Darryn S. Willoughby, Ph.D.

High Res Photo


Director, Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory


Research Interests

Effects of Exercise Training and Nutritional Intervention on the Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Mechanisms in Regulation Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Atrophy and Muscular Performance in Athletes, Aging, and Special Populations.

Professional Interests

Cellular and Molecular Physiology of Skeletal Muscle
Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics
Cellular and Molecular Physiology of Skeletal Muscle
Endocrine and Hormonal Basis of Exercise
Neuromuscular Exercise Physiology
Exercise and Sport Nutrition
Strength Training and Sport Conditioning

Podcast Dr. Darryn Willoughby, interview by Iraki Nutrition on Fasted Cardio.

Dr. Darryn Willoughby, Podcast interview by Iraki Nutrition on Creatine.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

Schwarz NA, McKinley-Barnard SK, Spillane MB, Andre TL, Gann JJ, Willoughby DS. Effect of resistance exercise intensity on the expression of PGC-1α isoforms and the anabolic and catabolic signaling mediators, IGF-1 and myostatin, in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, 41(8):856-63, 2016.

Church D, Schwarz N, Spillane M, McKinley-Barnard S, Andre T, Ramirez A, Willoughby DS. L-Leucine increases skeletal muscle IGF-1 but does not differentially increase Akt/mTORC1 signaling and serum IGF-1 compared to ursolic acid in response to resistance exercise in trained men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 22:1-12, 2016..

Spillane M, Schwarz N, Willoughby DS. Upper-body resistance exercise augments vastus lateralis androgen receptor-DNA binding and canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling compared to lower-body resistance exercise in resistance-trained men without an acute increase in serum testosterone. Steroids, 98:63-71, 2015.

Li R, Ferreira MP, Cooke MB, La Bounty P, Campbell B, Greenwood M, Willoughby DS, Kreider RB. Co-ingestion of carbohydrate with branched-chain amino acids or L-leucine does not preferentially increase serum IGF-1 and expression of myogenic-related genes in response to a single bout of resistance exercise. Amino Acids, 47:1203-1213, 2015.

Schwarz NA, Spillane MB, McKinley SK, Andre TL, Gann JJ, Willoughby DS. Acute myosin heavy chain isoform mRNA expression in response to two resistance exercise intensities with equal volume load in resistance-trained men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29:2326-32, 2015.

Ferreira M, Li R, Cooke M, Kreider R, Willoughby DS. Peri-exercise co-ingestion of branched-chain amino acids and carbohydrate in men does not preferentially augment resistance exercise-induced increase in PI3K/Akt-mTOR pathway markers indicative of muscle protein synthesis. Nutrition Research, 34:191-98, 2014.

Taylor L, Wilborn C, Willoughby DS. Effects of resistance exercise intensity on extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26:599-607, 2012.


Post-Doctoral Training, University of Southern Maine, 1996-97, Molecular Endocrinology
Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 1993; Specialization in neuromuscular exercise physiology and biochemistry, sub-specializations in nutritional biochemistry and molecular physiology.
M.Ed. Tarleton State University, 1989; Health and Fitness
B.S. Tarleton State University, 1986; Health and Fitness

Professional Certifications

Certified Exercise Physiologist
Certified Sports Nutritionist
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Professional Honors

Fellow, American College of Nutrition
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine
Fellow, American Society of Exercise Physiologists
Fellow, International Society of Sports Nutrition

Contact Information

Baylor University
College of Health and Human Sciences, HHPR
One Bear Place #97313
Waco, Texas 76798-7313

Office: Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium, 123
Lab: Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium, 120
Phone: 254-710-3504
Fax: 254-710-3527

Email: Darryn_Willoughby@baylor.edu