Peter Crawford, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Molecular Medicine

Peter Crawford

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-301-2202

Mailing Address:
420 Washington Ave SE
MMC 194
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Address:
Molecular and Cell Biology Building
Rm 5-156

Administrative Assistant Name
Jill Lane

Administrative Email

Professor of Medicine, Division of Molecular Medicine

Director, Division of Molecular Medicine

Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine

Faculty, PhD Program in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)

Associate Dean for Research Operations, Medical School

Internist; Cardiologist

Medical School, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Residency, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Fellowship, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

PhD, Washington University, St. Louis, MO


Obesity and cardiovascular disease are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Our research focuses on the interplay between intermediary metabolism and these disease processes. Derangements in the processing of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids are central drivers of disease pathogenesis, but the roles of another metabolic fuel class, ketone bodies, are less well understood. We use novel genetic mouse models with engineered deficiencies in ketone body metabolism to study the metabolic shifts that occur in response to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and dynamic environmental challenges. From these models, we have developed new perspectives of how metabolism adapts in obesity, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD/NASH), and cardiomyopathy; how these adaptations ultimately prove deleterious, and how innovative and personalized nutritional and pharmacological therapies may mitigate these adverse responses. 

We leverage recent advances in stable isotope tracer based NMR and mass spectrometry-based untargeted metabolomics technologies to study metabolism on a systems level, and we also employ established techniques in molecular cell biology and biochemistry to reveal phenotypic shifts at the cellular level. Complex in vivo phenotyping methodologies are strategically aligned with these sophisticated chemical profiling platforms to generate high resolution phenotypic pictures. In addition to our mouse studies, we perform studies in humans to learn how alterations of ketone metabolism and related pathways may serve as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for obesity, diabetes, NAFLD/NASH, heart failure/CHF, and metabolic maladaptations that can occur in any disease state.

Professional Associations

  • American Society for Clinical Investigation


Academic Interests and Focus

Metabolic Biochemistry


Clinical Interests

Heart Failure