Nancy I. Williams

 Nancy Williams

Professor of Kinesiology and Physiology, and Head of Department, Kinesiology.

Contact Information

276 Recreation Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-865-1275


Sc.D., 1992, Applied Physiology, Boston University

Research Interests

Exercise physiology, women’s health and exercise, effects of exercise and diet on the menstrual cycle, gastrointestinal peptides and food intake, neuroendocrinology, metabolism, skeletal physiology


  • Women’s health and exercise with an emphasis on the female athlete triad
  • Interactions between energy balance and menstrual cycle physiology in exercising women
  • Effects of food intake and exercise on gut peptides and metabolic signals

Selected Publications

Reed JL, Bowell JL, Hill BR, Williams BA, , De Souza MJ, Williams NI. Exercising women with menstrual disturbances consume low energy dense foods and beverages (Appl Physiol, Nutr, and Metab. 2011 Jun 36(3): 382-94. Epub 2011 May 16.

Hill BR, De Souza MJ, Williams NI. Characterization of the Diurnal Rhythm of Peptide YY and its Role in Energy Balance in Normal Weight Premenopausal Women (Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug; 301(2): E409-15. Epub 2011 May 24

Corr M, De Souza MJ, Toombs RJ, Williams NI. Circulating leptin concentrations do not distinguish menstrual status in exercising women (Human Reprod, Mar 26(3): 685-694, Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Williams, NI., Reed, JL., Leidy HJ., Legro, RS., and De Souza, MJ. Exercise combined with caloric restriction reduces estrogen and progesterone exposure premenopausal women (Hum Reprod. 2010 Sep;25(9):2328-39. Epub Jul 6.

De Souza MJ, Toombs R, Scheid J, West S, O’Donnell E, Williams NI. High prevalence of subtle and severe menstrual disturbances in exercising women (Hum Reprod. 2010 Feb;25(2):491-503) [Epub Nov 26 2009]).

Williams, NI, Berga S.L., and Cameron, J.L. 2007 Synergistic effects of multiple sub-threshold stressors on menstrual cyclicity in cynomolgus monkeys. Am J Physiol: Endocrinol Metab. Jul 293(1): E270-276.

Leidy HJ, Dougherty KA, Frye BR, Duke KM, and NI Williams. Twenty-four-hour Ghrelin Is Elevated after Calorie Restriction and Exercise Training in Non-obese Women. Obesity Research Feb;15(2):446-55, 2007.

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Populations of Special Interest