Joseph E. Donnelly, Ed.D.

Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management
BS, Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV
MS, Exercise Physiology, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
ED.D, Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV


Research Interests

  • Energy balance
  • Child nutrition and fitness
  • Obesity and chronic disease risk
  • Effect of exercise on weight loss and maintenance
  • Physical activity, brain function and academic achievement in children
  • Exercise and Alzheimer's disease in the elderly
  • Alternative delivery strategies for prevention and treatment of obesity
  • Resistance training, energy balance and weight management
  • Weight loss and maintenance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Selected Publications   

  • Hansen DM, Herrmann SD, Lambourne K, Lee J, Donnelly JE. Linear/Nonlinear Relations of Activity and Fitness With Children's Academic Achievement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24781896.Scudder MR, Lambourne K, Drollette ES, Herrmann SD, Washburn RA, Donnelly JE, Hillman CH. Aerobic capacity and cognitive control in elementary school-age children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 May;46(5):1025-35. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000199. PubMed PMID: 24743109.
  • Willis EA, Herrmann SD, Honas JJ, Lee J, Donnelly JE, Washburn RA. Nonexercise Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity in the Midwest Exercise Trial 2. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24694746.
  • Donnelly JE, Herrmann SD, Lambourne K, Szabo AN, Honas JJ, Washburn RA. Does increased exercise or physical activity alter ad-libitum daily energy intake or macronutrient composition in healthy adults? A systematic review. PLoS One. 2014  Jan 15;9(1):e83498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083498. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24454704; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3893086.
  •  Melanson E, Kozy Keadle S, Donnelly JE, Braun B, King NA. Response. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Feb;46(2):424. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000165. PubMed PMID: 24435074; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3908900.
  • Herrmann SD, Martin LE, Breslin FJ, Honas JJ, Willis EA, Lepping RJ, Gibson CA, Befort CA, Lambourne K, Burns JM, Smith BK, Sullivan DK, Washburn RA, Yeh HW, Donnelly JE, Savage CR. Neuroimaging studies of factors related to exercise: rationale and design of a 9 month trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jan;37(1):58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2013.11.007. Epub 2013 Nov 27. PubMed PMID: 24291150; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3946871.
  • Lundgren JD, Patrician TM, Breslin FJ, Martin LE, Donnelly JE, Savage CR. Evening hyperphagia and food motivation: a preliminary study of neural mechanisms. Eat Behav. 2013 Dec;14(4):447-50. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2013.08.006.Epub 2013 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 24183133; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3817498.
  • Fabian CJ, Kimler BF, Donnelly JE, Sullivan DK, Klemp JR, Petroff BK, Phillips TA, Metheny T, Aversman S, Yeh HW, Zalles CM, Mills GB, Hursting SD. Favorable modulation of benign breast tissue and serum risk biomarkers is associated with > 10 % weight loss in postmenopausal women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Nov;142(1):119-32. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2730-8. Epub 2013 Oct 19. PubMed PMID: 24141897; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3921968.
  • Bruce AS, Bruce JM, Ness AR, Lepping RJ, Malley S, Hancock L, Powell J, Patrician TM, Breslin FJ, Martin LE, Donnelly JE, Brooks WM, Savage CR. A comparison of functional brain changes associated with surgical versus behavioral weight loss. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Feb;22(2):337-43. doi: 10.1002/oby.20630. Epub 2013 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 24115765; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC3946492.
  • Ptomey LT, Herrmann SD, Lee J, Sullivan DK, Rondon MF, Donnelly JE.Photo-assisted recall increases estimates of energy and macronutrient intake in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Dec;113(12):1704-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.029. Epub 2013 Oct 4. PubMedPMID: 24095784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3834035.
