. 
  • Fasting substrate oxidation in relation to habitual dietary fat intake and insulin resistance in non-diabetic women: a case for metabolic flexibility? Carstens MT, Goedecke JH, Dugas L, Evans J, Kroff J, Levitt NS, Lambert EV. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jan 14;10(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-10-8.

  • An actor-based model of social network influence on adolescent body size, screen time, and playing sports. Shoham DA, Tong L, Lamberson PJ, Auchincloss AH, Zhang J, Dugas L, Kaufman JS, Cooper RS, Luke A. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39795.

  • Protocol for the modeling the epidemiologic transition study: a longitudinal observational study of energy balance and change in body weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Schoeller DA, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Shoham D, Cooper RS, Brage S, Ekelund U, Steyn NP. BMC Public Health. 2011 Dec 14;11:927.
  • Adiposity is not equal in a multi-race/ethnic adolescent population: NHANES 1999-2004. Dugas LR, Cao G, Luke AH, Durazo-Arvizu RA. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Oct;19(10):2099-101.
  • Beliefs about hydration and physiology drive drinking behaviors in runners. Winger JM, Dugas JP, Dugas LR. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Jun;45(8):646-9. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2010.075275. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

  • Assessing physical activity and its relationship to cardiovascular risk factors: NHANES 2003-2006. Luke A, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cao G, Cooper RS. BMC Public Health. 2011 May 25;11:387. 

  • Energy expenditure in adults living in developing compared with industrialized countries: a meta-analysis of doubly labeled water studies. Dugas LR, Harders R, Merrill S, Ebersole K, Shoham DA, Rush EC, Assah FK, Forrester T, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Luke A. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):427-41

  • Increasing BMI and waist circumference and prevalence of obesity among adults with Type 2 diabetes: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Kramer H, Cao G, Dugas L, Luke A, Cooper R, Durazo-Arvizu R. J Diabetes Complications. 2010 Nov-Dec;24(6):368-74.

  • Relative height and weight among children and adolescents of rural southwestern Nigeria. Ayoola O, Ebersole K, Omotade OO, Tayo BO, Brieger WR, Salami K, Dugas LR, Cooper RS, Luke A. Ann Hum Biol. 2009 Jul-Aug;36(4):388-99. doi: 10.1080/03014460902835606. Epub 2009 May 16.

  • Total daily energy expenditure in black and white, lean and obese South African women. Dugas LR, Cohen R, Carstens MT, Schoffelen PF, Luke A, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Goedecke JH, Levitt NS, Lambert EV. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;63(5):667-73. 

  • Energy expenditure does not predict weight change in either Nigerian or African American women. Luke A, Dugas LR, Ebersole K, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cao G, Schoeller DA, Adeyemo A, Brieger WR, Cooper RS. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):169-76.

  • Energy expenditure and adiposity in Nigerian and African-American women. Ebersole KE, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizut RA, Adeyemo AA, Tayo BO, Omotade OO, Brieger WR, Schoeller DA, Cooper RS, Luke AH. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Sep;16(9):2148-54.

  • Rapid increases in obesity in Jamaica, compared to Nigeria and the United States. Durazo-Arvizu RA, Luke A, Cooper RS, Cao G, Dugas L, Adeyemo A, Boyne M, Forrester T. BMC Public Health. 2008 Apr 23;8:133.

  • Very low levels of energy expenditure among pre-adolescent Mexican-American girls. Dugas LR, Ebersole K, Schoeller D, Yanovski JA, Barquera S, Rivera J, Durazo-Arzivu R, Luke A. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008;3(2):123-6. 

  • Ethnicity, energy expenditure and obesity: are the observed black/white differences meaningful? Luke A, Dugas L, Kramer H. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2007 Oct;14(5):370-3. 

  • BMI, fat and muscle differences in urban women of five ethnicities from two countries. Rush EC, Goedecke JH, Jennings C, Micklesfield L, Dugas L, Lambert EV, Plank LD. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Aug;31(8):1232-9.

  • Conjugated linoleic acid versus high-oleic acid sunflower oil: effects on energy metabolism, glucose tolerance, blood lipids, appetite and body composition in regularly exercising individuals. Lambert EV, Goedecke JH, Bluett K, Heggie K, Claassen A, Rae DE, West S, Dugas J, Dugas L, Meltzeri S, Charlton K, Mohede I. Br J Nutr. 2007 May;97(5):1001-11.

  • A novel energy expenditure prediction equation for intermittent physical activity. Dugas LR, van der Merwe L, Odendaal H, Noakes TD, Lambert EV. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Dec;37(12):2154-61.