Denise Ney

Denise Ney, PhD

PhD, University of California, Davis
Billings-Bascom Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information:

277 Nutritional Sciences
1415 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706

Research Statement

Our research group has conducted studies in individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU) that establishes the acceptability and safety of foods made with the whey protein, glycomacropeptide, in the nutritional management PKU. PKU is a genetic disorder caused by deficiency of the hepatic enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase that converts the essential amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine. The Waisman Biochemical Genetics Clinics follows over 160 clients with PKU. To prevent brain damage and cognitive impairment those with PKU must follow a lifelong, low-phenylalanine diet that is restricted in natural foods and requires ingestion of a bitter tasting amino acid formula. Glycomacropeptide is uniquely suited to the PKU diet because it is the only known dietary proteins that contains only trace amounts of phenylalanine. Low-phenylalanine food products made from GMP provide a palatable and acceptable alternative to the amino acid formulas currently required in the PKU diet.

Our GMP research was featured on Wisconsin Public Television. This show can be viewed at .

Representative Publications

Ney DM, Blank RD, Hansen KE. (2014) Advances in the nutritional and pharmacological management of phenylketonuria. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 17(1):61-8. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000002.

Sangild PT, Ney DM, Sigalet DL, Vegge A, Burrin D. (2014) Animal models of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Animal models of infant short bowel syndrome: translational relevance and challenges. American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 15;307(12):G1147-68. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00088.2014.

Sawin EA, Murali SG, Ney DM. (2014) Differential effects of low-phenylalanine protein sources on brain neurotransmitters and behavior in C57Bl/6-Pah(enu2) mice. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism. 111(4):452-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2014.01.015.

Ney DM. (2013) Does the PKU diet contribute to impaired renal function?. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease. In Press.

Solverson P, Murali SG, Brinkman AS, Nelson DW, Clayton MK, Yen CL, Ney DM. (2012) Glycomacropeptide, a low-phenylalanine protein isolated from cheese whey, supports growth and attenuates metabolic stress in the murine model of phenylketonuria. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. Apr;302(7):E885-95.

Murali SG, Brinkman AS, Solverson PM, Pun W, Pintar JE, Ney DM. (2012) Exogenous GLP-2 and IGF-I induce a differential intestinal response in IGF binding protein-3 and -5 double knockout mice. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2012 Jan 26. [Epub ahead of print].

van Calcar SC, Ney DM. (2012) Food products made with glycomacropeptide, a low-phenylalanine whey protein, provide a new alternative to amino Acid-based medical foods for nutrition management of phenylketonuria. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Aug;112(8):1201-10.

Brinkman AS, Murali SG, Hitt S, Solverson PM, Holst JJ, Ney DM. (2012) Enteral nutrients potentiate glucagon-like peptide-2 action and reduce dependence on parenteral nutrition in a rat model of human intestinal failure. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology. 303(5):G610-22.

Koopmann MC, Chen X, Holst JJ, Ney DM. (2010) Sustained glucagon-like peptide-2 infusion is required for intestinal adaptation, and cessation reverses increased cellularity in rats with intestinal failure. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. Dec;299(6):G1222-30.

Baumler MD, Koopmann MC, Thomas DD, Ney DM, Groblewski GE. (2010) Intravenous or luminal amino acids are insufficient to maintain pancreatic growth and digestive enzyme expression in the absence of intact dietary protein. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. Aug;299(2):G338-47.

Macleod EL, Ney DM. (2010) Nutritional Management of Phenylketonuria. Annales Nestlé. Jun;68(2):58-69.