  • Szabo AN, Washburn RA, Sullivan DK, Honas JJ, Mayo MS, Goetz J, Lee J, Donnelly JE. The Midwest Exercise Trial for the Prevention of Weight Regain: MET  POWeR. Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 Nov;36(2):470-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2013.08.011. Epub 2013 Sep 4. PubMed PMID: 24012915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3844028.
  • Sullivan DK, Goetz JR, Gibson CA, Washburn RA, Smith BK, Lee J, Gerald S,Fincham T, Donnelly JE. Improving weight maintenance using virtual reality (Second Life). J Nutr Educ Behav. 2013 May-Jun;45(3):264-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2012.10.007. PubMed PMID: 23622351.
  • Donnelly JE, Honas JJ, Smith BK, Mayo MS, Gibson CA, Sullivan DK, Lee J,Herrmann SD, Lambourne K, Washburn RA. Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: midwest exercise trial 2.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Mar;21(3):E219-28. doi: 10.1002/oby.20145. PubMed PMID: 23592678; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3630467.
  • Donnelly JE, Greene JL, Gibson CA, Sullivan DK, Hansen DM, Hillman CH, Poggio J, Mayo MS, Smith BK, Lambourne K, Herrmann SD, Scudder M, Betts JL, Honas JJ, Washburn RA. Physical activity and academic achievement across the curriculum (A  + PAAC): rationale and design of a 3-year, cluster-randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2013 Apr 8;13:307. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-307. PubMed PMID: 23565969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3626787.
  • Singh M, Lee J, Gupta N, Gaddam S, Smith BK, Wani SB, Sullivan DK, Rastogi A,Bansal A, Donnelly JE, Sharma P. Weight loss can lead to resolution of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms: a prospective intervention trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Feb;21(2):284-90. doi: 10.1002/oby.20279. PubMed PMID: 23532991; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3853378.
  • Melanson EL, Keadle SK, Donnelly JE, Braun B, King NA. Resistance to exercise-induced weight loss: compensatory behavioral adaptations. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Aug;45(8):1600-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828ba942. Review. PubMed PMID: 23470300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3696411.
  • Donnelly JE, Goetz J, Gibson C, Sullivan DK, Lee R, Smith BK, Lambourne K, Mayo MS, Hunt S, Lee JH, Honas JJ, Washburn RA. Equivalent weight loss for weight management programs delivered by phone and clinic. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013  Oct;21(10):1951-9. doi: 10.1002/oby.20334. Epub 2013 May 25. PubMed PMID: 23408579.
  • Lambourne K, Washburn RA, Lee J, Betts JL, Thomas DT, Smith BK, Gibson CA, Sullivan DK, Donnelly JE. A 6-month trial of resistance training with milk supplementation in adolescents: effects on body composition. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013 Aug;23(4):344-56. Epub 2012 Dec 7. PubMed PMID: 23239680.
  • Vidoni ED, Van Sciver A, Johnson DK, He J, Honea R, Haines B, Goodwin J, Laubinger MP, Anderson HS, Kluding PM, Donnelly JE, Billinger SA, Burns JM. A community-based approach to trials of aerobic exercise in aging and Alzheimer's disease. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Nov;33(6):1105-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Aug 7. PubMed PMID: 22903151; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3468654.
  • Lambourne K, Washburn RA, Gibson C, Sullivan DK, Goetz J, Lee R, Smith BK, Mayo MS, Donnelly JE. Weight management by phone conference call: a comparison with a traditional face-to-face clinic. Rationale and design for a randomized equivalence trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Sep;33(5):1044-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jun 1. PubMed PMID: 22664647; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3408567.
  • Donnelly JE, Washburn RA, Smith BK, Sullivan DK, Gibson C, Honas JJ, Mayo MS.A randomized, controlled, supervised, exercise trial in young overweight men and  women: the Midwest Exercise Trial II (MET2). Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Jul;33(4):804-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2012.03.016. Epub 2012 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 22504223; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3361612.
