Ricki Colman

Position title: Associate Professor

Email: rcolman@primate.wisc.edu

Phone: Phone: (608) 263-3544

RESEARCH INTERESTS - Energy regulation and the impact of caloric restriction on aging in nonhuman primates

Ricki Colman


Address: 213 Wisconsin Primate Center – 1223 Capitol Ct. – Madison, WI 53715



B.A., 1991, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Biology and Anthropology
M.A., 1993, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Biological Anthropology
M.S., 1998, University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI, Biological Anthropology
Ph.D., 1998, University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI, Biological Anthropology


My laboratory at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center utilizes nonhuman primate models to explore the impact of nutrition and metabolism on health across the aging continuum. The bulk of my research has focused on later life time points and the ability of caloric restriction to modulate the aging process. Caloric restriction, undernutrition without malnutrition, offers a powerful way to explore mechanisms of aging because it is the only environmental intervention that repeatedly and strongly increases maximum life span and delays aging in a diverse array of experimental organisms. My lab runs one of only two ongoing, long-term studies of the effects of moderate caloric restriction on aging in rhesus monkeys. I have more recently begun to explore the impact of nutrition on early life growth and development using a small New World primate model – the common marmoset.

Representative Publications

  • Colman RJ, Anderson RM, Johnson SC, Kastman EK, Kosmatka KJ, Beasley TM, Allison DB, Cruzen C, Simmons HA, Kemnitz JW, Weindruch R. Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys. Science. 325:201-204, 2009. PMCID:PMC2812811.
  • Colman RJ, Beasley TM, Allison DB, Weindruch R. Skeletal effects of long-term caloric restriction in rhesus monkeys. AGE. 34(5):1133-1143, 2012. PMCID:PMC3448987.
  • Ziegler TE, Sosa ME, Peterson LJ, Colman RJ. Using snacks high in fat and protein to improve glucoregulatory function in adolescent male marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 52(6):756-762, 2013. PMCID:PMC3838610.
  • Colman RJ, Beasley TM, Kemnitz JW, Johnson SC, Weindruch R, Anderson RM. Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys. Nat Commun. 5:3557, 2014. doi:10.1038/ncomms4557. PMCID:PMC3988801.
  • Mattison JA*, Colman RJ*, Beasley TM, Allison DB, Kemnitz JW, Roth GS, Ingram DK, Weindruch R, deCabo R, Anderson RM. Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys. Nature Commun. 8:14063, 2017. doi:10.1038/ncomms14063. PMCID:PMC5247583.
  • Yamada Y, Kemnitz JW, Weindruch R, Anderson RM, Schoeller DA, Colman RJ. Caloric restriction and healthy lifespan: frail phenotype of non-human primates in the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center caloric restriction study. J Gerontol Biol Sci. 73(3):273-278, 2018. doi:10.1093/gerona/glx059. PMCID:PMC5861888.
  • Schneider A, Dhahbi JM, Atamna H, Clark JP, Colman RJ, Anderson RM. Caloric restriction impacts plasma microRNAs in rhesus monkeys. Aging Cell. 16(5):1200-1203, 2017. doi:10.1111/acel.12636. PMCID:PMC5595684.
  • Colman RJ. Non-human primates as a model for aging. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1864(9 Pt A):2733-2741, 2018. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.07.008. PMCID:PMC5772001.
  • Maegawa S, Lu Y, Tahara T, Lee JT, Madzo J, Liang S, Jelinek JJ, Colman RJ, Issa J-PJ. Caloric restriction delays age-related methylation drift. Nature Commun. 8(1):539, 2017. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00607-3. PMCID:PMC5599616.
  • Ziegler TE, Sosa ME, Colman RJ. Fathering style influences health outcome in common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) offspring. PLoS One. 12(9):e0185695, 2017. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0185695. PMCID:PMC5619809.
  • Rhoads TW, Burhans MS, Chen VB, Hutchins PD, Rush MJP, Clark JP, Stark JL, McIlwain SJ, Eghbalnia HR, Pavelec DM, Ong IM, Denu JM, Markley JL, Coon JJ, Colman RJ, Anderson RM. Caloric restriction engages hepatic RNA processing mechanisms in rhesus monkeys. Cell Metab. 27(3):677-688, 2018. Doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2018.01.014. PMCID:PMC5844481.
  • Kraynak M*, Colman RJ*, Flowers MT, Abbott DH, Levine JE. Ovarian estradiol supports sexual behavior but not energy homeostasis in female marmoset monkeys. Int J Obesity. 43(5):1034-1045, 2019. doi:10.1038/s41366-018-0156-4. PMCID in progress.
  • Saltzman W, Abbott DH, Binkley N, Colman RJ. Maintenance of bone mass despite estrogen depletion in female common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus). Am J Primatol. 81(2):e22905, 2019. doi:10.1002/ajp.22905.
  • Rhoads TW, Clark JP, Gustafson GE, Miller KN, Conklin MW, DeMuth TM, Berres ME, Eliceiri KW, Vaughan LK, Duarte CW, Beasley TM, Colman RJ, Anderson RM. Molecular and functional networks linked to sarcopenia prevention by caloric restriction in rhesus monkeys. Cell Systems. 2020 Jan 22. pii: S2405-4712(19)30463-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cells.2019.12.002. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Adriansjach J, Baum ST, Lefkowitz EJ, Van Der Pol W, Buford TW, Colman RJ. Age-related differences in the gut microbiome of Rhesus macaques. J Gerontol Biol Sci. 2020 Feb 13. pii:glaa048. doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa048. [Epub ahead of print].