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Paul S. MacLean, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine

Dr. MacLean joined the UC Denver faculty in 2001 after receiving his training at Brigham Young and East Carolina Universities.  His research efforts are focused on understanding the metabolic consequences of obesity and weight loss. He is funded by the National Institutes of Health to examine the metabolic adaptations to long term weight reduction that promote weight regain and strategies that facilitate weight loss by countering those adaptations. He works closely with a number of scientists in the Colorado Health and Wellness Center who perform clinical studies in this area.  He has a number of interdisciplinary collaborations with other programs on campus investigating the metabolic complications of obesity.  Dr. MacLean works with researchers in Reproductive Sciences studying the impact of obesity on mammary gland development and lactation.  He works with members of the IMAGE Group (Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender and Exercise) on clinical and preclinical investigating how obesity affects the menopausal transition.  He also has a collaborative effort with several members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center to examine the link between obesity and postmenopausal breast cancer.  These interdisciplinary research efforts have stemmed from facilitating the research enterprise on campus as the Research Director of the Division, the Director of the Energy Metabolism Program (affiliated with the Colorado Obesity Research Initiative), and as the Associate Director of both the Metabolic Core and the Energy Balance Laboratory (affiliated with the Colorado Nutrition and Obesity Research Center).


  • Obesity
  • Metabolism
  • Weight regain
  • Energy balance
  • Breast Cancer
  • Menopause

Selected Publications

  1. Opposing effects of fructokinase C and A isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice.
    Ishimoto T, Lanaspa MA, Le MT, Garcia GE, Diggle CP, Maclean PS, Jackman MR, Asipu A, Roncal-Jimenez CA, Kosugi T, Rivard CJ, Maruyama S, Rodriguez-Iturbe B, Sánchez-Lozada LG, Bonthron DT, Sautin YY, Johnson RJ.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 13;109(11):4320-5. Epub 2012 Feb 27.
  2. Increasing dietary fat elicits similar changes in fat oxidation and markers of muscle oxidative capacity in lean and obese humans.
    Bergouignan A, Gozansky WS, Barry DW, Leitner W, MacLean PS, Hill JO, Draznin B, Melanson EL.
    PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30164. Epub 2012 Jan 12.
  3. Resistant starch and exercise independently attenuate weight regain on a high fat diet in a rat model of obesity.
    Higgins JA, Jackman MR, Brown IL, Johnson GC, Steig A, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, Maclean PS.
    Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jul 7;8:49.
  4. Impact of high-fat diet and obesity on energy balance and fuel utilization during the metabolic challenge of lactation.
    Wahlig JL, Bales ES, Jackman MR, Johnson GC, McManaman JL, Maclean PS.
    Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jan;20(1):65-75. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.196. Epub 2011 Jun 30.
  5. Exercise reduces appetite and traffics excess nutrients away from energetically efficient pathways of lipid deposition during the early stages of weight regain.
    Steig AJ, Jackman MR, Giles ED, Higgins JA, Johnson GC, Mahan C, Melanson EL, Wyatt HR, Eckel RH, Hill JO, Maclean PS.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):R656-67. Epub 2011 Jun 29.
  6. Biology's response to dieting: the impetus for weight regain.
    Maclean PS, Bergouignan A, Cornier MA, Jackman MR.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):R581-600. Epub 2011 Jun 15. Review.
  7. Comment on: Kaiyala et al. (2010) Identification of body fat mass as a major determinant of metabolic rate in mice. Diabetes;59:1657-1666.
    Maclean PS.
    Diabetes. 2011 Jan;60(1):e3; author reply e4. No abstract available.
  8. Treatment related factors and inhibitor development in children with severe haemophilia A.
    Maclean PS, Richards M, Williams M, Collins P, Liesner R, Keeling DM, Yee T, Will AM, Young D, Chalmers EA; Paediatric Working Party of UKHCDO.
    Haemophilia. 2011 Mar;17(2):282-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2516.2010.02422.x. Epub 2010 Nov 11.
  9. Effect of the estrous cycle and surgical ovariectomy on energy balance, uel utilization, and physical activity in lean and obese female rats.
    Giles ED, Jackman MR, Johnson GC, Schedin PJ, Houser JL, Maclean PS.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Dec;299(6):R1634-42. Epub 2010 Oct 6.
  10. Energy expenditure in obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats before and after the introduction of a high-fat diet.
    Jackman MR, Maclean PS, Bessesen DH.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Oct;299(4):R1097-105. Epub 2010 Aug 4
  11. Regulation of skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and insulin signaling by the mitochondrial rhomboid protease PARL.
    Civitarese AE, Maclean PS, Carling S, Kerr-Bayles L, McMillan RP, Pierce A, Becker TC, Moro C, Finlayson J, Lefort N, Newgard CB, Mandarino L, Cefalu W, Walder K, Collier GR, Hulver MW, Smith SR, Ravussin E.
    Cell Metab. 2010 May 5;11(5):412-26.
  12. When energy balance is maintained, exercise does not induce negative fat balance in lean sedentary, obese sedentary, or lean endurance-trained individuals.
    Melanson EL, Gozansky WS, Barry DW, Maclean PS, Grunwald GK, Hill JO.
    J Appl Physiol. 2009 Dec;107(6):1847-56. Epub 2009 Oct 15.
  13. A surprising link between the energetics of ovariectomy-induced weight gain and mammary tumor progression in obese rats.
    Maclean PS, Giles ED, Johnson GC, McDaniel SM, Fleming-Elder BK, Gilman KA, Andrianakos AG, Jackman MR, Shroyer KR, Schedin PJ.
    Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Apr;18(4):696-703. Epub 2009 Oct 1.
  14. Regular exercise attenuates the metabolic drive to regain weight after long-term weight loss.
    Maclean PS, Higgins JA, Wyatt HR, Melanson EL, Johnson GC, Jackman MR, Giles ED, Brown IE, Hill JO.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Sep;297(3):R793-802. Epub 2009 Jul 8.
  15. Exercise improves fat metabolism in muscle but does not increase 24-h fat oxidation.
    Melanson EL, Maclean PS, Hill JO.
    Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009 Apr;37(2):93-101.


Graduate Schools
Ph.D., East Carolina University BSOM, Biochemistry, (1999)
M.S., Brigham Young University, Physiology, (1994)

Undergraduate School
B.S., Brigham Young University, Exercise Science, (1992)

East Carolina University BSOM, (1999 – 2001)





Erin Giles, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


Matt Jackman, Ph.D.

Instructor of Medicine


Ginger Johnson

Professional Research Assistant