  • Washburn RA, Donnelly JE, Smith BK, Sullivan DK, Marquis J, Herrmann SD.Resistance training volume, energy balance and weight management: rationale and design of a 9 month trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Jul;33(4):749-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2012.03.002. Epub 2012 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 22446169; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3361520.
  • Lambourne K, Donnelly JE. The role of physical activity in pediatric obesity. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2011 Dec;58(6):1481-91, xi-xii. Review.
  • Anderson HS, Kluding PM, Gajewski BJ, Donnelly JE, Burns JM. Reliability of peak treadmill exercise tests in mild Alzheimer disease. Int J Neurosci. 2011 Aug;121(8):450-6.
  • Saunders RR, Saunders MD, Donnelly JE, Smith BK, Sullivan DK, Guilford B, Rondon MF. Evaluation of an approach to weight loss in adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Intellect Dev Disabil. 2011 Apr;49(2):103-12.
  • Donnelly JE, Lambourne K. Classroom-based physical activity, cognition, and academic achievement. Prev Med. 2011 Jun 1;52 Suppl 1:S36-42. Review.
  • Lecheminant, LD, Smith BK, Westman EC, Vernon MC, Donnelly JE. Comparison of a reduced carbohydrate and reduced fat diet for LDL, HDL, and VLDL subclasses during 9-months of weight maintenance subsequent to weight loss. Lipids in Health and Disease. Lipids Health Dis. 9:54. 2010.
  • Bailey BW, Sullivan D, Kirk EP, Donnelly JE. Dietary predictors of visceral adiposity in overweight young adults. Br J Nutr, 26:1-4. 2010.
  • Eisenmann JC, Laurson KR, DuBose K, Smith B, Donnelly J. Construct validity of a continuous metabolic syndrome score in children. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 2:8. 2010.
  • Donnelly JE, Blair SN, Jakicic JM, Manore MM, Rankin JW, Smith BS. Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Med Sci Sports Exec, 41(2):459-471, 2009.
  • Donnelly JE, Greene JL, Gibson CA, Smith BK, Washburn RA, Sullivan DK, Dubose KD, Mayo MS, Schmelzle KH, Ryan JJ, Williams SL, Jacobsen DJ. Physical activity across the curriculum (PAAC): A randomized, controlled trial to diminish overweight and obesity in elementary school children. Prev Med, doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.07.022,2009.
  • Donnelly JE Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical Activity Advisory Committee Report, U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, 2008.
  • Burns J.M., Mayo M.S., Anderson H.S., Smith H.J., Donnelly J.E. Cardiorespiratory fitness in early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Disease and Associated Disorders, 22:39-46, 2008.
  • Davis A.M., Boles R., James R.L., Sullivan, D.K., Donnelly J.E., Swirczynski D..L, Goetz J. Health behaviors and weight status among urban and rural children. Rural and Remote Health, 8(2):810, 2008.
  • Donnelly J.E., Sullivan D.K., Smith BK, Jacobsen DJ,, Washburn RA, Johnson, S.L, Hill. J.O., Mayo. M.S., Spaeth. K.R., Gibson. C. Alteration of dietary fat intake to prevent weight gain: Jayhawk Observed Eating Trial. Obesity (Silver Spring), 16(1):107-12, 2008.
  • Honas, J.J., Washburn, R,A,, Smith, B.K., Green, J.L., Donnelly, J.E. The system for observing fitness instruction time (SOFIT) as a measure of energy expenditure during classroom based physical activity. Pediatric Exercise Science, 20(4):439-445, 2008.
  • Donnelly JE, Hill, JO, Jacobsen DJ, et al. Effects of a 16-month, randomized, controlled exercise trial on bodyweight and composition in young, overweight men and women: The Midwest Exercise Trial (MET). Archives of Internal Medicine, 163:1343-1350, 2003.
  • Donnelly JE, Smith BK. Is Exercise Effective for Weight Loss With Ad Libitum Diet? Energy Balance, Compensation, and Gender Differences. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 33:4, pp. 169-174, 2005
  • Donnelly JE, Smith BK, Dunn L, Mayo MS, Jacobsen DJ, Stewart EE, Gibson C, Sullivan DK. Comparison of a phone vs. clinic approach to achieve 10% weight loss. Int J Obes, 31: 1270 - 1276, 2007.
  • Donnelly JE. Adequacy of evidence for physical activity guidelines development. Institute of Medicine of The National Academies. The National Academies Press, 59-65, 2007.
  • Donnelly JE, Kirk EP, Jacobsen DJ, Hill JO, Sullivan DK, Johnson SL. Effects of 16-months of verified, supervised aerobic exercise on macronutrient intake in overweight men and women: the Midwest Exercise Trial (MET). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78:950-956, 2003.
Last modified: Jul 31, 2014

Joseph E Donnelly, ED.D.

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Joseph E. Donnelly, Ed.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management

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